“It will change the way people work, share and communicate” is a sentence we’ve heard hundreds of times. And a sentence we’ve read in ads, thousands of times. This sentence was used in an article today to describe how businesses will use Goggle+ Circles. According to the same article Google+ is a social network, like Facebook. It kind of looks like a clean version of Facebook but acts more like Twitter, organized to feed information of those one follows. Then again, it displays pictures and videos in the feed as does Facebook. The buttons and apps in the side margins of Google+ are cool, offering the ability to gerrymander friends and acquaintances into groups and also to do video chats through an exciting feature called hangouts (which I have yet to try), so that feels new — but kind of hidden.
The product managers at Google say Circle and/or Hangouts will change the way people work, share and communicate, and they could be right – but not based on the current mish-mash of free hand messaging in the market today. Google+ released to techies in Beta because techies thrive on confusion. They eat it for breakfast. But for the rest of the web Google+ still doesn’t have an Is-Does and so is compared to Twitter and Facebook. The killer application (video circles) is underutilized and under understood. I do believe video hangouts or cirlces (or whatever they are) will be a game changer – especially in training and education and problem solving. But right now the whole Google+ thing is a morass of huh. Were I Google, Google Labs or BBH, I’d be working on a Super Bowl ad (I know, it’s against their better judgment) that distills the Google+ value and showcases the ease of multiparty video chat to the world. Google+ was a horrible name. A lazy name for what may be a huge product in 3 years. If properly brand managed. It is still a product in need of an Is-Does. Peace!