Are you in “the circle”?

Last night my friend in the UK invited me to join Google+ and decided to try out the ‘Hangouts’, Google+’s VDO conference with another friend in Thailand. It was not bad for more than 2 people VDO chatting.

I found it worked beautifully and appreciated this feature. Good thing about ‘Video Hangout’ is that it allows you to have up to 9 people in one room.  Unlike Skype, the first VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) that asks you to pay for holding a  group VDO chatting. This can be seen that Google+ has added some value to its products and services delivered to the customer” (Chaffey et al 2009, pg. 101). However, most of my friends still complain about the complexity to get start and use Google+ as a social networking hub.

When thinking of having another social network account apart from Facebook (as I call, ‘my second world’), I find it’s too complicated and time consuming. Because I had experience carrying two Facebook accounts before and it was annoying to log in and log out from one account to another -doing things twice like checking the massive stream of notifications, uploading photos and updating status.  Furthermore, Google+ and Facebook are not linked together. Users have to create a whole set of new information for the  new account, like adding friends and also inviting non-user friends. I see this as a Barrier to entry, referring to the Five Competitive Forces by Porter (Chaffey et al 2009).

I found this article ‘Come one, come all: Google+ officially opens up for business‘ from Digital trend by MOLLY MCHUGH, she gave opinion why you shouldn’t go for Google+. I think it’s similar to mine. First, it seems like Facebook’s  profile is already providing pretty much what users need and it looks like Google+ just follow the same features as Facebook like photo upload, video share, games.  Second, it’s a bit confusing to get started and not exciting enough to make people switch from their Facebook account, where their friends are there, and hence, their social buzz. Even in the face of Google+ being made available for everyone and Now You Can Share Your Google+ Circles With Others using a new Google+’s feature, it doesn’t make much impact to increase users. This can be seen in the below report- the eight largest social network in the world ranked by Visits Share that shows Google+ is still behind MySpace and LinkedIn.

The evolution of Google+’s audience composition from its launch in early July to last week illustrates how quickly the cycle from “Innovator” and “Early Adopter” phase, to the “Early Majority” and “Late Majority” can occur.

Nobody knows how long will it take for Google+ to move from “Early Adopter” phase in Diffusion-adoption curve (Chaffey et al 2009, pg. 181) to “Early Adopter” phase to Early Majority and “Late Majority” as experienced by Facebook. From my view as one of the social networkers, one of the key success factors for Google+ is integrating Google+ with Facebook to make it easier for user to share their contacts between the two accounts. This is not easy, as we all know that Facebook is a strongest competition to Google+.

That being said, I still think Google+ holds a lot of promises and the “Video Hangout” feature is just terrific (well, you can see how much I like the feature in the picture above). But really, managing two social network accounts is such a bother and too time consuming, remember, I’m a hard working student at Swinburne University. Of course, I will hold more “Video Hangout” sessions with my friends but well, I’ll probably arrange them via my Facebook Group !

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2 responses

  1. I agree that Google plus has made itself different from facebook by having several new features such as Hangouts, circles and I think G+ uses Google hangouts as the main feature that differentiated Plus from Facebook. Google hangout is a competitive advantage because of its unique as Google hangout allow up 9 people join into video chatting room at once. However, I think sooner or later Facebook, twitter or maybe new social media will launch the same thing or new feature to catch up and beat with G+.
    Just love your writing style and thanks for sharing the article, very interesting!!
    Cheers,
    win

    • I like the ‘Hangout’ feature as well but there are so many people who are still confuse of how to get start using it. I think Google needs to do something to acknowledge people and make it more accessible and easier for users. This will be a severe competition expected for social media business between Facebook and Google. The more innovative they are, the more users they will gain. ^^ Thanks for your comment!

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