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Thursday, 14 July 2011









I like Google Plus. I've only been on for a short time, but already I can see significant advantages over Facebook. For a start, people may be currently complaining that only 'geeky' people are being invited. But they're shaking out the glitches. By the time this is a free-for-all, it has a good chance of working pretty well - so there's less chance of sudden global changes that upset existing settings (especially complex privacy ones) and get up a lot of noses.

I particularly like being able to segregate people into different groups (circles) so I can post content more relevant to them.

And I like the way it integrates with other Google services - to the extent that I wonder if this could give Google Plus users an advantage on Google searches, just by making it so easy to feed stuff in and out of other Google programs?

It also seems easier to do things. The instructions are clear. I've frequently been perplexed by Facebook and I've been hashing around online stuff since 1985, so I'm hardly a rookie. I think Google's key virtue of uncluttered efficiency feeds through to most of their communications. That seemingly effortless simplicity takes an awful lot of brainpower & coding going on beneath the surface. That extra effort invested gives Google Plus an under-rated but significant advantage that could erode competitors' market share, especially competitors that offer a more complicated user experience.

Facebook has such a large following that the jury's out as to whether Google Plus will manage to overtake it. People are notoriously lazy and inertia is very hard to overcome unless something disruptive happens.

But the conditions are there for that to happen. The elephant in the room is personal privacy.

According to a survey earlier this year by Kaplan PMBR of third-year law school students, nearly half (49%) report that they have seen something on someone’s Facebook page that could get the poster in trouble with the law. If that starts happening then people will want a site with easy to manage, yet more sophisticated, data management. That is precisely what Google Plus provides in a straightforward manner.

Few companies are saints, but I'd entrust my data to a company like Google that that has "do no evil" as a guiding principle before a company led by someone who reportedly doesn't care about privacy (reported in a tweet by Nick Bilton, lead technology blogger for the The New York Times‘ Bits Blog http://bit.ly/qykGfL).

But most of all, Facebook is already starting to look dated after my Google Plus experience, just as other search engines didn't cut the mustard after my first Google search.



PR blog posted by Penny Haywood Calder at PHPR Ltd, Edinburgh, UK. URL: http://www.phpr.co.ukPHPR TV Channel on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/PHPRtvPHPR Ltd on LinkedInFollow PennyHaywood on Twitter
posted by Penny Haywood Calder at

 

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