In every writers works should be a hyper rational prediction about “the world of the future”. A prophecy of things to come that in hindsight is revered for brilliant prudence, or obliviousness. So here’s my submission into the articles to be reviewed in years to come. My prediction is, between the next six and ten years ‘Google+’ will become the most widely used social media, with the highest levels of web traffic and here’s why…
Google has monopolised the window to the Internet. Sites that offer the same search service are scarcely even acknowledged as competition in comparison with Larry Page and Sergey Brin’s 1996 Stanford Research project. Arguably the most commonly set homepage, Google is the gateway to the Internet for countless individuals and the second most visited site (Facebook being the first). Its email service ‘Gmail’ rivals Yahoo and Hotmail despite its public release a decade later and it’s subsidiary ‘Youtube’ is the third most visited website. All three combined dominate over 13% of all the websites visited That doesn’t include it’s ever growing blogging platform ‘blogger’ which is the second most popular blogging site.
Google+ is the next phase of the totalitarian company. The secret? A large proportion of those reading this have already signed up. Gmail address holders need to do no more than sign in on the Google+ homepage to get started. This is where I think Google+ makes leeway over big competition like ‘Facebook’. What it offers as a social media site is nothing original, celebrities, games, photo sharing, status updates, the difference is, it is every platform in one place.
What caused the cult of the Internet to change allegiance from every ones favourite friend ‘Tom on Myspace’ and migrate to Facebook was its privacy settings. The draw of twitter is the reverse, while 140 characters is more than substantial amount for some celebrities to discus their thoughts, the concept of being able to interact with ‘le people’ gave it a huge allure. Google+ balances both these elements, with its ever growing celebrity following and yet unfaltering on the extent of the privacy settings. Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Tumblr, Linkedin, Flicker and others are all extensions of our virtual ‘weblife’ but Google is at the centre of it. It is where we gain access to the content the web has to offer. So why wouldn’t it be where we develop our connection to the rest of the of our weblife? Part of the unwritten technological bylaws, people want one program, one device, one website to provided us with as much as possible in one place.
So why will people leave their already established social networks? I think its not Google’s presence on the web that will change the loyalty, it’ll be its progression with technological terrors. Google has grown into far more than a webspace. There has been an incredible stride in their software and hardware. Android OS phones are becoming increasingly popular, Google chrome users are in a steep incline, Google Sketch is quickly being recognised as industry standard software and Google Maps and Earth has an acquisition of high regard.
The reason all this is significant is they will all be designed to be compatible with your Google+ account. “Project Glass” Google’s Augmented Reality eyewear project has already made implications that Google intends to cross platform everything it already offers. Many designs and applications are very similar to packages they offer already. Google+ will be extending all the features available in its upcoming developments. Rivals such as Facebook and Linkedin are running out of development they can take within the confines of its mandate and I struggle to see what areas they can expand into.
Despite all of these guesstimates, I was as skeptical as most people will be about what Google+ actually offered. I have to be honest I’m pretty impressed. It isn’t original but it is incredibly user friendly, the “circles” feature is a clever aspect; you can set the privacy of each circle only allowing what you want to be seen by that group. It has a growing celebrity presence; if it continues to grow I could see it being a larger celebrity hotspot than Twitter. The +1 button is already present on most websites and profiles book Google+ can be combined with the websites ‘Analytics’ and ‘Adsense’. This will allow an even bigger visibility and control of your profile, possibly even concluding the option to make money by people visiting someone’s personal page. It’d be like making money through your friends visiting your Facebook profile. The ‘Hangout’ feature is a brilliant Skype equivalent and ‘chat’ feature is a standard instant messaging alternative. Photos and videos are simple to upload and even easier to set who you’d like to be able to view what. It is a social media site with all the bells and whistles even if it is still being fine-tuned.
I’m not proposing that we will all be pawns in a ‘Google government’ or that we should have a ‘G’ proceeding ‘Skynet’ but I do believe that Google will be at the forefront of the upcoming developments this technologic era. Unlike Facebook or other social media, Google+ will be the most dynamic way to interact with all its upcoming ventures and that’s why I predict it’ll become the biggest social media site.