So Google is going to completely kill Google Buzz in the near future and they have said something along the lines of “To create a better future we must first be honest about our past.“
I personally never used the Google Buzz system, partly because – why use something that twitter does better, and party because when it first got started it faced all those privacy issues that everybody was so upset about.
There was a lot of “Buzz” (pun intended) about the new Google Plus social network which was so dubbed as the “Facebook Killer” and the ultimate solution to combining Twitter and Facebook.
…as if that is what we crave in our social world. First of all, to discuss the title of this article let’s make two points to why Twitter and Facebook were so successful, and why Google Plus (at least in my mind) seems to be just… there.
- Facebook and twitter developed because it filled a purpose in our lives. There was a need in our lives (we just didn’t know it yet) for a better online social experience. These two different companies offered completely different platforms, and the foundation of each from the start, was both original and exciting. Since the soul of each was social, it made sense for us (psychologically) to dive right in.
- Google had the “fastest growth rate ever” but if you are able to put a little blue arrow on a website that millions of people visit each day, to say “Hey check this out” Does that really mean that everyone is joining because it’s cool and it serves a necessary purpose or because Google just has that kind of power? The other part of this is that it was extremely easy for people that already had a Gmail account to sign up and join
Yes Google has 40 million + users – I am one of them – but I am never using it, as I imagine is the case with a lot of other users out there. Also, one of the only reasons that I joined Google + in the first place is because I was am so affiliated in the tech and SEO world (be it that I help to provide a white label content writing service as well ) that I wanted to be one of the first people there to check it out to see what business advantages it would have to people that specialize in Internet marketing, which is definitely the case for a lot of other users as well.
This brings me to my next couple of points. Google plus is something that theoretically has a lot of “useful” and “cool” features, but when it really comes down to it, it doesn’t matter, and it definitely isn’t enough for the mass amounts of people to steer away from twitter and Facebook. The next couple of points outline what it “cool” about Google +, but it really doesn’t matter in the real world.
Privacy – We Really Need it (But not too much)
1) At first glance, “circles” seem to be really cool. I mean one of the “so-called” problems of the Facebook world is that there really is (or was, they have caught on) no way of organizing your friends, so that you could make who you wanted to see certain able to and so you could limit people from seeing certain updates.
However the whole point of our social lives is to let people see us (and in the online world that usually means the best part of us). It is possible to make things private on Facebook, and if we really wanted to we could make sure that every single one of our posts gets to the right people.
But here’s the main problem with that: It is much easier to decide to express something that is relevant to everybody than it is to have to go ahead and make everything private. Besides, if we want something to be private to only a few people, there are better ways of doing so… Like email for instance…
2) Something else that I thought was pretty cool at first glance about Google plus was the ability to search for information in the social streams. Although this is a “cool” feature, it really isn’t that useful. I might as well use the regular search engines, and a lot of my results just show people that have agendas and are trying to get high click through rates so that they can make some money (having a Google Plus and updating it regularly in the SEO world may be just as valuable as hiring for a link building service)(although sometimes photographers – which is a common Google Plus type user – upload cool pictures that come up in the searches).
Search barely meets social with this type of model, and if that is what Google is trying to accomplish with features like being able to search for people that have created posts about your search terms… well it is definitely not the end result (there never is). It is an awesome tool for people in the Internet marketing industry however. In fact, it is like the SEO’s searching best friend.
3) Google’s approach on making everything happen systematically is awesome in some areas of life -especially when it comes to search. But Facebook offers more spontaneity and that as what we as humans crave in our lives in the social word. We need a little bit of something that is “out of the system.”
So far, to me, Google represents an informal type of “LinkedIn” Except for it is primarily for people that are in the Internet business. We will have to wait to see if that changes over time. Facebook may take a huge hit when they releases Timeline to everybody, as it might make people totally forget about Google plus all together.