Monday, July 25, 2011

Googe Plus vs Facebook

Google plus is definitely getting a lot of attention at the moment, which is a good start...there have been varying reports about the number of users ranging from 10 - 20 million. Most of the attention, however, has been from heavy weights in social not a fair representation of the population then! Google plus needs to convert a section of the population referred to as the 'Early Majority'.

The challenge they face is the 9x effect as noted by John T. Gourville. This theory details the psychology of people when they are faced with prospective adoption of new products. People think in terms of what they gain and what they lose. The 9x rationale is as follows:

  • consumers will overview the incumbents' offerings by a factor of 3
  • innovators will overview their product's offerings by a factor of 3
Question here: will the 'Early Majority' (34%) see a clear benefit vs. Twitter/Facebook?, I don't think so. In terms of photos, games & the stream of conversations, Google plus pales in comparison to Facebook for the average consumer. Facebook had all of this already. Why would they need to leave Facebook for it? If your friends are happy to keep engaging on Facebook, why would you make the change? You go over to Google Plus and who is there for you to interact with? Social media titans?

Features & interface...yes, these are great...but are they 3x greater in terms of why consumers use Facebook or Twitter?

A few things can shake up this equation however.

  1. Google is actively courting celebrities to join Google Plus. This will increase participation from the 'Early Majority'. This did wonders for Twitter.
  2. The red notifier on the Google top menu bar. Plus the easy to use share box. Currently it shows up on Google's search pages, Gmail, Google docs, Google Finance, Picasa Web Albums & Google Reader...its not on YouTube yet, but I won't be surprised to see it there soon.
The red box is a Pavlovian engagement tool. You see it, you want to click on it. This gives Google Plus a tremendous built-in advantage for awareness & adoption.

Hope this has been informative :)

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