Monday, October 24, 2011

Checking Back in With Google Plus

With news of a new mp3 store circling the web, and the lingering question of brand pages coming back into light, let's take a look at where Google+ is several months down the line from it's introduction.

If you look back at this Ad Age interview from July, you can see that Google+ was in the process of running a beta program for companies, however at this date only a very select few branded pages do exist. This week, Mashable asked some ad agencies to imagine their vision of a Google+ branded page. What do you think of these imagined designs?

Perhaps the more important question is, Will brands even want or need to be on Google+ by the time the brand pages are launched to the public? Is Google+ an effective way to interact with fans?

On October 14th, it was reported that Google was shutting down their "Buzz" service  as Google+ quickly eclipsed it in popularity.  However, there is some question that the network is truly growing fast enough to make it a real competitor in the social space. (For example this listicle in PCWorld explores 5 reasons Google+ may be failing to grow. Even as early as July, reports were citing a drop in traffic after the initial buzz wore off. But, not to get too cynical too fast, the service did see a jump in September that kept the service growing faster than Facebook. (Chart: Google+ Hit 10 Million Users 50 Times Faster Than Facebook - Technology - The Atlantic Wire). This study by Polaris Marketing Research Inc. and its data collection partner SSI also shows that the network will continue to grow.

And maybe it will, maybe a new music store will bring users back to the platform who dropped off after the new-and-shiny wore off, still it doesn't seem like a good sign when even Google's CEO seems to have gotten over the buzz.

Michelle LeBlanc is a Social Media Strategist at IIR USA with a specialization in marketing. She may be reached at mleblanc@iirusa.com


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