Google Has Done Right by Social Search

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2012-03-14 Print this article Print


5. Circles is a major step

One of Facebook's biggest flaws is managing how to share content with friends. Although it's possible to lump friends into different groups on Facebook, the best integration of the feature is on Google+ with Circles. The way I see it, Circles is a major improvement in the social world, and it's something that other networks are still struggling to match.

6. Cut the waste

One of Whittaker's chief complaints about Google's social strategy is that it fails to allow for an entrepreneurial spirit at the company. But is that really a bad thing? Google was releasing tons of online services before the company cut back, and many of them just weren't cutting it. Google should be commended for realizing that sometimes not every online service is worth using.

7. Usability

One of the nicest things about Google+ is that it's made to work the way users would expect. Unlike so many other online services, the social network is intuitive, immediately making it inviting to the user. Is it perfect? Of course not. But it's far more usable than many competing social networks.

8. Resisting major acquisitions

Along the way, Google could have acquired a host of major social-networking companies (and years ago did). In fact, the company could have bought up Facebook and Twitter. But it smartly stayed out of that buying craze, instead delivering products of its own. In the social space, especially, acquisitions don't work out. Google benefited by understanding that simple rule.

9. Delivering a real alternative to Facebook

As mentioned, Google didn't just offer a Facebook clone with Google+. The company was also able to offer a real alternative for consumers. Not copying what Facebook does is one thing, but actually delivering a service that makes at least some people think twice about connecting with others on the world's largest social network is quite another. It's a real testament to Google's social strategy.

10. Staying true to Google

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Google has been able to stay true to itself with its new social strategy. Sure, it's heavily focused on advertising and integration with other services, and it's not exactly third-party happy, but isn't that what made Google so popular in the first place? Sorry, but it's awfully difficult to fault Google for being, well, Google.

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Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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