The Google+ project

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Google has taken the wraps off its latest social offering. Google+ has been in development for over a year now. On the face of it, it seems  a similar proposition to Facebook. It is a social network to share links, updates and photos. However, it does have some design features that set it apart from Facebook. Google users will be able to put users into groups such as family, work and friends. These groups will be known as circles. This has been missing from Facebook and will be a very welcomed feature on Google+. The circles will allow users to update certain circles individually thus allowing users to exclude particular groups.

Facebook is catching up fast increasingly in terms of engagement. Facebook users spent an average of 375 minutes on the site in May, where as Google users spent an average of 231 minutes on the site.

The new service has been met with a positive reaction on the web so far, although there has been many comparisons to Facebook. But for Google a successful social offering would allow Google to gather data on its users. At the present time, Google’s most popular features include YouTube, maps and search do not require a login. This therefore limits the amount of information Google knows about its users. Therefore a major benefit of Google+ is that it’s trackable. Advertisers will be able to see how brand engagement leads to purchase.

Currently it’s not clear what advertising options will be available on Google+. It would have to be assumed that Google will allow PPC, CPM and video advertising, as well as advertising on embedded YouTube videos. Therefore, if this in fact is true, it will certainly allow for more detailed demographic targeting, in addition to retargeting for people depending on interest within Google’s advertising networks.

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