Google+ has just passed the 25 million user mark, and it is just getting started. Even though it’s in a limited beta, Google+ has managed to fulfill over 25 million invitations in the short amount of time it’s been out. This adds some serious credibility to the predictions made by many tech pundits, including some of our own here at LockerGnome, that Google+ can actually topple Facebook and Twitter once the ball really gets rolling.
So, what is it about Google+ that gives it the edge it needs to compete head-to-head with these two giants of social media?
Large Existing User Base
Google+ has the ability to draw from an existing user base that has great international reach beyond that of existing social network users. Facebook and Twitter didn’t start out with this, and they relied greatly on their ability to draw in new users due to their overall appeal and partnerships with complementary sites. Because of this, Google can market its network through its powerful advertising system which, at the present time, dominates any other service in terms of reach and traffic.
Unique User Interaction
The introduction of features such as circles, huddles, and hangouts gives Google+ something new to bring to the table. Being a socially driven site, the ability for groups of people to chat and interact in real-time beyond just leaving comments or messages to one another is an excellent way to draw in new users.
Google has promised the ability for third-party developers to have access to a solid API is coming in the near future. This is one of the biggest causes for the success of other networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Having the ability to integrate someone’s social world into a third-party site or application is a great way to add value to an otherwise already positive experience.
Existing third-party applications that leverage and connect multiple social networks are a great way to draw in new users. These tools are relied upon by their users for their ability to post to multiple sites with a single action and are a great way to keep up with friends, no matter what network they’re on. Having Google+ support possible on these systems
Full Google Service Integration
One big value-add to Google+ is its seamless integration with other existing Google services. As mentioned before, that existing user base will no-doubt be made aware of Google+ and tempted to join its services for a multitude of reasons. The least of which would be turning that +You in the corner of their screen into their name. Google has built a somewhat self-sustaining ecosystem of cloud-based services that cover a variety of needs from personal to business and even entertainment. By combining these services with a capable social network, it has essentially built what is arguably the most powerful single online collective of useful services on the Web.
So, can Google+ topple Facebook and Twitter? It’s already surpassed the user count either of these companies had in the first two years during a very short period of time. It’s proven value by integrating existing useful services in a way no other social network has done before and it has added features to the core of its network that can stand toe-to-toe with anything these other sites have to offer. Only time will tell whether or not Google+ will actually surpass Twitter and even Facebook, but it’s certainly off to a good start.