I have been spending time on Google+ since its launch, and though people on Google+ are talking a lot about Google+ (isn't that breaking the first rule of fight club?) every day I begin to see its potential take it into different directions -- not based upon the platform itself, but rather based upon its interoperability with Google's other properties. Seamless YouTube video integration. Real-time photo sharing via Google Photos. Music library streaming via Google Music. Document sharing. Connections via Google Talk. Surely, more features will be rolled out over the coming weeks to millions of users still trying to figure out the purpose of the platform. And that's the beauty of platforms -- the users get to figure out how they are ultimately used, and shape their evolution.
But it seems that there is a path that Google+ is headed down, with or without our complicity: a media-sharing and discovery powerhouse. Its tight integration with Google's own suite of content creation and consumption products and properties make Google+ a wonderful real-time content-sharing and discovery engine. As we have seen with Facebook, nothing engages consumers like good content in their social networking streams, and there is no shortage of that in the Google ecosystem to proliferate and reverberate through Google+'s echo chamber.
Echo chambers often start out as just that, until they become more mainstreamed. Twitter has been on this path for years, and is about to take their next great leap, iOS5 and iPhone integration. With "Share With Twitter" an option throughout the new iPhone operating system, millions of people will be introduced to a service that has been differentiated enough from Facebook to attract celebrities and their fans, as a means of constant connectivity -- especially around spur-of-the-moment photos and videos. With a Twitter/Apple alliance, more photos and videos will be shared via Twitter than ever -- putting Google in a position to defend their territory.
Read the rest of Ian Schafer's observations on Digital Next at Adage.com.
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