Tuesday February 19, 2013 | 09:15 AM
Posted by Rob Gould

You might want to get used to liking it.


2013 is the year of Google+, right?

In 2013 Google+ joined Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn with 100 million plus unique visitors per month. Apparently, the network has also been growing exponentially. From 2011 to 2012 Google+ saw an almost 61% increase in monthly users. Even more recently PC World claimed Google+ outranked Twitter as the no. 2 social network after Facebook.

Now, that’s impressive, right?

Google+ achieved much of this growth by using a controversial tactic: requiring people to use Google+. This is how it works, people who create Gmail, YouTube and other Google services—including the Zagat site—accounts are being set up with Google+ pages. Public Google+ pages. Pages that can be viewed by anyone, anywhere.

Now that doesn’t seem fair, right?

It’s not fair, but it’s business. It seems pretty obvious that Google created Google+ in order to prevent Facebook from dominating the social media scene. So Google will do what they need to do to drive numbers and therefore potentially generate ad revenue.

This doesn’t negate the fact that Google+ is still pretty much a ghost town when it comes to actual activity. You know, real people doing real things; interacting with each other and sharing stuff. The social part of social media.

This isn’t to say that there hasn’t been some notable activity as of late. I’m quite sure Google is working hard to remedy this glaring ghost town problem. Just the fact that Vice President Joe Biden has a Google+ hangout is super-impressive. I mean, if a young, tech-oriented guy like Joe Biden's got a hangout then things must be on the upswing, right?

I wouldn’t dismiss Google+ at this point, or anytime soon. I have a Google+ account and I post things there regularly. Mostly just to keep up with whatever Larry Page (Google's CEO) has up his sleeve. I don’t do much interacting with other human beings. However, I will say that it looks like some people do. Joe Biden certainly does. So, go Joe.

As to keeping an eye on Larry Page, I recently read an article in Fast Company which presented a compelling argument(s) as to why Google+ would soon dominate the social media universe, “The Future Of Google Plus, And Its Path To Social-Media Domination,” by Dave Llorens. Llorens predicts that Google+ will be a success for the following reasons:

1. Google+ will introduce technology that rethinks how companies communicate (replacing Yammer, Eventbrite, Skype, etc.).

2. Google+ business local listings: a bigger, better Yelp.

3. Hangouts may be the most powerful arrow Google Plus has in its quiver, but they are currently “weird.” That will change quickly, and when it does, watch out.(Go Joe!)

4. All of your forums belong to Google!

5. Google Glass (aka Google Goggles 2.0, for your face) makes the world way less boring.

Llorens’ article has lots more valuable information. I highly recommend checking it out in its entirety.

Google has too much money and too much time invested in the social network to let it go down the MySpace road. Although, who knows? Justin Timberlake (MySpace's big celebrity investor) could be good for Google+. JT and Joe Biden could be just the winning team that Google+ needs.

Talk about sexy, right?





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Social media has changed the way that many of us learn, purchase, interact and explore the world around us. And, things are just getting started. Social, Social is a place to discuss social media with people from all walks of life. No experts allowed.

About the Author

Rob works as a digital marketing & public relations consultant to agencies, brands, and individuals. He has 20 years of marketing experience. He also currently serves in a volunteer capacity as director of pr/communications for TEDxDirigo. From 2005-2011, Rob served as director of social media & agency communications at The VIA Agency (Portland). Prior to VIA, Rob worked with several PR & advertising agencies in London & Boston. He is a graduate of The University of Vermont (UVM) and a Maine transplant (2002).

Follow Rob on Twitter at @bobbbyg

His real-life interests include art, travel, writing, design, psychology, the beach, & exercise (grudgingly at times).

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