Google+ Thumbs Up or Down?

Author: Jack Martin

Yesterday I tried to access my LinkedIn account on my phone for the first time but I kept getting the username or password wrong. Was it the 8 character password or just 6? Is it the same email as Facebook or my Twitter account? Or maybe it’s the same combo I use for Tumbler, no StumbleUpon.

Then I hear about this new Google+ (pronounced Google Plus) and the section of my brain (that I’m sure exists) that stores all my passwords and logins started to throb. Another social media outlet I need to keep up to date with? Uh-oh.

So I start investigating this new outlet through my current ones even though it is bound to be a competitor. Though I assume back in the stone ages people used AOL to search for new internet providers. How I miss the dial tone.

Any way, the best article I could find for my skeptical, slightly pessimistic view of additional social media logins was on Social Media Daily by Dave Higgins. It explains where the +s (positives) of Google+ really lie and how it actually stands a chance to be a competitor to Facebook and LinkedIn. Here were the two strongest arguments for Google+ that I picked out.

1.  It’s a Google product. Most of my online activity goes through Google whether it’s searching the web, G-chatting during commercial breaks, G-chatting at work with colleagues and clients, making calls when I’ve lost my Android powered phone that links to my Gmail and keeps me up-to-date with all the chain mail my grandma sends. So many aspects of the web are combined in Google and adding a social outlet to that bundle doesn’t actually sound too bad.

2.    Privacy. Currently, I have no idea what my privacy settings on Facebook really are. Sure I don’t feel I really have anything to hide, but still, it’s nice to keep those old family photos that were posted visible to only family (again, grandma’s doing). With Google+ they have a great opportunity to grab a number of Facebook users weary of the privacy settings or those opposed to Facebook because of privacy concerns. It’s a fresh start for the individual’s privacy within Social Media, something I’m sure most Mom’s are relieved at (cue simultaneous eye-roll from all 13-15 year-olds).

Due to recent events in the news, I hesitate to say that the jury is still out on Google+ but I seem to be at a loss for cliches that would fit here, plus I drafted this last week when the word held no meaning. However, we cannot judge Google+ until it really gets going and the innovators and early adopters (my marketing professors would be proud I’m using their lingo) start using it. It’s like everything else in the marketplace, time will just have to tell if it’s going to fall into the ranks of the Furby (I still have nightmares of that fad) or if it will be in the company of successful brands and fads like Coca-Cola (or Pepsi), The Simpsons (at 22 seasons) and fanny packs (Oh, just me?)

What’s your take on the new Google+, is it a plus or minus sign in your book? Keystone Click can help you figure out the best social media process for your business.