G+ has been making big inroads into the field of social networking with some corporations now reporting over a million Google+ friends such as Coca-Cola and Hello Kitty. This has exceeded even Google’s own forecasts of how well the G+ brand would perform. On the whole its early days. The number of participants is not really that surprising as Facebook, though popular as ever, seems to be jading in its old age. Facebook recently floated on the Stock Markets and did not really fare that well amid a flurry of strange activity prior to the share issue. Today, it was reported by TechInvestor News.com that Facebook wiped a billion dollars off their revenue forecast for this year – hardly grounds for confidence in the social networking giant. Despite this, they still have a billion users on their books. That’s a large mailing list for starters… The drop was due to a poor estimate of advertising revenue.
This means that either there is now a $1BN in advertising revenue up for grabs, or Facebook advertisers already spent it elsewhere. It is doubtful that Facebook misjudged the size of the advertising market share they were hoping to gain as these figures are researched regularly by large research companies who rarely get things that wrong. Back to G+ who have no advertising as of yet. Why not? – they say its because their platform is not ready for it; yet. I am pretty sure it will be now that Facebook is closing ranks but I for one hope that the advertising and intervention into my social life is not as intrusive as Facebook. One of the reasons that Facebook is starting to get tiresome (for me and others I talk to) is that every aspect of Facebook has been leveraged for advertising. Every time you click a link or take any kind of action, you are presented with an opportunity to buy, take up some offer, get coins for a game – whatever it is you can be sure there is an advertising function attached to it.
Personally I don;t really use Facebook much – I keep in touch with a few friends on it and when they all have G+ I think I will be migrating too. I am tired of the constant barrage of ads that I am completely uninterested in. Google owns the worlds largest search engine so they know what I want because I search for it occasionally and so G+ can remember what I am interested in because of my search habits. Some may think that is intrusive in which case I advise avoiding the Internet completely. Collecting data about your habits through the trail you leave behind is relatively easy and most sites track your activities and store cookies and your IP address so they know when you go back to their site even when you are not required to login. Amazon for example make much use of this data collecting and offer you products that you like related to what you searched for. Facebook made the mistake of not incorporating a search feature so they do not have a record of your search habits and preferences. Now they are at a brick wall in advertising revenues and G+ are about to start advertising. We will see how that goes but for those looking to market their business, getting started with G+ advertising looks like a lucrative proposition, especially as competition will initially be low until take-up
accelerates. G+ has 170 million users so far, a figure which is rising rapidly and they have not really made a big effort as of marketing G+ as of yet it seems. Facebook in the meantime will not exactly go under but in the face of the might of Google, G+ and the mighty search engine power they wield, there might be a sea change in the world of social networking – a change that many will find welcome – could be a MySpace scenario all over again, we shall see.