Google believes the number one problem with Google+ is that everyone likes to compare it to other social networks…specifically Facebook. Vic Gundotra, Google’s senior vice president of social business, says, “Google+ is just an upgrade to Google. People are having a hard time understanding that.” Yet, the brand’s definition of Google+ is so far-reaching that what is constituted as “active daily use” starts to become blurred. Bradley Horowitz, Google+’s vice president of product, believes that as more users “upgrade” to Google+, they will better understand that Google’s many services become much more useful.
As I have long suggested, Google has truly miss-marketed G+ and the public assumption is what has lead them to where they are now. G+ really is a social search and content discovery engine – not a social network.
At its core, Google+’s business model is different and contains a different philosophy than most. Gundotra adds that, “some of our competitors are like going to a baseball stadium. If you have 90,000 people there, you’re going to put up ads everywhere, and that’s basically the core business model.” Google+ however, interprets when the right time to show an ad is and when users are at the moment of commercial intent. As an example, Gundotra stated, “When I’m doing a house remodel, and I’m looking for a microwave oven, then I see Bradley’s +1 on a GE appliance, that means a lot more to me.”
Google+ is Google’s way of taking its many services and making them more relevant by interpreting and incorporating the user’s personal data. If its creators believe that people do not understand the true purpose of Google+, how can they make their users aware that it shouldn’t be seen as a social network?