In 2011, there is one thing that is a certainty in the digital world, social media sells. Facebook more than anyone else has proved this by becoming the most visited website in the world, you could call Facebook an overnight sensation, although that wouldn’t be entirely accurate. But obviously the website launched by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004 has grown beyond any logical expectations in a very short period of time, but we all know that story of course, after countless books and 2010’s Hollywood smash hit: The Social Network. Facebook’s rise has been so massive it has others following it dying to catch up; including fellow digital giant Google. Although now it appears Google is ready to finally launch a legitimate challenge.
Following its disastrous first foray into social media with Google Buzz in February of 2010, Google needed a Plan B and it seems they have found it with the newly launching: Google +. Google + which is currently on a field trial period, meaning it is available by invitation only is said to include new features such as, a group sharing feature which allows you to share “just the right things with just the right people.” Users are encouraged to create groups, or as they call them “circles” of contacts with which you share information. Groups can include anything from, “your friends from the tennis club,” “your family,” and as quoted by The Wall Street Journal “your boss in a circle by himself-just like in real life.”
Google + is content and contacts grouped specifically and exclusively setting up a new degree of privacy in the social media world. Furthermore Google + allows users to have video chats, similar to a feature within its Gmail service, but with one key upgrade: users can talk to and see numerous friends simultaneously. Also part of that service is a service called “Sparks,” which suggests articles to read and videos to watch based on what the service knows about the user’s interests. While its “Huddle” feature lets text messages be sent to several different people at once, known as group texting, an attractive feature since group-texting companies such as GroupMe Inc. have attracted thousands of users.
Where do we entrepreneurs fit in you ask? Well for that we have to backtrack a little bit in our story. Following the flop of Google Buzz in 2010, which included privacy complaints and unwanted information sharing, Google responded by buying up quite a few smaller social media applications including entrepreneur Rohit Khare’s Angstro (KNX.to) a real-time search engine and API that looks up most recent social information about your friends, from their LinkedIn profile to their Facebook profile. Thus, Google was looking to others, the innovators and forward-thinkers of social media to try and compete with Facebook. Rohit Khare was even hired by Google following his company being purchased.
So there you have it my friends go off and innovate, create and forward think. Social media is all about how we share, sharing be it, ideas, music, data, really anything you can imagine, so if you think of a new way to share new things, maybe you too can change the face of social media.