Why Google Circles is Good for Marketers

My initial reaction based on the reports coming out prior to the launch of a Social Network from Google being called: Circles

Based on reports like this one from READWRITEWEB Google Circles is reported to offer photo, video and status message sharing. Everything users share on Circles will be shared only with the most appropriate circle of social contacts in their lives, not with all your contacts in bulk. Clearly this takes aim at the most common gripe with Facebook, lack of concern for users privacy.

It appears that the RRW report is a bit ahead of itself, and the launch of circles is the subject of speculation, but nonetheless marketers and people in general would benefit from a social framework that respects privacy and makes that a part of its functionality.

You can read that article for the details about the reported launch and who is building it. Here you can read about what a successful Google Circles would mean for Marketing via social media and online in general.

If it succeeds at attracting users a privacy aware service like what Circles sets out to be would allow people to be more engaged with brands and businesses, by breaking down the first barrier to entry, becoming connected. When a person connects with a brand they are allowing that brand and the people who run it a window into their lives, and as Facebook is proving, not just their online lives. That leads many to be reluctant to get involved in social media at all, or to be very guarded when they do, or to not use it very much once they are there. Acting more as spectators than participants out of fear of where and who their sharing will extend to. The added confusion created by Facebook’s nearly constant changes and lack of explanation for them creates additional anxiety when it comes to trusting Facebook with all the data about our lives.

If Google Succeeds in separating our lives into Circles of people we want to share different information with they will allow that guarded feeling to melt away and leave the relationships brands and businesses can build with consumers stronger and more vibrant. A public that is more confident in the privacy of its information online will be more likely to participate in social media and be more accesible to marketers which will give each of these groups the chance to interact more often.

That is my initial reaction to the news and description of what Google Circles will be, and mean for marketers. Whats your take?

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7 responses to “Why Google Circles is Good for Marketers”

  1. Jerry Nihen Avatar

    Nice article, I like how you presented this.

    I’m very lukewarm with a Google social network, and feel that the Facebook privacy features aren’t THAT bad. Facebook does offer a lot of good privacy features that can effectively do the same thing. Further, with the new changes to pages, I feel that Facebook has answered the business person’s need to separate business and pleasure.

    I don’t think people are ready to move on from Facebook yet, and feel that Google would do a better job trying to integrate its search capabilities with Facebook, rather than trying to beat Facebook.

    1. Spiro Pappadopoulos Avatar


      Thank you for commenting.

      What is your level of involvement with social media? Do you use it in
      personal and business life? We alrady know that you are reading blogs about
      it, so I will venture a slightly educated guess that you are significantly
      more well versed in the inner workings of social media than the average
      consumer is. I am thinking that your level of comfort with the ideas,
      features, and privacy settings may well afford you the ability to manipulate
      Facebook’s current settings, and react to its future ones (like the soon the
      be released change which allows them to share your phone number and home
      address) so that it does not change your comfort level with sharing. I
      strongly believe that is not the case with the majority of the people out

      Google Circles (if it happens and is popular) would not be a Facebook
      replacement, but more of a social layer over Google’s properties like gmail,
      youtube, and search. It would allow people to share what they find and or
      upload on googles sites with their social circles without the need to go to
      facebook to do it, and most importantly in a way that assures them who is
      going to see it.

      1. Jerry Nihen Avatar

        I hadn’t heard that, actually. That might be interesting. It all depends on
        whether or not people pick up on it.

        I’ve been involved in social marketing since 2004, when MySpace was king.
        Much like you said, I’ve found that the average user generally is involved
        in only a few social networks at a time. The reason Facebook was able to
        overtake MySpace was largely due to the negative interface and large spam
        attacks placed on the social giant.

        Right now, I feel that Facebook solves a lot of people’s personal needs. One
        thing to keep in mind (especially in online B2C marketing) is that B2C needs
        to go where the consumers are, which is on Facebook (for the time being).
        I’m still not convinced that Google’s platform will overtake that. I do
        agree with you, the platform does seem pretty rad, but I’m not convinced
        that it would be widely accepted by the average person. What do you think?

        Also, last I heard Google still denies that they are in the process of
        making this platform. Since they still haven’t accepted Facebook posts and
        “Likes” in their search engine, I think they still view Facebook as a
        competitor and are trying to think of something to compete with them on.

        1. Spiro Pappadopoulos Avatar

          In terms of adoption and success I agree anything that tries to replace Facebook is going to run into serious headwind. If it is a slick technology that allows easy secure sharing it has a chance to find a niche in the relatively short term and build on the massive traffic that Google has already in gmail, youtube, and search.

          The denials are there and so are the comments from the CEO that a google social layer is coming… I for one can’t wait to try it.