February 15, 2014

What Google+ tried to do with friendship circles


I know most people love any opportunity to slag off Google+. But I do think that Google was on to something with the “circles” thing. Why haven’t other platforms picked up on that more? I think it’s a great idea. Everyone loves a bit of organisation.

Social networks have got a bit messy. The privacy and algorithms have got a bit messy. I like the idea of tidying it all up a bit, being a bit more in control. One day schools will have to teach kids how to organise their online profiles and make sure they are using them in a safe and controlled way – and let’s be honest we’re already spreading ourselves pretty thinly across a whole range of apps, networks, platforms already. I always get confused how to reach my individual friends because they all use different things. Going back to basics normally helps (the telephone. You put it to your ear).

OK, so the Google+ launch wasn’t really seen as a massive success. It was something everyone panicked and joined. Quick, secure your URL, quick!

So now we’re all on it, posting empty words and blog posts to it. Every one of these blog posts gets sent to my Google+ account. Does anyone read it? Dunno. Does it help my “search discoverability”? Dunno. I could look into it though. Maybe I will.

But, the one thing that makes me wish Google+ was more popular, is the way that I could section up my friends, or “community’. Sometimes, I don’t want everyone to see everything. Facebook offered a similar, but more complicated way of doing it, create your “lists” or you can manually hide people. It was a struggle and I got bored with it.

It’s not like I would be trying to hide anything from anyone, but I’d know what was more relevant to one group of friends over another.  I guess this is what Whatsapp offers over and above all of my current apps, it lets me create different groups of people; let’s me differentiate between talking to one person, or a group of friends who I want to talk to at the same time.

It’s like person A, for example, who has one mini social network for his band mates, one for his family, one for his 6 best friends, and one for his colleagues. Only Google+ really offers that experience. Problem is, no one’s using it.

Basically no one wants to see everyone’s statuses. Sorry. Not every body cares.

It’s the same with brands. One brand doesn’t ever really have ONE target audience. There might be a preferred audience, but it’s just often a bit genderist and finger in the air. A brand is the people who buy it. If your core buyers are 50 year old females and teenage boys, so be it. You can try and recruit new people or rebrand yourself, that’s fine, but really you shouldn’t forget the people that want to buy you. You should have a process in place that lets you cater for your audiences and different groups of people who want to engage with you in different ways. So, who’s going to take on Google+?



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