Google+

Google+

FACEBOOK VS. GOOGLE

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The average Facebook user spends two hours and 18 minutes using the service a day.

The average Google user spends one hour and 45 minutes using the service a day.

THOUGHT: That disparity in how much time people spend on the two properties is why Google keeps trying to get into the social game.

Google Buzz was the latest swing and miss. The company’s social media track record is less than stellar, which is why it is relatively safe to bet against the success of their latest socialĀ endeavor, Google+.

Google+ consists of Circles (friends lists), Sparks (your activity feed saved searches), and Hangouts (a group video chat feature).

ASIDE: Why they didn’t call the damn thing Circles, as in Social Circles, I have no idea but then, hey, they didn’t hire Tunheim to help them, so that’s what they get, I guess. šŸ˜‰

What will give Google+ a chance to get traction, I think, is that the focus is not necessarily on friends (which is where the focus is for using Facebook) but on sharing. If they can make it easier than Facebook to share the things you’d like to share, then I think it’ll have a chance at gaining a foothold.

The problem with sharing content on Facebook is that unless you’re a power user who has organized their friends into lists, and knows how to use those lists, you have to make a calculation with every piece of content you want to share.

Do I post a link to a political story for which I have deeply held beliefs which my friends share but which may alienate the people with whom I work? I haven’t seen any numbers on it, but my anecdotal observations lead me to believe that most people do not use Facebook’s lists to select content with select audiences.

Google+ looks like it will make this kind of sharing pretty easy. If I can organize my friends into my political friends, then I can share my partisan views with relative impunity. Likewise, most of my professional friends have little interest in my fascination with dinosaurs (which are awesome).

Making select sharing easy to do will reduce the noise that is becoming a problem for Facebook.

The people who most benefit from features of this type are the super user content creators; the Robert Scoble‘s of the world. They have massive online networks and tend to drive adoption of new services and technologies.

Google+ is in a limited field test right now, so hopefully they’ll iron out some of the problems before widespread release and avoid the fiasco that was Google Wave.

Time will tell but I think this is Google’s smartest social effort thus far.

Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land has a nice rundown of the details of Google+.

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KEYWORD WEDNESDAY: Google Social Network is the 8th most popular search at Google today; Google Circles is the 13th most popular search. [CHART.]

 

RANDOM REASON TUNHEIM ROCKS: Kathy Tunheim spent the first ten minutes of our staff meeting today discussing one of her favorite paintings, TheĀ 7 Faces Of The Renaissance. Awesome.

 

Thank you for hip hop.

 

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About David Erickson

David Erickson is principal of e-Strategy Media, a digital marketing consultancy based in Minnesota. David has extensive experience in digital marketing and is often used as an expert source by media and asked to speak on the topic before organizations and to sit on panel discussions.