Comments have been massively done on Google +. In France, the first users were geeks or marketers and it gave a pretty disappointing user experience. Basically because the 1st stage of Google + propagation was done on a very “old” trick: static address books. If it worked well for MySpace or Facebook ages ago (“log and see”), Google + has a very different target group: people with huge social networks’ experience, and worldwide.
Google lacks this dynamic strategy to acquire new publics: one of the easy bets is that all the next big Social Media successes will be based out of a simple “emails propagation” but through true missions or “call to actions” towards targeted audiences. FourSquare’s a good example: the first promise is to unlock badges, after registering.
The only true revolution when it comes to Google + is all about the “drag and drop” dimension: a more intuitive web, focusing on a more human interaction. Pearltrees made it right, focusing first on dynamic affinities, using only THEN other social networks. My circles are today based on “real” friends and I’m added by a large amount of people through my blog or twitter. But I don’t care who these guys are as they don’t enter through my interests and I don’t have time to map them all!
In Pearltrees mechanisms, it’s the straight opposite value proposal: I feed my own interests, then I can grab others’ values, and only after that will I try to know who theses guys are.
The true revolution for Google + lies in non “user-centric” stuff but on “site-centrics” ones. It is now still very hard to see a true brand’s “web based” coherence. In Europe, when you enter a shop, it’s not yet “diving” into a 360° brand site, but still “brick&mortar”. But the last forecasts demonstrate that all the streets, all the shops will get some screens, that you can touch or not. The “drag and drop” logics that is tested by Google + will be the bone of contention to drive consumers to “purchasing” or spending more time with the brand. To make them come back, to use them as marketing trojans, to better understand them. Google + will be the “consumers’ front-office” of all the core competences of Google: suggesting consumers’ journey, tailoring keywords and intents. Not recommending but suggesting. Quiet a different business.
Google + is not a Facebook killer. It’s probably an intent to shape what will be the “brand-sites’ marketing” in the last 5 years. Shall we make a bet?