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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