To stimulate G+, Google needs to build the next TweetDeck
Google+ is like a remote tropical island. Glorious white sand, perfect clear waves lapping against the shore… and yet, to ships sailing by, seemingly deserted. While I probably wouldn’t include myself in the tribes of natives that seem to have really embedded themselves at home on the platform, I do feel it’s a tool with some smart design behind it — and an initiative that’s working really hard to create a meaningful role in people’s everyday lives.
But while I’m a firm believer that the success of Google+ (neé Emerald Sea) is about more than just creating a Facebook-like newsstream product, I do believe there’s a factor here shackling the potential growth of this feature. And it’s the factor that causes G+ to be an almost literally separated and isolated entity.
In the early days of Twitter, Twitter.com was something of a shambles. However, through the smart (or fortunate) strategy of making the API so open and cooperative for developers, a wave of clients and integration arose that allowed people to publish to the network in the ways that suited them.
Google+ on the other hand, remains a network only accessible in its own single-serving apps or through the browser.
While a few professional client apps will sit Google+ alongside your other networks, this momentum just isn’t out there in the the places that match normal users’ social network posting behaviour. Developments like Twitter and Facebook being built into the OS on Apple platforms are only going to increase the breadth of this gap too.
As a little ‘live by the sword’ experiment, I threw the question out to my Google+ network to get their thoughts and it certainly seemed a factor for those who responded. (Okay, I admit I also tweeted a link to the G+ post but I’m finding this is a good way to get around the issue this article describes.)
So who would put together the ultimate tool for posting to multiple networks? With Twitter slowly clamping down its openness and Facebook acting as ‘walled garden’ as ever, there’s really only one company left who might have an interest in creating a multi-platform social network client without having to make money out of it.
It has to be Google.
Such a move would do wonders to paint them as more inclusive after the Your Search fiasco and would put the key enabler for more posts to appear on the platform — literally at the fingers of its users. And at last count, that’s about 100m individuals.
It’s also a similar philosophy to what they are doing with the Google+ concept across Google products – whether you’re in Google Search, Youtube, Chrome, Gmail or any of their other properties, you’re only ever one step away from sharing. Except you’re much more likely to actually take them up on that facility if you find it within the app that you’re planning to share updates from anyway.
When Twitter mothballed the old TweetDeck and replaced it with the awful new version, it left a gap in the market. Someone needs to move on that gap and I can see nobody today better placed to turn heads, suck up the investment and have plenty to gain from doing so.
Is the world ready for GoogleDeck? I think it’s time to find out.