Google+ has some real challenges to overcome as it becomes the new kid on the block of social networking sites. Even so, Google has shown resiliency in its corporate history, so there is every reason to believe that Google+ could become the next Facebook at the top of the social network food chain. Here is why Google+ may well succeed:
1. The social network market is dynamic. Google+ enters the social network race exceptionally late. Even so, the rise of Facebook and Twitter over Myspace illustrates that users have remarkably little brand loyalty to their social network. Users have Facebook for friends and family contact, Picasa for online photo storage, and LinkedIn for professional networking. Google+ combines all of those aspects, especially the data storage options for photo albums, all on one platform. With over 40% of social network users belonging to 3-5 social networks, it is clear that social network enthusiasts enjoy the process of exploring new networks.
2. The Google+ interface. The Google+ social network is based on the idea that people have several different groups or cliques to which they belong. You make your own groups and associate your friends and acquaintances with whatever group you want. You can watch as people move you between different groups. The advantage is that you have the ability to compartmentalize the different people in your life and that is a clever way to run a single profile over many different interests. The ever-changing nature of the Google+ relationship model encourages you to check in frequently.
3. The advertising. Google+ advertising constantly during prime time this holiday season hits all of its key demographics fast, making it seem like it is an already established phenomenon.
4. A solid revenue model. Google+ arrives on the social networking scene with its fundamental advertising revenue model in place. Because Google’s AdSense is already in place and integrated with the Google+ platform, Google does not need to devote nearly as many resources to courting advertisers.
Google wants a piece of the social networking business, but they are coming very late with Google+. Even so, it seems the platform has everything needed for Google to have another success in its portfolio. Because social network users are fickle enough to constantly change their relationships, Google+ seems to have an interface that speaks directly to its target demographic. Just as Google+ allows users to move friends among different groups the user creates, Google hopes to woo users from the other social networks. Hopefully, it has a model to keep them there once they land on Google+!
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