It’s amazing how quickly things can change online. The potential for Google+ is incredible, but their lack of syndication and connectivity to Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, or other social networks has been their downfall in my opinion. With the only option to post to Google+ being through Google+ itself, I think they’ve limited their opportunity to become a real player in the social space. And, them not having an easy sync feature for Twitter or Facebook sure doesn’t encourage people to post there either. Sure, “it’s coming” with Hootsuite or some other platforms, but have they missed their window? Unfortunately they may have.
The thing is, I don’t want to check another social network unless people are there and I am having conversation. Facebook is great for this. Twitter can be too (although there is a lot more push than pull there in the past couple years). I get that each network is a bit different, but we’re on them to share and have conversation. I may be a bit more personal on Facebook and more business on Twitter, but I like to limit the number of channels I need to monitor and engage on. It’s just tough to juggle so many, and if they don’t serve a unique purpose then I think people will naturally gravitate to the one they like the most.
I’ve said before, I think there is a gap that can be filled by Google+, and I believe that gap is in the business and local business connecting game. Maybe we will truly see this happen as they integrate more of their tools like Maps and Places. We’ll see. In the mean time, there are two fairly new services/tools that have my attention. I’m warming up to them because they fill a void, and can sync with other sites.
First, Pinterest. If you haven’t signed up or at least heard about Pinterest then I suggest you check it out. We’re visual people. If you create a post on Facebook that includes a photo people are much more likely to read it or engage on it. Plenty of studies have show this, and you know it’s true because that’s what you do yourself. Step in Pinterest to help people “Pin” and share things they like, and the image takes priority number 1. Beautiful and a great concept. There are plenty of bookmarking sites out there, but this one delivers something we’ve been missing. It has my interest, and we’ll see if they can keep the momentum they have right now.
Second, Path. I mentioned that one of the problems with Google+ is the syndication of posts. Path has done a brilliant job of making this easy. If you haven’t checked out Path you’ll need to do so on your Apple or Android device (sorry Blackberry folks) as it’s only mobile. A beautiful user interface makes this mobile app great by itself, but the fact that I can syndicate a status update or check-in to Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, or Tumblr is fantastic. And, I can choose with each post which channels to do so or not. Sometimes I want to send an update to Facebook and not Twitter. It’s now easy to do. And the beauty of Path is that it limits the number of connections you can have. Only 150. So what you put on your Path doesn’t have to be public and it only has to be shown to the 150 closest people you approve to follow you. Check it out.
So Google, what’s next for you? I’d buy one of these new sites up, or figure out quickly how to get people interested in you again. My interest is waning.