Wednesday, September 21, 2011

It's Good To Talk Socially

So is it cut and dry that Facebook rules and the rest remain ‘also rans’? It’s true that the more we invest our time and capture our information the harder it is to wean us off our favourite social network drug.

Social networks now matter to business not just to spread the word and promote their service offers but in building communities. Therefore all businesses must view these as essential communication channels and invest accordingly. The business that fails in the future may well be the one without network communication.

As consumers, we have often demonstrated as liking for joined up thinking and tightly integrated applications. Amazon, Microsoft and many others have proved that the best product doesn’t always win over that which is user friendly. Amazon’s ‘one click’ is a perfect example of something small and simple that is both attractive and compelling to many. We have also seen earlier social network service leaders stumble as users demand more joined up services and as the boundaries of the network and service functions expand.

As we master one new service we soon want it neatly joined to the rest. One of Amazon’s smartest moves was their affiliate programme which built their brand through others. The ‘one stop shop’ will continue to be attractive to many.
So what is so attractive with the social network of Google+?

Some things such as the contact ‘circles’ would appear neater but much off it looks and feels very similar to others.

However there are differences.

Conference calls have long been a essential business tools and the "mobile hangout" feature, allows Google+ users to also now enjoy video chats with groups of friends. Whilst "Hangouts on Air" would allow anyone with a video podcast to broadcast it to the widest audience. Google has not only developed the hangout service but are set to demonstrate it through the rapper star to promote his very own hangout and new medium.

So is Google+ now developing social networks and starting to compete not only Facebook, but also the likes of Skype. It certainly has the potential to adopt a holistic approach and recognise that users use search, maps, youtube, etc and wrapping them in their own social world may be more effective than presented them disparately in others.

However the 64 dollar remains- will users move their community service to others or remain with their current investment and also is any technology lead sustainable in today’s highly integrated world?

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