What is Google+?

I was interested to see this interview on Mashable today with someone I’ve admired for a while, Shiv Singh from PepsiCo, a really good piece with some salient take out points: http://mashable.com/2012/05/12/shiv-signh-pepsi-interview/.  The bit which caught my interest was Shiv’s statement and fundamental questioning around Google+ – what is it? Is it a social network?

I think he’s right in terms of stating that Google got it wrong by deliberately positioning G+ as a ‘social network’ when in fact it is simply a layer of integration on top of many of the existing Google products and services. I was with Google in April and their constant insistence was that Google+ should not be seen as a platform but a project, and specifically a project that is going to build and grow alongside the many other Google workstreams.  So that’s what surprises me even more, in that what they may say behind closed doors to a digital audience is in some respects different to the way it was ‘sold’ through many of the trailer / teaser videos, ie. a constant focus on an individual’s status updates – and therefore immediately positioning it as a replacement / partner for facebook.

As the interviewer in the clip also points out, the fact the phrase Google 2.0 is now being used suggests that they are certainly rethinking the ‘what’ – in terms of how it is positioned in the minds of potential users – in ‘what it is’.

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