Tuesday, 19 February 2013

How Google Will Destroy Facebook And LinkedIn

How Google Will Destroy Facebook And LinkedIn

Google seem to be really going for it on the internet but I am not sure if they are too late or not.

While they have the number one spot for search engines, some of their other offerings, at first glance, appear to be me-too products. But I am not sure if that is really the case.

LinkedIn and FaceBook seem to dominate the social media world with LinkedIn being a little more business-focused. Despite their faults, (spam, clunkiness, world domination), you cannot deny that most people are already signed up. So why would you switch to yet another platform?

Google Plus, Google’s social media platform, offers a great alternative BUT not enough people have signed up. Not enough have migrated across and (like fax machines and email before) no-one wants to be on their own on a network. ‘Catch 22’-style, everyone joins a network where everyone is, and not before.

The Google Plus experience is totally compelling, apart from the fact that everyone has their social media experience strewn across the internet.

Running Mastermind Groups and consultancy assignments my application footprint is pretty typical of someone who is active on social media:
  • Firefox (or Internet Explorer) as your browser
  • Hotmail (or Yahoo) for emails
  • Google for searching (owned by Google)
  • Google Images for pictures
  • LinkedIn for my own private discussion groups
  • FaceBook for general networking and a couple of groups I belong to
  • Twitter for short messages and networking
  • TweetDeck (could have been HootSuite) for posting and scheduling FaceBook, LinkedIn and Twitter
  • Skype for internet and conference calls
  • Blogger (owned by Google) (could have been WordPress) for my blog
  • Scoop.it and Paper.ly for my curated magazine
  • YouTube for video (owned by Google)
  • DropBox for sharing files

With all the various offers and their ability to talk to each other (or not), we have a real muddle. Of course, the big but is that the sheer laziness and inertia of users means that the last most want to do is add yet another layer.

Of course the reality is that Google can replace all the above apps in one go. With Google Chrome as your browser, the rest can follow suit (or rather link from the same suite of products):
  • Google Chrome as your browser
  • Google Gmail for emails
  • Google for searching
  • Google Images for pictures
  • Google Plus Communities for my own private discussion groups
  • Google Plus Circles for general networking and a couple of groups I belong to
  • Any number of Google Chrome Apps for posting and scheduling to FaceBook, LinkedIn and Twitter
  • Google Hangouts for internet and conference calls
  • Blogger (owned by Google) for my blog
  • Google Plus Community for my curated magazine
  • YouTube (owned by Google) for video
  • Google Documents for sharing files
  • Google Reader for tracking key phrases

More importantly, all these Google apps now talk to each other.  My blogger account talks seamlessly to Google Plus and YouTube. The use of each one enhances your standing on the world’s key search engine, Google. Google likes Google users so it makes sense to be ‘on the programme’.

If you couple these individual apps with a few additionals like Google authorship then you start to see what the Google suite can do. If nothing else it will be incredibly SEO (search engine optimisation)-friendly. However the joy of being in one suite, one programme, one set of controls, one language, one style and all this is fully interchangeable and user-friendly.

So how could I use Google...
To run a webinar-type conference call I invite people on Google Plus in my Circles to use Google Hangouts. We talk and share files (from the Google Documents) and video content (from YouTube). The whole video conference can get saved to YouTube where I can then publish and distribute it via the Google community. Not bad, eh!

Of course, Google doesn’t replace Twitter. It doesn’t make LinkedIn or FaceBook redundant. However, it (the very complementary Google suite that we are already 50% engaged in) makes it all feel very clunky as we bounce from competing platform to competing platform.

So, is it just a question of time?
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