The Battle of the Social Networking Bulls and their Role in Online Video
Four short weeks ago, I was invited to join the Google+ project. Hardly knowing anyone else who had received such an invite, I considered myself special.
Fast-forward to today, and Google+ is quickly approaching 20 million users, setting the record as the fastest growing social networking site in history. With Google+ still in its trial stage and member additions remaining invite only, the future of Google+ can only be speculated.
So what will become of Google+? Who will win in this emerging online war, only to declare social networking domination? And how will each platform’s use of online video differ? My guess is as good as any, but I predict that the +1 will be known as Mr. Business, while Facebook will assume title of Social Queen.
Facebook was originally considered the college hangout; a place to be-”friend” fellow classmates when one didn’t have the guts to actually do it the old-fashioned way. Time went by and Facebook decided to do away with the University email address required for sign up, so everyone and their Mom decided to join (literally).
There was a temporary “awkward” period at this point, where kids rejected their Uncle’s friend requests and blocked their parents all together. Despite this “user confusion”, it was at this point that Facebook’s true potential was revealed, demonstrating to the world that global social interaction can take place through one social networking platform.
Today, Facebook is the social networking powerhouse, with a community consisting of 700 million members and growing. These members use this platform as a way to share and communicate (i.e.: break up publicly through status updates), and as a way to connect with their favorite companies.
My prediction is that Facebook will become more business savvy through continued social marketing efforts, focusing even more heavily on the interaction between customers and business fan pages. Customers will use company pages to retrieve information, purchase products, earn rewards and locate deals. American Express‘ “Link, Like, Love” campaign is a perfect example of this type of online social interaction.
Customers will use online video to view product demonstrations, and will then leave their own videos on these pages in the form of customer tutorials. This form of customer/business “social” interaction is why I award Facebook the title of Social Queen.
Google+ did a brilliant job with the implementation of social “circles”. Now, instead of classifying everyone as a “friend”, Google+ users can decide how to group people based on the terms of their relationship. This feature is a much more professional way for social sharing, as users can actually monitor what information gets shared, and with whom.
This feature also allows users to find people or businesses within a specific area of interest. By simply searching for a keyword in the Google+ search engine, Google profiles relevant to that keyword are listed, and can be added to a circle directly from this page. This is ideal for businesses looking to connect and share with others in their own industry.
Online video is used in the form of video conferencing through “hangouts.” Business expenses will be reduced, allowing company meetings to take place directly through this video chatting feature.
Hangouts will prove to be a vital business tool, and help Google+ take title as Mr. Business, as customers will be able to interact with customer service reps through this feature. Companies like Dell Computers already plan to use hangouts to help improve their customer service.
And the Winner Is…
That’s really up to you to decide. At the end of the day, each has it’s own strengths and weaknesses. Personally, I will never abandon Facebook. I’m a creature of habit and really don’t do too well with change. Thank God my nickname is the Social Queen.
Social Media Specialist