News

Is Google imitating Facebook?

Google+ today came out with a redesigned user interface for the social network. More than 170 million people have upgraded to Google+, enjoying new ways to share in Search, Gmail, YouTube and lots of other places.

Google claims this to be a ‘more functional and flexible version of Google+’. The cover photo looks very similar to that of Facebook, though its smaller in size. There is more focus on photos view and apps arrangement. Seems very much inspired from Facebook.

One of the first things you’ll notice is a new way to get around the stream. There is a dynamic ribbon of applications on the left. This approach comes with lots of perks, but some of our favorites include:

  • You can drag apps up or down to create the order you want
  • You can hover over certain apps to reveal a set of quick actions
  • You can show or hide apps by moving them in and out of “More”

Google is aiming for an experience that fuses utility with beauty—one that inspires users to connect with others, and cherish the conversations that unfold. Other updates include:

  • Full bleed photos and videos that’ll make you really proud to post
  • A stream of conversation “cards” that make it easier to scan and join discussions
  • An activity drawer that highlights the community around your content
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News

Sehwag goes the ‘Hangout’ way

Virender Sehwag fielding at Adelaide Oval

Virender Sehwag

Earlier in the day I found Virender Sehwag inviting fans to ‘Hangout’ with him on Google+ and informed you about it.

Following is my article, you can also view it here

Virender Sehwag, the swashbuckling batsman who scored 219 to join Sachin in a 200 exclusive club recently, will ‘Hangout’ with fans on Google plus today (Monday) at 2.30PM.

His status update on Google+ read, ‘Hi friends, I’m very excited to Hangout with all of you. Please remember that Hangouts allow only 9 people to join at a time and its on a 1st come 1st serve basis. Add me to your circles to ensure that you get the notification immediately. Looking forward to chatting with all of you. Be quick!’

This will be an exclusive live video group chat moment with Sehwag and a real treat for fans. The chats are for limited people only and could accomodate only a handful at a given time.

You can access Sehwag’s profile here: https://plus.google.com/106378829007298361146/posts

Add him to your ‘circle’ before participating in the  invite. Google has introduced ‘Hangout’ among other features as part of its newly launched social network named Google+.

This article was originally published in Daily Post

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Insights & Strategy

Will the likes of Chris Brogan leaving Facebook spell doomsday for the Social Network

Chris Brogan - Social Media Talk

Image by Michael Mistretta via Flickr

(a bit too late but finally this post is seeing the light and is out of my notes)

First results for Google+ has been out for few weeks now  and it was pegged at a total of 20mn members in 3 weeks since its limited trial phase launch. The web went into a tizzy when Larry Page CEO announced the 10mn mark simply because that’s the fastest organic growth any social network has ever seen. It took Facebook 852 days and Twitter 780 days to reach this milestone.

However, no one is astonished possibly because the social network has become the most sort after thing since Facebook first came in 2004.  As predicted on this blog, perhaps Google+ would become the first social network on the planet to reach 10mn  to 100mn within the shortest time frame. Shortly after Larry’s announcement something happened that is forcing us to think if Google+ is the ultimate nemesis of Facebook and would crush it just like Facebook engulfed MySpace:

Chris brogan proudly announced on his Google+ profile his dislike for Facebook and how he has been using it grudgingly since he didn’t have any other better option but won’t be using that as actively any longer. He also thought that Google+ has probably touched 100mn users.

Besides that error in calculation has he summed up the emotions for many of us regarding Facebook, which always categorized all of our contacts as ‘friends’. I don’t imply that Facebook doesn’t understand the concept of Circles (the famous Googler Paul Adams , who now works with Facebook and part of his work on this concept can still be found on SlideShare: The real life of social network) but it has never made an effort to help users understand how to categories online relationships, which remains buried under its settings unlike easy to use Google+ contact management.

Was it  the social networking fatigue  and also the eagerness to check out the new kid on the block that has led masses to Google+? However, when likes of Chris Brogan start abandoning it, questions are asked about what comes NEXT!

To answer that we need to understand first who Chris brogan is: here

So he is influential, has been voted as Most Influential Person in Small Business on Twitter recently among countless other things that makes people follow and listen to him.

Does that mean mass abandonment of Facebook following influencers like Chris?An influencer with years of social captial moving to Google+ would mean his followers would follow him where he leads them. Isn’t that the oldest strategy in the influencer marketing book used by corporates to drive engagement to their brand. And when an influencer like Chris chooses a new platform many others (peers and followers) are expected to follow suit.

So what reasons could Chris have in mind before his migratory flight. This could probably help you decide if you wanna take the plunge too:

1. Google is bigger than ever before as proved by its latest figures released. A super rise in revenue exceeding market expectations.

2. Social networking platforms are known business integrators, and Google (apps) & Google+ are no different. Sooner rather than later Google+ will get you. Watch how

3. Google+ is SMEs best friend: Which SME doesn’t want to top Google search ranking, and when Google starts to integrate (in search) +1′s from Google+, then with the help of your community and your links (content) your business will shoot for the skies. More social and engaging your business is more relevant you will become. Unless of course Facebook + Bing overtakes the search engine market over night! Unlikely

4. Google+ business solutions: Google has started experimenting with its business pages. My guess is expect something very innovative with in-built community management features that lets you take care of your business communication as well as community need at the same time.

These reasons are good enough starters to adopt Google+ especially if:

1. You reckon your business prospects would eventually end up using this platform and aggregate their social + business processes through it. You want to service them, then be here.

2. You want to establish yourself as an influencer and want to surface in the real time Google search in near future, this is the time to amass your community and build links.

3. More than anything else: You believe in relationships and are willing to be social in next generation of web revolution.

PS: Chris didn’t pay me to write this and neither did Google. Though I wouldn’t mind in case they offered ;)

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