Consultants' Corner

Google Plus – Yet Another Point of View

Terry Golesworthy
Insurance Experts' Forum, July 28, 2011

Google Plus has created a great deal of interest but has also divided the social media community. Even the commentary on the launch success or lack of, cannot be agreed. Supporters point to the rapid growth, with 20 million users added in just 24 days (Facebook needed 1,152). Detractors point to the fact that Facebook has 750 million users. The Google Plus debate is making the debt ceiling debate in Washington seem quite friendly and it not bode well for the short-term future.

Many of the social media experts love Google Plus but of course, they would, they love uncertainty, they love new toys, they love the fact that you need more consulting. The business community (and really I am speaking about the social media personnel within the community) are less enthusiastic – they want certainty, they want to get on and use social media not talk about technology. I fall between two camps, I like some of the features of Google Plus but fear it will delay investment and deployment. I always make a point in my presentations – social media should not be about the technology, it should be about the value and benefits – but here we are discussing technology. There were two major trending topics on Twitter last week – the debt ceiling and Google Plus.

We have seen battles before – WinTel versus Mac, Windows 3.0 versus OS/2, Netscape/Firefox version Explorer, Word Perfect versus Word, DEC versus Wang (showing my age on that one) and this invariably results in split development and slower deployment.

I am not advocating that we pick a winner now or anoint Facebook because of its larger presence. In some respects, Facebook is responsible for bringing this on itself: their lack of respect for privacy and other business practices left the door open. Google, despite failing twice with Buzz and Wave and should have been dead and buried, happily took advantage. Maybe Google Plus will do no more than to shake up Facebook and that alone would be a good thing but maybe we end up fragmenting the audience making each platform less valuable.

Terry Golesworthy, president of The Customer Respect Group, has covered technology issues and innovations in the insurance industry for many years.

Readers are encouraged to respond to Terry using the “Add Your Comments” box below. He also can be reached at terry@customerrespect.com.

The opinions of bloggers on www.insurancenetworking.com do not necessarily reflect those of Insurance Networking News.

 

Comments (2)

Good comment. I think we are in a very early stage and predictions either way are risky. There is debate now that Google Plus threatens Twitter more than Facebook. PC magazine recently polled 6200 readers, 50% of whom say they will abandon Facebook. Bottom line, we'll see a steady flow of new predictions but the dust will not settle for 12 months or more. Much of the frustration among insurance industry social executives is that uncertainty tends to slow down programs and this at a time that we have momentum in the industry.

Posted by: Terry Golesworthy | July 29, 2011 2:58 PM

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Google has a good base of Gmail users and it will be very easy for those users to setup accounts for Google+ and get to invite their friends. The curiosity factor alone will contribute to the user counts, which will make it look good, but only on paper.

Users have left Orkut/MySpace and migrated in masses to Facebook. There have been good acceptance to FB including the new privacy features added in Facebook(not to forget from community games) and users have found a comfort in current feature set of Facebook.

Google+ will really need to have significant advantage/features to offer to the users to make them shift from Facebook. Somehow there are no such features in Google+ and it will just attract people who want to experiment and explore the features just out of curiosity.

We will see lot of users just falling off after registration...
The equation looks like thing ...
Google - (Wave + Buzz ) = Google

Posted by: rohitsankhe | July 29, 2011 2:01 PM

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