Some loose reflections on Google+ vs The Rest of Social Media:
- Why no Twitter integration? Maybe, just maybe, someone at Google noticed that Twitter integration made Buzz kinda pointless. The platform never got any momentum qua platform, because there was no reason for publishers to switch. G+ has (forgive me) exclusive content. It already feels like it has value. It already feels like a community.
- Whither Facebook? Google+ is a data play. Revenue will come from smarter ads across the web. This means G+ can (and hopefully will) remain ad-free. I’ve been expecting Facebook to announce a demographically targetted, web-wide ad network for a while now. But they have a problem. Sure like buttons and comment widgets give them some tracking fu, but it’s puny compared with the data Google can access via their analytics (used on 40% of websites) and search products. A suggestion: FB’s app platform is the best thing it’s got going for it. They should focus on that.
- Twitter? Twitter is remarkably resilient, but survival hinges on finding a way to monetize end-user experience without damaging their interop with other services. Tricky.
- LinkedIn? Probably fine. They’ve got some unique, business-friendly features (recommendations and referrals) which G+ is extremely unlikely to replicate. Yes, I’m saying that making it slightly awkward to contact people outside your network can be a good thing.