Google Social Media Strategy Update

10 12 2010

The one thing that is clear about Google’s Social Media strategy is that it is evolving.  Here are some of the highlights of the latest news on the subject:

  • Google Me planned for Fall 2010, will now roll out in the Spring 2011 timeframe.
    • Google Me was planned for fall.  ZDnet Article.
    • Then they said they were not building a traditional platform.  Telegraph Article.
    • Now, the update is that Google Me or Google +1 will roll out in the spring of 2011.  Blogherald Article.
  • Google will not compete head-on with Facebook.  The emphasis will be on providing a new and unique social media experience.  (Good Idea)
  • Google +1, which is the latest thinking on what was Google Me, will not be an app so much as a browser extension.  This will be complimented by a mobile app called Loops.
  • The idea behind Loops is that you have “loops” or groups of friends and do not want to blast out all messages to everybody.  You want to send certain types of messages to certain groups.  That makes a lot of sense to me.

Why a Frontal Assault of Facebook Does Not Make Strategic Sense

It’s a matter of simple mathematics.  Social media is all about your community.  Check the relative community sizes of Facebook and Google.

Facebook            Over 500 million

Google                 Well over 100 million GMail users

How Do All The Google Parts Fit Together?

There is actually quite a lot going on at Google that would compliment their social media strategy.  The big thing that is missing is a natural way of pulling it all together – a sort of grand unification theory.  Google needs to find a way to leverage its strengths in search, video, email, etc and extend them naturally into the social media space.

The good news for Google is that they are not starting from bare dirt.  They have a lot of corporate assets that can play in this space.  The big challenge for Google will be to convince all of their anonymous users (Search, YouTube, Maps) to create and share online identities and become part of a Google community.

Groupon would seem like a very nice fit with this whole picture.  The Groupon model would be a great way to monetize social media and diversify Google’s sources of income which is virtually all from ads.  The problem is that Groupon turned down a $6 billion offer from Google last week.  BW Article. The opportunity for Google is that Groupon’s business model is not to hard to emulate.  The challenge is that Google is coming from behind in social media and really doesn’t need another battle to fight.

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