Up until now, Google has had a hard time breaking into the social media landscape. They have had various attempts over the years, and although they have acquired a couple of the big players in the industry (Blogger and Youtube), they have yet to produce a successful social media platform of their own. However, there has been a lot of speculation recently that they will soon reveal “Google Me” as a social media experience to rival Facebook. Both Digg founder Kevin Rose and former Facebook CTO Adam D’Angelo have stated that this project is in the works. If successful, this would be huge – the two biggest presences on the web going head to head.
And the timing couldn’t be more perfect for Google. If you remember a few years ago, Myspace was the popular social media place to be. But when people started to complain, saying that it was too crowded and dangerous for teenagers, Facebook stepped up and took advantage of those aspects, effectively creating a platform that incorporated all the good things that Myspace had while leaving out the bad. In a short period of time, Facebook became number one in the industry. And now Google has that same opportunity. Facebook has begun to decline, and general complaints about lack of privacy and that same danger concern have surfaced. If Google capitalizes on these points and creates a newer, better version of social media, they can begin to capture Facebook’s lost market.
Not very much is known about Google Me, and Google hasn’t officially announced anything as of yet. But there have been more rumors lately that Google is investing heavily in Zynga – that’s right, the gaming company that created many of Facebook’s game application. This includes Farmville, which is played by 26 million people daily and is one of Facebook’s biggest attractions. Again, perfect timing for Google – there has been tension between Zynga and Facebook over gaming income, and Google stepped in at just the right moment to steal Zynga away. Given the popularity of games on Facebook, this could be the boost that Google needs to become a big player in the social media industry.
Until Google makes this public, we won’t know many of the details. And Google is already at war with Yahoo/Bing, so they have a lot on their plate already. But we know that Google has deep pockets and intelligent minds, and if anyone is going to topple Facebook in the near future, it will likely be them. Any company providing social media marketing services should begin preparing for this new player, Google Me.