Google+ Will Change Social Media Forever
That seems to be the common refrain issuing forth from every corner of the Internet these days. The new social media service launched just a month ago and has so far gathered between 20-50 million users, depending on whom you ask.
Does this mean Google+ will replace Facebook as the dominant social media platform? Not likely.
You might wonder why I doubt the power of the almighty Google. Easy: I have used their service and I am unimpressed. Also, I have gauged the reaction of almost everyone I know who used their service and the response has been tepid, at best.
When Google Docs came along everyone said it would spell the doom of Microsoft Office. It didn’t. Gmail was supposed to destroy Yahoo!. It didn’t. Google Voice would revolutionize communication. It didn’t.
Google Buzz anyone? Or Google Wave?
Google is not going to dominate the social media landscape simply because that is not the essence of social media. Will it have lots and lots of users? Of course.
If you use any of the Google owned tools, such as Blogger, YouTube, Picassa of Gmail, they will rope you into creating an account which will inflate their numbers.
When they begin offer business pages should you get one? Of course you should. But don’t think for one second they will be the only social media game in town. There are lots of players and everyone serves a purpose when it comes to marketing your company.
Despite launching only a month ago, Google+ has made a tremendous impact on the social media landscape. A new report conducted by YouGov and Bloomberg predicts that more than 20 percent of the American internet audience will join the social network over the next 12 months.
Thirteen percent of adult U.S. internet users have signed up for a Google+ account and another 9 percent plan to do so during the next year, says the report. With 25 million consumers already signed up for the social network, the number of American users is expected to cross the 40 million mark soon. This puts Google+ ahead of Twitter and LinkedIn in terms of U.S. users. This is especially notable as Brafton recently reported that LinkedIn hit a new landmark in terms of members.
Businesses that have social media content marketing plans in place stand to gain the most, as Google+ users tend to be engaged by content posted on the social network. Nearly half (45 percent) of users read content published on Google+ at least once a day, and 46 percent of users report creating content on the social network (suggesting it could be valuable for generating social advocates). These figures support Brafton’s earlier report that Google+ is gaining value as a driver of social traffic.
“Google+ is starting off extremely strong. It’s chipping away at engagement levels on Facebook and Twitter. With Google reporting 25 million accounts already and an estimated 16 million more U.S. adults reporting that they plan to join over the coming year, Google+ can be a threat to both,” Michael Nardis, head of YouGov Investment Products, asserts.
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