After the Google+ Disruption, What’s Next for Social Media?

I’ve been getting asked a lot about Google+, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to give my spin on the disruption I see it has caused.  To be honest with you, when it first appeared a month ago, I got on, checked it out, and then realized that all of the same people I know from Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are the ones having the same conversations on Google+.  If that’s the case, it’s a platform that I don’t need to be on.  On the other hand, there is still pent-up demand for G+ invitations, with 3 of my client’s staff saying that they have asked everyone for a Google+ invite and still couldn’t get one.  Clearly G+ is on its way to achieving a critical mass.  Once a platform achieves a certain mass, any social media marketer needs to be on that platform.  As for professionals, the verdict is out.  But before I give my take, a disclaimer on lack of historical perspective in my analysis.

When I was a student in college, I had the opportunity to witness some pretty amazing historical events in China during the spring of 1989. I thought the world was changing forever, and I came back from my Junior year abroad ready to write my senior thesis on the events that I had seen. My father cautioned me against doing that. “Son, we need some historical perspective to understand what it will all mean.”  He was right, as so far those events were only a blip on the historical radar.

Similarly, I had been waiting to blog about Google+ to give me just a little historical perspective and see past the buzz that it’s emergence and quick rise to 20 million users has sparked in the blogosphere.  It’s hard to wait any longer given G+’s meteoric growth, yet I know that who uses the site as well as how they use it will continue to evolve.  That being said I don’t care so much about the mechanics and functionality of the site (here’s a great post with some tips and tricks if you’re interested and one more with great Google+ advice) but as to what will make people use it and how it will affect social media in general.  For those who have become active on it, it is clear that Google has finally gotten it right after failing with Wave and Buzz.

More importantly, Google+ will introduce significant changes in how we all utilize social media.

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