An intersting read from one of our planners dustin aka 'the ginger zuckerberg.' Here's our Leo Burnett Toronto take on Google +.
The web has been set a blaze with Google+, the search giants’ latest attempt to infuse a social DNA into all of the company’s products. With a few false starts – Google Buzz and Google Wave certainly failed to resonate with users – this latest venture may have hit the right social cord.
At first glance, Google+ provides many of the same common features popular on other social networks. You can provide updates and share a variety of content with people in real-time. You can create and organize specified groups of people and organizations. You can chat via IM and video with friends, you can share with others your physical location in real-time, and most importantly you can engage socially with others around shared interests, passions, and topics. They have also added a few other interesting bits:
Google+ Circles – Although in essence this functionality isn’t that different that creating groups of friends on Facebook, Google+ has placed this feature at the core of the experience. With the belief that you share different things with different people, Circles aims to make sharing with the right circles, at the right time, easy…just like in real life
Google+ Stream and Sparks – Stream is quite similar to the Facebooks’ newsfeed, aiming to provide a continuous scroll of personalized content from your connections. Combined with what they call Sparks, Google+ also provides content from all over the web that’s driven from your own personal interests.
Google+ Huddle - Much like the popular group messaging app Beluga, Huddle allows you to have rich conversations with many people in one simple conversation…great for getting a group of people on the same page quickly.
Overall, Google+ is about 90% similar to Facebook – with one big, harry audacious implication for brands.
Google’s Purpose remains consistent – To organize the world’s information. Their search engine continues to be the most frequented destinations in the world, and the most popular starting point to people’s time online. With the introduction of Google+, and the eloquent integration with all of Google’s other products, the search giant has further signaled the transformation to a personalized web. As Fast Company blogger Simon Mainwaring wittingly puts it:
“The way information is structured and accessed will turn on the individual, or rather their personal profile. With this shift in informational structure and emphasis in mind, what happens to the undefined brand? How does a brand that either stands for nothing, or more commonly, several things at once, pass through the individual filter of the personalized web?”
We couldn’t agree more. As the web, and people, move further towards the direction of personal connection and affinity as the single most important factor of influence, brands that don’t work hard at defining a clear human purpose will simply fail to…
The opportunity for brands to engage is forthcoming, in fact a few have already tried to jump the gun to the chagrin of Google. In a YouTube post last week, a Google+ product manager urges businesses to be patient, and that a unique experience for businesses is forthcoming. Although this feature will not be ready till ‘later this year, businesses can apply to be part of an early Beta test group.
We would love to discuss with each of you the opportunity to become part of this beta group, and how we can help leverage your brands purpose to capitalize on this exciting new development. In the mean time, please check out the following articles to learn more: