Google’s recent launch (to a beta crowd, of sorts) of Google+ has been greeted by Social Media bloggers and critics variously as Social Media’s Next Big Thing, as the quintessential way to integrate search and social, and in typical SocMed bluster, “A Facebook Killer.” (Social Media types are nothing if not hyperbolic.) One writer even described Google+ as a “Purpose-Built Annex,” whatever the heck that is.
As for me, I’m not sure exactly where Google+ fits in. But I sure feel like I could do without it.
That must sound like heresy coming from someone who spends quite a bit of his day working with and advising clients regarding Social Media. Especially since it comes from such a proven heavyweight as Google. But truth be told, I’m involved up to here in Social Media. My personal Social Media ‘Inbox’ is currently full. I’m active on Twitter. I participate in a variety of LinkedIn groups. I blog. I get notifications up the yin-yang from Google Alerts. I’m active in online discussions, and regularly contribute to industry sites or comment on articles.
I have a SlideShare page, a YouTube channel and an RSS reader. And yes, I spend at least as much time on Facebook as the average 16-year-old. So excuse me for not doing cartwheels about nurturing and keeping up with one more platform.
I can’t help but wonder if the world at large is sort of in the same boat. Do we all suffer from a form of Social Media overload? Recent statistics show that aside from time spent on Facebook, the average American actually spends less time online than she did last year. A lot less (9%, to be exact). Part of this I surmise to be because we’ve narrowed down our online world. But another could be we’ve reached the saturation point.
So while the social media pundits seem intent on comparing Google+ with Facebook, my stance is that its true competition is the status quo. Remember how your mother used to wisely say “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?” Unless most folks find that something is “broke” in their Social Media worlds, I suspect they won’t be in a hurry to fix it.
Who knows, I could be all wet. Maybe the world is salivating at the chance to join Google+ and create “circles.” Maybe this is the “Social Media Magic Bullet” marketers have been waiting for.
Or, maybe it will collapse under the weight of its own hype.
This entertaining video was intended to show how Google+ will enhance your Social Media experience.
My takeaway was one of dread. There’s even something a little Big Brotherly towards the end, the idea that “You don’t have to choose Google+; Google+ has already chosen you.”
Ick. But judge for yourself. And let me know if this is something you’re planning on joining.
Posted by Mickey