The general belief is that Google desperately wants to become a social company. Why? Because social will soon become the default state of the Internet. These stats will give you sense of where we’re headed.
- Facebook currently has 680 million users
- Facebook has more traffic than Google
- 33% of all Internet traffic from the US is bound for Facebook
At this point Google can’t become a social company, but they can own essential pieces of social networks, specifically social objects. To put is simply, social objects are any reason for two people to be talking. Think of why you are connected to certain people on Facebook. You work with them. You went to college together. You’re on a team together. You’re the fan of the same band. You own the same type of motorcycle. There are only about 1 million reasons for people to be connected and share things.
When I think of Google, I think of amazing tools (excluding most of the items on this list). The new maps on Android, Google Earth, Google Voice, Google TV to name a few. They have created products that are so amazing they become social objects. They’re the reason you reach out to a friend. “Have you seen the Ocean update to Google Earth?” or “Have you heard that Google Maps is going to feature the inside of businesses?” Even if you’re not a geek like me, some of these offerings make it all the way to the mainstream.
The point is that Google can’t own the ecosystem that those conversations happen in, (rhymes with Spacehook) but they can own a significant chunk of the really valuable conversations through their amazing products/services. (Honestly, I believe that Google simply needs to market themselves better to the masses. When I tell people about Google Voice, they look at me as if my space ship just landed. Then after thinking about it for a while they have to have it.) If you’re reading this blog, chances are that you know more than the average person. Google needs to get to the average person to push their products into the minds of those users. If they do that, they can become a social company.