Tag Archives: Google social networking
Google’s new social networking service has reached twenty million members, according to data from ComScore. ComScore doesn’t have any official word from Google on this one- they’ve evidently based their estimates on a “global measurement panel” consisting of two million web users.
Those are good numbers – but the reality is that the number was passed in early August. When trying to research the numbers for where the service is at today, there really are no solid answers. It starts to make one wonder whether Google+ is starting to peter out – and it’s not something that is welcome news, but just an observation.
However, first and foremost, the service is still technically a closed environment- last I checked, if users want to sign up for Google +, they need to get someone who’s already signed up for the site to invite them (speaking of which, anyone who wants to nab an invite can drop me a line). You can’t simply sign up for Google +. With that in mind, the statistic becomes a little more impressive, doesn’t it? That’s not all, either- even more shocking is the fact that Google hasn’t actually even begun officially marketing the service on their search engine- most of what’s been circulating about G + has been word of mouth.
Not only that…Facebook took over two years to get past the twenty million mark- Google + took 23 days.
“I’ve never seen anything grow this quickly” said Andrew Lipsman, Comscore’s Vice President of Industry Analysis. “The only other site that matched this kind of visitor accumulation in a short period of time is Twitter back in 2009- but that happened over several months.” It seems as if Google’s got their finger on the pulse of the social network at exactly the right moment- when Facebook and Twitter both launched, social networking was a very different beast. They’ve changed it. They’ve popularized it. And now, Google + is capitalizing on that by doing what they do- only better. Plus, the fact that they provide a viable alternative to Facebook-which seems to be one of the more popular businesses to hate on these days- is icing on the cake.
There’s the added benefit of how well browser addons seem to interact with G +: particularly addons for Chrome via extensions. In only a few short weeks, we’ve seen more Google + inspired applications and extensions surface in the webstore than we’ve seen for Facebook since Chrome launched- and many of those are geared towards helping users make the switch between social networks. Something tells me that if things keep going the way they’re going, those kinds of extensions are going to be seeing a lot more use. Granted, we’ve yet to see many Google + apps that are specifically designed within the platform- but as the devs have a bit more time to fiddle around with the Google + developer kit, the applications will eventually come.
There’s still a long road ahead for Google +- Facebook has over 750 million, and Twitter over 200 million. Given those rather staggering numbers, 20 million kind of seems like a drop in the bucket, doesn’t it? Of course, if Google + continues to grow at the same rate it has been in its fast start, that road might be rather quickly traversed.
Summary, response, follow up and criticism – We recently ran an article in which we offered an opinion, not just Kurt’s opinion, but an opinion that has been created among our writers, about the security and especially a lack of security in Google’s social network. Of course, it was an editorial opinion, and you may have a different opinion. Google certainly has a different opinion and agreed to give us some of its time today to explain the approach of privacy in Google+. We still do not agree with it in its entirety, but admit that Google has – from its perspective – a case. In the end, it may all come down to the philosophy of how open your information can be and how paranoid you need to be about your privacy.
One of the advantages of having early access to Google+ is not so much the fact that you can engage with others, simply because there isn’t that much engaging happening right now. However, there is quite a bit you can learn about your personal preferences how a social network should work for you as you can compare Facebook and Google+ side by side in a relatively harmless way: There may be an almost silly volume of interest in Google+, but your exposure on the network is still very limited. If you have read Kurt’s article, you know that we are concerned about Google’s approach to handling privacy (as we are about the protection of privacy in all social networks, by the way.)
Not surprisingly, Google believes it has an approach that is reasonable and appropriate to secure privacy in Google+. Google argues that its social network privacy is much more flexible than the tools provided by its “competition” (we assume that would be Facebook.) Google+ privacy relies on (1) your general Google account settings, (2) the settings in your Google Profile, (3) the use of Circles and (4) your ability to understand your conduct and potential impact of the data you post online.
Google has been on a buying spree for social media companies. In 2010 alone, social companies Aardvark, Slide, Jambool, Like.com, Angstro and SocialDeck have been acquired by the search company. The past five companies they have bought are social-related. This doesn’t include a $100 million investment in social media games maker Zygna, which makes the popular FarmVille, among others.
It’s clear that in the coming months Google plans to launch something big, notwithstanding other projects such as Chrome OS and Google Music. It’s possible that the company believes that any social networking strategy could be the “glue” so to speak that holds many of these services together.
It’s all a part of trying to keep users on Google’s services since they are starting to see a lot of eyeballs move from Google and sticking on Facebook, since people spend a lot of time on that site. Consider this recent graph released by Business Insider, and you’ll see what executives at Google see as a potential threat from Facebook.
Google has announced that they are giving real time search its own spotlight with a web address specifically for the purpose of instant results that are trending across the web. You can visit the site directly right here.
Social searching is much different than looking for web sites with information. That’s why there is some sense in giving real time its own page. Some feel that real time could be a bit of an annoyance; Google has tested this thoroughly and probably came to the same realization.
Could real time search work as a part the Google homepage? Maybe someday, but the feature is too different for the time being to be implemented when you are trying to Google something up. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Google Me social network will heavily implement real time search to make it viable. It could certainly give it some competitive advantage over Facebook.
Facebook is in “lockdown” mode for the next sixty days while Google is expected to release their social product during that span.
The Notion Ink Adam is supposed to be a tablet released with Chrome OS at some point; here is a look at its ongoing development.
If you’re using the Chrome webapps already here is a tip on how to restore the address bar in one of those tabs, courtesy of Lifehacker.
While we’ve got our reservations about Incognito Mode, DownloadSquad has discovered an interesting extension for it.
Files that have already been uploaded to Google Docs can now be converted into various file types.
I’ve been made aware via Fortune’s Google 24/7 that TechCrunch is reporting Google will acquire Slide for $182 million. The company is a social gaming platform not unlike the Google-invested Zygna, and further fuels speculation on Google’s plan to create something that is like Facebook, but not quite.
Slide, purveyor of social media hosted titles such as “SuperPoke! Pets” and “Top Fish” surely is a competitor to Zygna. Perhaps Zygna refused being completely bought out by Google, and that this is the alternative purchase.
Regardless, there is no doubt that some sort of Google social network is coming. Hopefully it has a better name than Google Me. If I announced that out loud to someone that would sound like something you would do on their search service, not to mention incredibly vain to say.
Silicon Alley Insider’s recent chart showing the amount of time spent on major sites displays a strong push for both Google and Facebook, while the previous (shocking) champ Yahoo is experiencing a steady overall drop.
Yahoo and AOL are in steep decline, while Microsoft is simply staying afloat, most likely bolstered by spending hundreds of millions on marketing their Bing search engine. Apple, which is rumored to be preparing for a more cloud-based approach, isn’t even on this list.
Facebook has really pulled up close with Google, but co-founder Sergey Brin recently said the company is unfazed by Facebook’s growth.
“The indications that we have show that when Internet users become Facebook users they actually do significantly more searches on Google,” Brin told Reuters in Sun Valley, Idaho last week.
But Google isn’t resting on their laurels in regards to competing with Facebook. That would explain this recent release of a huge 216 slide presentation by Google UX researcher Paul Adams on the problems and opportunities of social networking.