Everything that has been written about Google+ early on has been around the feature set, what it does or it doesn’t have. What really has interested me thus far is taking a step back and looking at what has gone right and where this is going.
While Google has had many missteps in the social space, which I am not going to document here, they have gotten some things right in this launch and already have a few properties that are going to help in Google+ growth.
They launched +1 and integrated it into search and paid before launching +
One of the key pieces that has grown both Facebook and Twitter is content sharing. Google learned from Buzz that coming in as a third wheel around this wasn’t going to be easy; there wasn’t a ton of incentive for people to share in yet another place. So what they did this time was basically create a value for content providers and advertisers with how +1 is integrated into paid and organic search by alluding to +1 impacting results.
With the content providers on board you are seeing an increase in +1 adoption.
Android is the fastest growing mobile OS
Having Android in place and widely adopted is going to end up being a key strategic advantage because as updates to the platform come, Google+ is going to be tightly integrated into the platform. iOS has worked on integrating Twitter deeper into their setup, leaving Facebook to have to rely on applications, their mobile version of the site, and integration into third party apps for their smart phone integration. In the long run this could potentially be a really huge advantage for Google.
Google has been a key silo for your data for awhile
Your contacts in Gmail/Gtalk, your pictures in Picasa, and your blog/readers via Blogger are all key data points in social media and Google has had a hold on them for awhile. While we saw with Buzz that Gmail integration doesn’t necessarily lead to adoption, the rumor that Google is going to be integrating Picasa and Blogger into Google+ and killing off these brands on some level is a massive step.
Not only is having all this data important, it is having the massive user bases that come with each community. With the content providers in your corner from the +1 integration, the brand awareness through that partnership coupled with bringing a user base together through existing properties, and making it easy to use through your web and mobile properties, you have set yourself up for success.