Google+ what does it mean for business? My prediction..

Firstly, what is Google+ ?
Over the last month Google+ has brought much excitement to the social media industry and has definitely given social media giants, Facebook, a painful wake up call. I believe the reason Google+ has had such unbelievable success in their very short life span so far is down to two factors; their design and their integration with other Google products.

Apple designer, Andy Hertzfield, was employed by Google to head up the design (I think we can all appreciate Apple’s insight into design); immediately you notice that the Google+ interface is totally different to those of other Google products out there. However, my one criticism is that there seems to be a lot of wasted white space between content streams on their wall. Although I have no doubt the Google designers will get this right.

Considering when I think back to how Facebook’s design layout looked upon first launch, its a far cry to what it is now. The ease of synchronising Google+ with Gmail, docs, calendar, chat are just a few areas, but still far beyond what Facebook has been able to achieve (FYI, Facebook has just signed an agreement with Skype to compete against Google Chat – I fear they may have missed the boat on this one, maybe they’ll prove me wrong..).

Now for the first time, we potentially have a platform that can manage our lives all in one area, hallelujah! I personally have never used Gmail as much as I have since joining Google+, I’ve even started using Google Calendar and am seriously thinking of moving away from my Outlook and plugging all my pop email accounts into Gmail.

So what does this mean for business?
This does not mean you can now create a profile for your business within Google+ ! Google have already announced that they will be launching a product for businesses shortly. According to Googler, Christian Oestlien, because of the demand for business profiles within Google+ they will be launching this product offering even sooner than originally planned. Both Ford and Sesame Street have had their profiles deleted by Google and have warned the community that migrating your ‘individual’ profiles to your new business profile will become messy.

My prediction for Google+ Business is that it will tie in nicely with Google Places. By using Google Places, which are already approved business listings within Google (thanks to cell phone/landline confirmation as well as Google Street View, adding a touch of verification to the business). They could potentially bring in Google+ streams into Google Places, which will be a sounding board for businesses. Google Places could also potentially display the followers a company has, like Facebook and Twitter. They already display testimonials but now it could even be further enhanced by the activity on the page, this will become a great CRM (Customer Relations Management) tool for businesses! Maybe this is something Hellopeter might have to aggregate??

I also believe that Google+ Business could be an eventual Twitter Killer. I say this because of the use of Circles, now thankfully, I don’t have to know that Joe Soap is scratching his back in Camps Bay. The Google + circles allows you to push content out to relevant people (or ‘Circles’) so your messages become a lot more personal, targeted and private. If Google can achieve a user base of 75 million plus they might even have the critical mass to conquer the giant known as Facebook. They have already 10 million users in their first month and are still on ‘invites only’.

I never even got to mention how Google+ will synchronise with search.. but lets wait until Google+ Business has been launched so we can see raw data!!

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