A big change from Facebook with the introduction of the Subscribe feature. It’s been said that Facebook reaches friends but Twitter reaches the world. But the i ntroduction of this feature moves Facebook closer to Twitter and Google+ where the emphasis is on ‘following’ rather than ‘friending’. Friending is not disappearing but the Subscribe button allows you to have subscribers to your public posts. It will appeal to people who have a strong personal brand eg journalists, pundits, authors, actors, musicians and perhaps politicians. The feature allows people interested in someone else to receive updates without the need for friending. At one level it’s just a link but the Subscribe function moves Facebook from a closed to an more open network. An interesting development.
The new social network Google+ (aka Google Plus) is the current hot topic in social media circles. Launched on 28 June for ‘field testing’ it has amassed 10 million users in 2 weeks and now has over 20 million. It took Twitter 18 months and Facebook 3 years to achieve these numbers. Google+ integrates existing social services like Gmail, Google Profiles and Google Buzz, and introduces new features called Circles, Hangouts, Sparks, and Huddles. It’s this integration that will give Google+ traction as it becomes embedded across the web. For example, there’s a permanently visible link in the top left whenever you are logged into your Google account so is present in Google Search, Gmail, Picassa etc. Integration will no doubt become deeper and changes regarding tagging have already been made in Picassa.Business profiles are likely to be launched in October and will be a huge opportunity for businesses and brands to engage with their customers. They will also be vital if companies wish to maintain their ranking within Google Search. Whether Google+ manages to tempt a significant number of people from Facebook is the big question. At the moment I’d say this is unlikely and my best guess is that Google will continue to attract users and Facebook – which is nearing saturation – will retain theirs. On Wednesday 19 October I’ll be hosting one of the UK’s first Google+ workshops where you can learn how to take advantage of the massive benefits that Google+ can offer to your business.
To mark Social Media Day 2011 Intranet Future are offering 20% OFF all July workshops at The Brown Jug, Cheltenham booked on Thursday 30 June. So you can learn about social media for business using Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn for £53.60. Or come along to all three for £160.80.
The contents of each workshop and booking is available here: http://bookwhen.com/intranetfuture