Three obvious reasons Google+ will succeed

After using Google+ (connect with me here) for a little while, and with invites to the social network now being available, it will be interesting seeing the network grow over the next few weeks. Facebook didn’t have growing pains like Google is having to deal with back in their first weeks of launching in 2004. That should say something of the future success of the network. I thought I’d just state a few VERY simple and obvious reasons that I think Google+ will succeed without a doubt. They might be helpful, they might be annoyingly simple. But I believe they are why Facebook will most likely be left behind.

Reason #1 – SEARCH
The world searches using Google. The word search is often replaced by the word Google, that’s how much the service is used. Content-heavy websites (CNN for example) utilize Google Search on their own websites, allowing you to search the site for specific keywords or phrases. There just is no other search engine that competes.

Reason #2 – EMAIL
Most of the world uses Google’s Gmail services to send and receive email messages, and the majority of those people have the important info (phone, address, email, URL, etc.) stored as a Gmail Contact…….it’s their 21st century Rolodex.

Reason #3 – MAPS
When people need directions these days, or want to find a business, they’ll pull up Google Maps on their computer or smartphone. We’ve seen Facebook do a nice job with organizations – I know my employer counts on its Facebook page for communication as much or more than our website. Imagine if Facebook would have started off out of the blocks with Maps and business listings already stored like Google has. I think there’s a bright future for businesses that are listed on Google, and I’m sure we’ll see parts of that rolled out in the coming weeks.

It’s just this simple……Google is where the internet lives for the three necessities listed above, not on Facebook. If you’re using other services for any of these necessities, you should probably think about switching. So why wouldn’t you want to interact with your friends on a network that is tied to the same services they’re using for the necessities? From how it’s looking, it’s much easier for a social network to get going when they have a foundation and respect like Google does. It might seem impossible, but I don’t think it will take them 7 years to get to 750 million users (Facebook stat from last week) when they’ll likely top 10 million already this weekend.

If you’re not on the network yet, feel free to contact me using the email address you’d like to receive the invite with. You’ll be glad you did.

Were these reasons too simple? Do they make sense? Are there other Google services you think are solid enough for people to consider using?

  1. Agree with you on each point. I think it’s here to stay.

    The sharing experience on google+ is far less enjoyable than facebook or twitter, though. True, its easier to share info with specific people you want to, but irrelevant links take up half of your screen where they’re easily ignorable on twitter/facebook. This will get worse as more people flood google+. (This could easily be fixed by minor UI tweaks, so it’s not a deal-breaker for me).

    Without sitting atop Google search, maps & email integration, this service wouldn’t stand a chance of getting people to jump over from other social networking sites. However, because we’ve got mega-company Google backing the project, it gets a lot more buzz (previously failed google social site).

    It’d make sense, but in a world of tabbed web browsers, its not simpler to use Google+ than it is to keep a hootesuite or facebook tab open in another browser (as Google+ operates right now).

    Here is where the difference will make or break for Google+: (1) Integrating people’s +1 activity with search results. Companies spend a LOAD on SEO and if this social site is the one that will most effect it, the money will follow. (2) Business profiles: if this all gets set up with pages where businesses can connect with their audiences, we’ll see it happen.

    Those are my thoughts. Thanks for asking… you did right….?

    • I definitely did ask, thanks for stopping by Adam! You’re correct about the Hootsuite and Facebook tab deal. It might free browsers up a bit by placing the tabs within the actual sites.

      I think the edge there for Google is that the actual contacts are stored throughout multiple services.

      Great stuff – thanks for sharing!

  2. Craig

    Not sure I like this black on black on black theme. I have to tilt my laptop screen to a weird angle to make out where the input fields are.

    Anywho… here’s the question I asked on FB. You can answer it either or both places: Your article doesn’t explain HOW search, email, and maps will make Google+ succeed. Yes, Google has all those things and more, but it already has those things and I’m not sitting here wishing that Facebook had a Web search so that my searches would be more tightly integrated with my social networking. Not even sure why I’d ask that.

    So I’m not disagreeing with you that Google+ will succeed; I just don’t understand your point.

    • It’s more of an integrated services issue. Why would I get wireless, television, and internet service from multiple places?

      If Google+ is just as nice (in one week) as Facebook is (in 7 years), why not use it when it offers so many other services to go with it?

      • Craig

        In the city of Cedar Rapids, you pay for water, sewer, and garbage collection from one place. There’s nothing about using city water that makes city garbage collection more convenient, and nothing about having the city process your sewage that makes the water taste better. I live just outside of town. I have my own well, my own septic, and contract for my own garbage collection. I’m able to control the quality of my water and choose a garbage collector that picks up at a time of day that is convenient for me. The fact that I pay the electric company to power my well and septic and I pay a private contractor for garbage is inconsequential. Both are automatic payments from my checking account.

        I just don’t see how Google’s search engine or maps make its social networking product better or more convenient. I don’t use their email because it’s less convenient than operating my own mail server. I use Google Docs grudgingly for file sharing but I’m not married to it. The fact that they have a social networking site isn’t any more compelling than is Bing for a Windows user or the iPhone is for a Mac user. They may be great products in their own right, but the fact that I’m using another product or service from the same manufacturer doesn’t make them better.

        I’m not disagreeing with you about Google+. I’m just trying to coax your real argument out of you. You must see some benefit; I don’t get it.

        • Having 4-5 email addresses on different domains, it makes a good amount of sense to check them in one place (inbox) with Gmail. Using a mail program on my computer stopped being an option quite a while ago. Utilizing cloud services makes a good amount of sense, especially when you have the freedom to move from device to device without worrying about files or logins.

          Simplicity is a good thing, and it doesn’t get simpler than having search, email, maps and social interaction all under one account and navigation. It might be one of those things that you don’t really get until you try it for a month or two. That’s how it worked for me, about 18 months ago.

          • Craig

            I have 13 accounts on 8 domains plus a gmail account that I never look at. I have 136,497 archived emails covering the last 20 years or so. That’s about 6GB, which puts me close to the 7GB Gmail limit.

            There’s too much inertia there to switch to another solution. I don’t regularly check email from my phone, iPad, or laptop, but I can do all those things if I want/need to.

            I have search, email, maps and social interaction conveniently available to me with a key press or a mouse click. I don’t need to log in for search and maps, and since I control my machines I rarely have to log in to email and Facebook.

            Regardless of how either of us chooses to solve this particular problem, it doesn’t sound like having other Google services under the same umbrella as Google+ is any kind of advantage and therefore won’t contribute one way or another to its success. The whole time I’m on Facebook, there’s a Google search box in the upper right corner of my browser. Or better yet, I can open a new tab and do the search there with just one additional keystroke. Email is on my other monitor all the time.

            Even if I was retrieving all my email into Gmail and using it as my email client, it would be no more convenient than alt-tabbing from Outlook to Safari (or just looking at the other monitor) to get to Facebook. So still not getting your argument. 🙂

    • I guess I should say “my argument is lame sir” or you could say “glad it works for you Gabe”. LOL….yikes. I had a pretty odd view of Google as well for a few years, until I actually gave it a test for a good month or two.

  3. These are great points Gabe and I think there in one more very real reason Google+ will succeed and that is because we, the developers support it. We know that in the coming months Google will begin to roll out complex and powerful APIs to integrate the experience into our platforms, websites and services. We know these API will be simple, stable and not require days or weeks of digging though documentation and forum post to fully integrate. Facebook has some all stars on their team for sure, but Google hass been in the integration business far longer.

  4. Gabe… Thanks. This is just the sort of summary I always like seeing & thinking through. I put a lot of trust in #digitaldisciples’ techspertise and their discussions.

    Of your 3 reasons, I like the MAPS reason the best. While Google has long ago commanded the ‘WHAT’ persective of the net, (and Facebook, the WHO), no one — no not even Foursquare & lookalikes — have yet to dominate the WHERE perspective. IMHO, it’s still up for grabs.

    And we’ve yet to hear from the smartphone sector — after all, they’re the folks who are going to dictate the perceived winner. After all, who goes to websites for news these days? If my hand-picked Twitter lists aren’t discussing something, it’s hardly worth hearing about on the 6 O’clock news. Twitter & texting are the next big thing: not a customizable MySpace replacement. Ouch, was that too harsh? *wink*

    My guess: Google+ is going to be like GoogleWave. Couldn’t stick the landing. And before that, like Google/Blogger — did I mention how LONGGGGG I waited for Google to turn Blogger into a hands-down winner? Never happened.

    Neil @IndyChristian

    • Interesting post Neil, and thanks for your words of encouragement. Google’s mobile app (available on Android) already is a solid competitor to the Facebook and Twitter apps. Mobile is definitely where the future is headed, so it will be interesting to see how social communication continues to adapt to the devices.

      Blogging and serious content I believe still need to be provided by a credible source (which should still require some branding and a professional touch to it – logos, website, etc.). Blogger has no chance at all at competing with WordPress, and Flickr is a much better option for photos than Google+ is at the moment. Would make my day if Google would just purchase those two!

      Thanks for stopping by!

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