Following its public launch off yesterday, Google+ is to set social networkers alight, analysts predict.
Why? Because the wealth of well loved tools ‘You+’ has at its disposal including YouTube, Search, and Maps. Oh, and endorsement from Black Eye Peas singer, Will.i.am, who is holding a live ‘hangout’ session with Googlers today.
Although the Internet powerhouse has been a long time coming with a social network that actually works – previous flops include Buzz – it has come up with the goods this time, Ovum analysts believe.
Plus, which took engineers more than a year to build, is believed to have somewhere between 10-20 million members since its beta launch 12 weeks ago.
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However, with Mark Zuckerbeg’s Facebook, as the inventor of social networking, has a massive grip on its 750 million – strong friends (and anyway where would they put all their photos if they moved over) and wont be going anywhere without a fight.
“I would open an account as its combines all my Google tools into one,” one Facebook user told SmartHouse. “But the problem is, no-one is on it.”
Another Facebooker agreed. “I don’t think I would open one as everyone I want to be in contact with is currently on Facebook and am happy with the service they provide.
“It would be pointless having two different profiles on social networking sites unless you wanted to keep a different set of contacts on each one.”
But whether the trend will develop to have multiple social profiles is unclear, although Twitter and Facebook users overlap, to the extent that the duo are to join up forces and have a direct link to one anothers accounts.
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“There is no question that Google will give Facebook a run for its money as Google has a wealth of social media assets to draw, some of the more obvious being YouTube, Picasa, Orkut Google Friend, Google Blog Search, Google Latitude and Maps,” believes Eden Zoller, Ovum Principal Analyst.
And gaming and its Android OS are two “key” weapons it will use to bolster its comunity, giving Google+ instant access to millions of Android smartphone and tablet users, which gains 550K new users every day on its phones platform alone.
“We would also expect Google to weave gaming into the social media mix, particularly around mobile where it has made several social gaming related acquisitions such SocialDeck. In fact, mobile will be a key card for Google given the rapidly growing base of Android devices.”
And forget about apps, Google is already one of the most visited sites in the world, drawing millions onto its pages every day. And with You + now taking pride of place at the top left hand corner of its menu it may draw in curious onlookers.
The Google+ social network has been a long time coming and fills a missing piece in Google’s ever expanding portfolio, says Zoller.
“Strong social networks have scale, thriving developer communities, big audiences, and a monetization strategy based on advertising,” all of which Larry Page’s powerhouse has in abundance.
“The biggest challenge for Google is how it can differentiate its social network against Facebook. Google needs to show people that it is more than a Facebook clone and can offer features that are unique or do things better than Facebook.”
But this won’t be easy as Facebook is quick to introduce new features and had the benefit of being able to watch the trial of Google + prior to its beta launch, she adds.
And coincidentially, Facebook are set to announce some major changes to The Social Network, tommorrow.