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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AnyAsq.com

Where do you think Google+ will be in 6 months? 1 year?

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

My answers to questions from AnyAsq.com. Ask me anything here

One thing is very clear Google+ is here to stay. We can safely expect its membership to rise from 10mn to say 100mn or so in 6 months to 1 year time as the field trial ends and more members join.

This will probably be the record for the fastest organic growth achieved by any of the social networks ever.

Based on the engineering culture of Google, I believe they are going to improve considerably simply because Google has a very top notch team of experts headed by Vic Gundotra and Bradley Horowitz. and they have finally got things right.

What else will change?

1. There will be more Apps not just the fun stuff but apps which will solve problems of organizations and businesses i.e. more for community management and engagement.

2. People will discover many more uses of Google+ from work place to crisis response as in earthquakes etc.

3. Google+ will become default for any SEO based activity and aligning it with your community i.e. more +1′s on links shared in Google+ and higher ranking in Google search.

4. For lots more people and businesses using Gmail and Google products will be default as they will be placed around Google+, their social identity.

And what will be truly awesome is: A sequel to The social Network with Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page and Sergey Brin all in together. I bet some one has already started scripting it ;)

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Insights & Strategy

Google+ and a sequel to ‘The Social Network’

Who thought a week back that something called Google+ would have people falling head over heels for access to the latest social network to hit the planet. While few got in, and many wait at the doorsteps envying the guys inside, its not a surprise the amazing response Google+ got. One of the guy who got in and is the most followed member so far in there is founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg.

Google and Facebook have been pitted against each other for years. Google’s missed opportunities to enter the social domain has only helped Facebook to cruise ahead with a 750million members on board.

The Palo Alto based company with a crazy speculative valuation of $50billion has always led from the front dwarfing the competition. The early comparisons were with Myspace, which recently got sold for $35mn (Myspace was once valued at $1bn).  Though this is not the first attempt by Google to enter the social domain. Google has previously experimented with Google Buzz, which became notorious for its privacy mischief during its early days. But this time Google is playing its card just right or so it seems. Integrating social with search and bringing together rest of its apps around Google+ will pay dividends for it. This could possibly be the tectonic shift in the social media space if Google+ can continue the momentum.

Facebook may be big but its not invincible. One thing is sure its going to be a lot of time before this space stabilizes and show any kind of saturation.

PS: It would be awesome to watch the sequel of The Social Network with characters of Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page and Sergey Brin all in one.

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