I’ve been using Google Plus for two or three weeks now, and I love it so far. It still has a “shiny” feel to it and I love seeing how people are adapting to its features.
The biggest thing I’ve noticed about it, however, is that it is not, and never will be, a Facebook killer. Far be it from me to attempt to predict the future, but I don’t see Google + intruding on Facebook’s territory. Here’s why.
Internet Sharing Culture
Most of what I see on Google + so far is stuff people share from the Internet. It’s kind of like twitter, but with a higher character count. I’ve been directed to a lot of stuff that is interesting to me by the people I follow. I think this is because I’m in special Google circles with my friends, and the things they post to people in the circles I am in are directly related to my interests. (I’ll explain the emphasis later.)
Every once in a while, I see people posting images and video. But those images and video usually are not original content.
Lack of Personality Sharing Culture
How many times a day do you see status updates on Facebook that sound like this:
“Going to happy hour!”
“Tired because I had 2 finals in a row.”
“OMG I just got a job! Everybody be happy for me!”
Quite often, right? Now, how often do you see that on Google +? Not so much. Maybe my experience is different on Google + than other people’s, but I’m learning that people are saving their personal updates for Facebook. They still share things they found on the Internet on Facebook, but it still tends to be a place of sharing personal things.
What This Means for PR
Remember that part I put in italics near the beginning of this post? Think of the implications for those who work in public relations and for people that take part in HARO. Imagine having all the tech writers you follow in one circle, the business writers you follow in another circle and the bloggers you follow in yet another circle.
Not only are you engaging those audiences on a social networking platform that encourages a culture of sharing in a professional manner, but you can also share with them in a way that will be relevant to their interests.
On Facebook, if you wanted to share something with a group of bloggers and reporters, you could either post it on each writer’s Facebook wall (effectively spamming a bunch of writers) or you could share it with everyone on your friends list, effectively ensuring that it would be buried by the countless myriad of personal posts your friends put up.
(And lets not forget: how many PR pros are “Friends” with writers they pitch to on Facebook?)
With Google +, you can easily tailor your pitches to different groups of writers, ensuring that all relevant writers received your share without spamming them. The culture of Google +, simply put, is more accommodating to PR guys than Facebook.
Leave me a comment with your thoughts. I’m still a novice when it comes to Google +, so I would love to hear your thoughts.