And before this statement comes true it is clear that Google needs to rethink the whole strategy around the Social Network.
Why the Social Network?
And no matter what you say this is what everyone else hear “because Facebook!”.
Now user did move from Orkut to Facebook not because“Why Facebook?” and the answer being “because Orkut”, there was clearly more, a superior product offering, more than what Orkut ever offered, capable of engaging millions of people across the globe.
So Why Google+?
And more I think about it, answer still remains “because Facebook” and that possibly is the reason 1 besides may be slightly better privacy controls and different layout to offer why it would just not be able to compete with Facebook. Because that is not what users want.
Or the Brands, I mean yes they would love to slice and dice their communications addressing different groups (Circles) within their single large network (instead of creating multiple pages like on Facebook) but then they want “Users” to begin with and Ghost Town ain’t got it.
Go Mobile (Stupid):
Q: Where are the millions of the users ready to switch?
Answer: On Mobile.
Why? Because, well Facebook on Mobile is not a great (not even good) product and that’s where this war would be won/lost. You clearly need to concentrate on building a great product for mobile one that would be a delight to use across platforms/networks/devices. Users would want it every time Facebook fails to perform.
Mobile is where users are going to access their Social Network from, more often than not, and they would expect the product to perform at the least. What performs better on Mobile leads the game.
Facebook continues to struggle fixing Mobile, building monetization strategy while you gain momentum with superior usable product optimized or may be even built for MOBILES gaining more and more users as we all go along.
Are there not more Android getting sold than other platforms put together yet? A superior Mobile product is the only game you need to play and play it really well.
Hint: There are obviously more ways to make any Android phone a seamless appendage of Google+ social platform 🙂
Currently Brands use Google Advertising to drive traffic to their pages on Facebook or independent destinations further linked to Facebook. While you drive traffic, Facebook gains and so does brands but is it what you would continue doing?
Your Sales Teams need people beyond the regular messenger boys, you need Sales Consultants to do strategies for the brands, right from making Pages on Google+ to driving traffic to page to building communities to benefit Brands and the Platform itself. End-to-end!
You need to utilize social data better combined with mobile data (location, user search history, user interaction behavior patterns, on Android platforms even re-targeting) because you can, to deliver more effective even if less engaging brand solutions which works as well with the brands in fact may be even better.
Differentiation is great and you have done a good job with Hangouts so far. It still begs to differ and want more.
– Let people play social games on hangouts. Open up the damn APIs.
– Let Hangouts reach out to third party sites. That is way better than Facebook connect offering limited functionalities in comparison.
– Hangout within Youtube. Video is the future and has immense power to bring users together.
– Have prominent actors, athletes, authors, CEOs, and other industry leaders raffle off invitations to specially scheduled Hangouts and watch the masses sign up. (Twitter Celebs)
Hangouts are FUN! but who knows? So REPOSITION!
As the repositioning strategy start Aggressively designing for users first, not nerds. Siri de-nerdified voice interaction on a mobile device. Google had the opportunity and the technology to do this with Android’s Voice Actions and you didn’t. Suddenly Google is playing catchup on a technology they had a huge initial jump on.
STOP playing the catchup game.
Rethink OPEN, Rethink CONTROL:
Control Android, just throw your weight around. Any device that carries Google logo, make it adhere to strict quality checks for usability and un-uninstallable crapware, sometimes even disabling the core Android features.
“Open” doesn’t necessarily mean every feature gets included, and it doesn’t necessarily mean cheap and mediocre. New iOS is doing away with you, you need to do away with other crap ware for starters and it still remains “Open” for anything that passes the quality checks.
To Sum up – Go Mobile!