I haven’t spent much time learning about, or really even thinking about Google+. The only reason I am starting to listen in on the conversation now is because of the launch of Google+ brand pages. Instead of throwing my two thoughts into the ring about how these brand pages are the “wild wild west” as Mashable put it, I want to pose the question about, not the effectiveness of the pages, but if they are going to be the catalyst that makes Google+ relevant in the minds of those on social networks. About 97.8% of the population, I’d guess. Obviously, Google and Facebook are trying to win the race to be the most elite social network. And yes, I am going to refer to Google as a social network. Google goes beyond its search engine and Gmail. Facebook has tried to corner out Gmail with its own version of email. Gchat in my mind is far more superior to Facebook chat. I’m not really sure of anyone who uses the features on Facebook to create groups in order to share projects. Gmail all the way for document sharing and projects.
Google+ launched in June of 2011, bringing together two not-so-successful ventures: Google Profiles and Google Buzz. Since June, I have not once contemplated creating a profile – which for this early adopter is not so normal. Many of my friends who did create profiles have abandoned them. Why create a profile for a network on which none of your friends exist? And hence, Google+ was quickly going the way of the two unsuccessful ventures it brought together. But upon reading about the new brand pages, my brain got to thinking that maybe these brand pages are exactly what Google+ needs to stay relevant and finally burst into the mainstream of the everyday social networker.
What I am confused about is how these Google+ brand pages are different from Facebook brand pages, especially with the launch of the new Facebook profile/Timeline platform. I question what outstanding factor is going to draw the user away from a Facebook page and decide to go straight to a Google+ brand page instead. Facebook is the premiere social network for both personal and professional use. I really cannot envision a way that Google can beat Facebook, unless they take a cue from J.K. Rowling and make apparition come to be true. (Absolutely nothing to do with social networking, but I dream of a day where I can apparate from place to place. This invention would be the one thing that could possibly make me abandon Facebook as I am addicted to stalking people. Don’t judge, you do it too. I just admit it.) On the other hand, if every company chooses to develop a Google+ page, maybe this will intrigue users to create profiles in order to view a brand page. It should be interesting to see if Google’s latest adaptation of Google+ is the kick in the butt the social network needs to be competitive.