I was thinking about Google Plus a little last night as I continually refreshed my screen hoping it would magically appear. I think there are a few things that can really make or break Google’s latest attempt at social.
1. Nobody has groups right yet
Twitter’s lists are great, but are basically read only. You can’t broadcast to them. This is in keeping with the way Twitter fundamentally works, so that’s cool. But as far as the people on your lists go, it is more of a mark of reputation to be on someone’s list than it is an indication of engagement from that person to you. Facebook has done a better job with Groups, but they aren’t even close to the three dimensional overlapping of sets of groups we are able to so easily process in our brains. Maybe Google is actually smart enough to tackle this abstraction.
2. Group Texting
Yeah, everybody has a group texting gadget, but Google has more reach. They bought Disco, and have seemingly re-branded it as Huddle. I hate texting, but this may make it a little better.
3. Ubiquitity (I just made up that word I think)
With Chrome, Google has the ability to offer a nice extension to make Google Plus always on. No need to visit a site or run a separate app to see what is going on…it can always be there, yet still unobtrusive. I don’t see why Facebook couldn’t do something like that with Chrome, but they don’t own the browser. Google could actually ship their extension as a part of the browser (and I bet they will), while Facebook will have to settle for being an extension. I don’t know the numbers on how many people running Chrome don’t ever install extensions, but I’m betting that number will rise as Chrome gets closer to the meaty part of the user adoption curve.
Google already has a big market share for mobile, and they’ll be able to tightly integrate all the features of Plus into Android. iOS users are stuck with an HTML 5 webapp for now. Again, I don’t know what this has done for Gmail, and it was already a hit before, but this may be a huge factor. Bonus points if they offer up an online locker with plenty of space the way they did with Gmail at the beginning. That would be a big feature for storing photos and video.
Just some thoughts. I’m sure I’m way off base here. Tell me why.
Instant Upload from Android devices is a money maker! Coolest thing yet for any social platform I’ve used!