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Google+ - can it rival Facebook?
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paul
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:01 am    Post subject: Google+ - can it rival Facebook? Reply with quote

From the BBC:

Quote:
Online search giant Google has launched a new social networking website in its latest attempt to take on Facebook, which now claims more than 500m users.

Google+ allows individuals to share photos, messages and comments but also integrates the company's maps and images into the service.

It also aims to help users easily organise contacts within groups.

But some analysts say Google has simply reproduced features of Facebook while adding a video chat function.

Google, which handles roughly two out of every three internet searches in the US, has taken several stabs at Facebook in recent years.

But its previous efforts ended in failure, with both Google Wave and Google Buzz proving unpopular with users.


There are some interesting sounding new features, but isn't this a bit late in the day? Are users not too ingrained into using Facebook? Or can Google make some inroads into their market share, do you think?
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Kay
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't use FB so it's difficult to have an informed opinion on what I don't know about, but my gut reaction is:

a) the less savvy internet users who use FB probably won't want to change to yet another new thing if they're already well established in FB

b) the more savvy internet users are already concerned about Google's dominance of the internet and won't want to exacerbate the situation
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A possible counter-argument to b) is that they might not want to 'miss out' on the opportunity that it might present.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sure, it's a counter argument but a lot of the more savvy people I know are using Bing rather than Google and moving away from other Google offerings such as AdSense. Many people are tired of having their income depend on G's whims.

We just had Panda, then there was a big PR update a couple of days ago. A lot of people are getting tired of waking up to discover that their income has been drastically reduced overnight because of some unexpected change.

I can't see a lot of webmasters flocking to use this new thing. They'll not want to put more of their eggs in the Google basket.

There's always c) I suppose.

c) people who are just discovering the internet and the wonderful world of Google - they'll probably go for it

Edit - and there's d) people like me who'll ignore it and hope all this kind of thing goes away Twisted Evil
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I don't have access to it yet, but I've spent quite a long time looking at the various options and offerings. Some of them are quite nice, but overall, it's a fairly weak offering, which is exactly what I would expect from Google. They don't understand social - never have, and there's not enough here to make it interesting.

People are going to have to start from scratch, as Facebook really isn't about to let Google import people's friends. Google does have the option of gmail contacts, profiles, Buzz etc, but it's still very weak. It's also not integrated the +1 button right off, which is a grave mistake IMO. I did like the instant video chat option, but limiting it to 10 participants is a pain, and not allowing it to be be saved or viewed by other people immediately negates the value.

No, this isn't going to rival Facebook at all. Google has left it far too late - they left it too late when they tried Wave, and Facebook has way too much of a headstart on them now. However, when I get an account I'll certainly try it out, but I think it'll be limited to nerdy friends.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kay wrote:
I can't see a lot of webmasters flocking to use this new thing. They'll not want to put more of their eggs in the Google basket.


...but webmasters are a relative minority, aren't they? Although no doubt a significant one as they'll been among the 'pioneers' to use any new system.

All in all, I'm in agreement with what's been said. FB is so established now that it's a hassle for anyone to move across, create new photo galleries, establish new friend networks, etc. Why should they bother when they have most of their needs already fulfilled? The only way I can see it having a chance at all is if people can easily transfer all their FB stuff across to Google+ and that doesn't appear to be an option that's coming any time soon, I don't suppose.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
..but webmasters are a relative minority, aren't they?


I suppose it depends on how you define "webmaster". Every man, his dog, cat, and goldfish has a blog these days. They may consider themselves to be webmasters because they run a website. But, you're right, by "webmaster" I meant the minority of us who run websites for a living.

These "pioneers" will indeed have some influence, but thanks for the reminder that everyone uses the internet in different ways. I often forget that something that seems to be so bleedin' obvious to me isn't necessarily understood by people who use the internet differently. That fact needs to be regularly hammered into my thick skull. I'm sure I would do better if I remembered it more often. Smile
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you had some "real customers" (and by that I think you know what I mean), you would probably get reminded more often that you wanted to be. Smile
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing Real customers? What a despicable suggestion. No, no, no. I can't cope with "real customers". The very thought of them makes my flesh grow cold.

Mind you, I've not done such a bad job on it really. If you put me into a customer service role, then I scare all the customers away and then the job gets easier after that. Twisted Evil
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmmm... you don't happen to work for Next, do you?
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy

You say Next, I say Nisbets. Zero out of ten for keeping the online customer satisfied. What a shame. They are otherwise such a terrific catering equipment supplier.

Customer service is very important. Even I treat our paying customers with respect.

Dave told me today that Habitat had gone bust. I wonder why - must go and find out.

Now you've started a fight here because I said that Next did something bad to us and he said they didn't. He swears it was Habitat.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I took it upon myself to find out the Chief Executive of Next this morning, and then to find out his email address.

I emailed him.

Couple of hours later, my telephone rang. The item is being replaced forthwith, I'm being refunded for the expense that I've had to go to in order to do a temporary fix on the item in question (100), and they're going to be offering a goodwill gesture on top (the details of which are yet to come forward).

Would have been much simpler if they'd done all that in the first instance.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back to Google+ ...

I just got an invite about 5 minutes ago. I've not had much chance to look at it yet, but so far so good... looks like it could have lots of potential. Certainly seems pretty user friendly.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Google are really making a good go of this plus thing.

Gonna throw a few points in the air here for both sides:

AGAINST

Do people have enough on their plate keeping up with facebook and twitter to then add yet another social network into the mix, not to mention anyone that has other networks to manage like linkedin etc.

It will take up a chunk of the day checking and using all three and I don't think people are going to stop using facebook to join that. Facebook is too set into peoples lives now.


FOR

Google has integrated the plus into virtually everything and made a real good go of it and by integrating it into everything and hinting that it now or will in future affect the rankings, all the medium-large websites have took notice and many small too meaning that they will be pushing it on all their followers to join so the followers can plus 1 their site to improve it in the search engines.

This then means that all these people are in the plus network and will no doubt be inviting their friends who will invite their friends and so on



hmmmm . . . guess time will tell
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul wrote:
Certainly seems pretty user friendly.


Oh no it isn't!

I received a few invites so I thought I'd better go along and see what it was all about. Having clicked on the email link inviting me (with every intention of accepting the invitation because I know the person) I was taken to a page which was completely incomprehensible to me.

Let me explain. I travel a lot and therefore might log in from various countries. In all my dealings with Google I have always used the English language. I know about this "personalised" service where they know every darned thing about you and therefore tailor their offerings to suit you. But, oh no they don't!

They recognised me as soon as I clicked on the link and said welcome [my name], but the entire page was in some foreign language because I happened to be in that country at the time. Naturally I looked for the flag, drop down menu, or button, which would allow me to change my language of preference. It was nowhere to be found.

Rant - why oh why after years of dealing with G, and they knew who I was when I showed up - otherwise why did they address me by my name? - because I logged in from a foreign country they assume that I've suddenly learned that language?

Dave got it sorted eventually by running parallel pages with a new account on his computer so he could "translate" the stuff on mine. It would be a heck of a lot easier if they asked what language you want to use rather than making assumptions that just because you logged in from Nairobi you now want to be served the G+ pages in Swahili. Rolling Eyes
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