Last week Google’s social network, Google+, opened its gates to all after two and half months of closed testing.
Fiona presents her breakdown of Pros and Cons of Google+ from the perspective of a Google Enthusiast for Rocktime clients and Music promotion.
I really liked the simplicity of registering to join Google+ BETA. My attention was kept by the use of innovative circles of networks and the ability to assign users to multiple circles. I am still only testing and not using Google+ until Google+ for businesses is available.
I found the integration of my Google+ profile with many of the other Google products I use like Picasa, Google Places reviews, iGoogle, YouTube, Gmail contacts, Google+1 button etc was and will be very useful.
After years of keeping a relatively low online personal profile, I suddenly found that my contact details and my ‘real life sharing’ were about to be made public. That proposition seemed less inhibiting as there are plenty of privacy control features in Google+ and it has an attractive interface. Once users recognise how to engage in an online social network and decide on what ‘their tone of voice’ is, adding another network is just another channel for communication. Facebook has been a good learning curve to develop a profile on.
With Google owning Android and Android doubling their UK market share in Q2 2011, which now makes up 47% and according to Mobile magazine share and the fact that 41% of the UK population own a Smartphone there is a lot of scope to develop.
Paying for goods with the Google Wallet app on an NFC enabled phone is due to be launched in UK next year and I am sure Google will find a way to link Google+ to our buying power.
The public Google+ profiles are indexed and can be found for a name search. Google ‘owns’, in today’s gaming and urban dictionary, search. Google+ is starting to do some rather fun things with music like their recent Daria Musk Google+ Hangout Concert. A "Hangout" is a live 10-person video chat on Google+. In addition, Google launched Google Magnifier earlier this year, which is a service or ‘discovery site’ that lets you upload your personal music collection to the cloud and listen to it on the web or your Android phone, or tablet.
I promote an acoustic musician, so what I was really waiting for, was the ability to add a music band to Google+. Google states quite clearly in the joining process that a full name is required, not a company, brand or band. YET! It’s coming! There are already so many music specific profile sites I’ve joined like FanBridge, Reverbnation, Facebook BandPage, SoundCloud, Bandcamp and the rest but Google+ offers the widest potential reach. Google is looking at ways to adapt the social networking site specifically for business use.
An impressive 27m people have signed up for Google+ since it launched in June 2011 but then the recent stats indicate it is now declining in daily visits.
There have been some known issues with Google+ but they seem to get plenty of publicity and therefore Google tries to resolves errors quickly.
One of the other issues that’s been flagged up in several places is Google+’s real name policy. Unsurprisingly there are many internet figures who are better known by an online alias, or just users who want to separate their online and offline interactions.
I tease about ‘Google world domination’; I hope it is only a joke!
If you’re interested in learning more about Google products and what they can bring to your business, why not contact Rocktime’s Flashlight Team for more information.
Author: Fiona Anderson