eBrandz Blog

Will Google’s social media foray click with the users?

Media analysts feel Facebook users are not likely to simply duplicate and deploy their close network of friends on Google+. It is unlikely they will post to both networking sites, but they could possibly utilize them for engaging in different types of communication – official or personal. The latter could succeed in attracting Facebook holdouts who might have been feeling not too comfortable revealing and sharing (personal details) too publicly.

When its users post messages on Facebook, mostly off-limits to algorithms of search engines, Google happens to lose precious bit of user-generated information, which probably could have benefit its Web search, advertising and other allied products and functions.

Social media scores over search in terms of stickiness

Brands are paying close attention to the fact that people now increasingly prefer to spend more time on social sites like Twitter and Facebook. These are the platforms that they use to ask questions which they would previously ask Google, for example, a recommendation for a book, food joint or doctor. Google’s distant rivals have invariably indulged in a catch-up game for the last several years. The search engine giant is somewhat experiencing the same in social networking, trying to find ways to catch up with Facebook.

Understanding the personalization strategy

Question that social media analysts are asking is whether it is possible to loosen Facebook’s hold and eclipse its position as a highly popular broadcast mechanism. According to Vic Gundotra, a senior vice president (engineering), and Bradley Horowitz, a Google executive dealing with product management, being aware of individual Google users’ habits and requirements would improve all their products like search, ads, YouTube and maps. Google will grasp what people want and like, to personalize the product offerings.

However, there has been also some criticism of Google’s failure to follow the critical importance of social information available on the Web till competitors such as Twitter and Facebook had already moved ahead by leaps and bounds. Its co-founder Larry Page regrets the company inability to lead in this segment of market. Analysts feel, part of the blame lies with engineering-heavy culture of Google that places more value to quantitative data and algorithms over more abstract pursuits including socializing.

To set things right, Google+ users will select people from their Gmail contacts (as well as from other services after it enters into a deal with them). They will be able to drag & drop their friends’ names into various groups, or circles, which they can title as ‘book club’ etc” and share with them or with all friends. People, unlike on Facebook, don’t have to agree to become friends and can receive updates from someone without sharing any of their own.

When users check in their Google+ home page, they get to view three columns plus a stream of status updates right in the middle almost just like Facebook. Google stated that its product has several features apart from an easier way of sharing with select groups to differentiate it from competitors.