Google+ has been out for 3 weeks now, and what has started out as an Emerald Sea has turned into a tidal wave of excitement and opinions. Â The first night Google+ opened up invites, I posted to Twitter, Facebook, and to everyone at Clearspring that I had invites, and after 2 hours had handed out over 100 invites. Â I had never seen anything like that, including when GMail launched. Â The fervor has not died down either, as many of our publishers have asked us what we think about +1 and Google+. Â Publishers who were so skeptical of +1 and were taking a wait and see approach are now are clamoring for the button. Â As a launch partner for +1, adoption was steady at first but now we see “hockey stick” growth in installs and clicks.
What does this all mean?Â Â
I have been telling publishers that Google+ is off to a promising start. Â I think they definitely got their video chat product, “Hangouts” right, and I will cover that in a future blog post. Â Circles is great and the overall look and feel is awesome. Â Early adopters are loving it because it is a bright shinny object, and because “it is not Facebook.” Â However, it is still early and the jury is still out if mainstream users will start using Google+. Â Publishers are intrigued because of the influence +1 has on search results, but it is still early here as well to know if the impact will matter.
Will Google+ kill/replace/hurt Facebook? Â
Not that I can see in the near or mid term. Â Nothing lasts forever in the online world of social, but Facebook is not going anywhere yet. Â From what I can see, the online behavior that has changed for me the most is not my engagement with Facebook, but rather my engagement with Twitter. Â I have posted less to Twitter and more to Google+, I still consume my Twitter feed via Tweetdeck, but I am more engaged with the people I follow on Google+. Â The nice thing about Google+ was that it was like starting anew, where I had a clean slate of people I could choose to follow and friend.
Google+ has been an early success and for early adopters a salve to our Facebook fatigue. Â The integration into GMail and other Google services keeps Google+ in the front of your mind. Â I think there are many key moments ahead to see if Google can build on the early success. Â One of those was the launch of an iPhone app. Â The second will be support for Google Apps accounts so companies and colleges can take advantage of circles and hangouts to increase productivity. Â The third moment will be when Google releases an API for Google+ and developers start building apps for the service. Â It’s off to a good start, but time will tell if Google+ can co-exist in the world of Twitter and Facebook. Â
Find me here on Google+: Â http://gplus.to/gregcypes