Monday, October 24, 2011

Webinar Notes: Inside Google +

I listened to this webinar (audio archive link) provided by Social Media Today on August 23, 2011. This was shortly after G+ came out, and people were trying to make sense of it. I am catching up on blogging my notes now. Nothing fancy here, just my notes as I listened to the webinar.

* * * * 

Google + is a combination of Facebook, Twitter, and Linked-In. It is not a replacement for Facebook at this time.
  • The Circles increase privacy. It is the strongest feature of G+, adding a better illusion of privacy. Circles feature allows privacy for people within a circle. Not everyone needs to see everything. 
There is no option at the moment for brands, businesses, etc. on G+.

Some Circles are pre-started. A Circle is a group; you can add other Circles as you see fit.
  • You can people to multiple Circles. 
  • You can post content then to specific circles. 
  • Currently, the people in a Circle do not know you have them in a Circle. Could Google change this later? 
Google is currently (as of this writing) insisting on a "real name" policy. This is a significant privacy concern. Even some real name folks have had their accounts canceled. This may seem to be a double-standard given, for example, celebrities being able to keep a pseudonym/celebrity name (like Lady Gaga).

Google+ is integrating with Google Search. This is significant given the collapse of Google's deal with Twitter for real search.

After the initial traffic boom, it seems G+ traffic may be declining. It does not seem as demographically diverse (a lot of male Caucasian, computer "geeks" was the suggestion made. Note, this may have changed now that G+ is more open). G+ is 65% male, and 7 of the top ten professions for folks in it are in technology.

Note that there is no connection between the G+1 on websites and getting a +1 on your G+. In other words, this does not seem to work like Facebook "likes." There is no integration, which may be an issue. It shows that G+ is not really talking to other networks.
  • However, there is a little war going between Facebook and Google. Facebook makes it easy to import contacts and other information from other places and services. However, Facebook does not reciprocate. Thus, Google closes off to Facebook on this. Facebook even blocked G+ invitation links. 
Google+ does allow marketing at large given that what you post is "findable." With Facebook, you have to build your network first, then post outwards to that network. On Google+, you can post directly, then build the network, which can be good for marketing.