With a history in social media that stretches longer than Facebook's, Google Plus is not Google's first attempt at creating a successful social network. . .

SOCIAL MEDIA  I remember not long ago, there was this new service by the people of Google, called ‘Buzz’. That was the new, ‘hot’ thing in social networking. I also remember that one of the first entries I wrote was something in the likes of "You do realise this is only a hype, right?"

As a response, I got a lecturing from my contacts saying that Google Buzz was still only at an early stage and would soon take over big-time and change our perceptions entirely, on social media. Sadly enough, my initial statement was also the last thing I ever posted on Buzz. Last year, Google shut the service down for good.

Is the Google domination boundless?

This statement from my friends was not unusual at all, however – it’s just a clear indication of the state of mind in which people seem to be. Then as well as now, we’re predetermined that:

Google rules the Internet.

Orkut - Google's first social media platform and
Facebook alternative, that was launched even
before Facebook. Still widely used in Brazil and India.
Google’s domination on the Internet, successfully delivering dynamic search results, e-mail, content management and even operating systems to the masses, has lead us to believe they could succeed in any challenge they care to take on. Why wouldn’t they take over Facebook, Twitter and eBay as well, if they wanted to?

Google provides a lot of services. But only the really successful ones get larger recognition from the public. A long lived service is Orkut, which happens to be very similar to Facebook. Launched by Google already in January of 2004, a month earlier than Facebook, it could have dominated social media by now. Instead it’s a rather obscure service having a user base which is limited to Brazil and India, practically.

Google Plus does what ‘Buzz’ didn’t

With their most current ‘Google Plus’ service, Google do what they should have done with ‘Buzz’ right from the start. As far as I’m concerned, the actual Google+ web site is, simply put, a revamped and rebranded version of Google Buzz. But the essence of Google Plus is not the actual web page or GUI at all, but the integration with ‘Google’; ie. the search engine itself.

Google Plus is embraced by web developers and bloggers increasingly, and by all right. The ‘Plus’ service should be essential to ANY publisher on the web. What Google+ has that Buzz didn’t, is the button. If it wasn’t for the '+1' button, I don’t see why Google Plus would be any more successful than its predecessor.

Coming up in part 2: The FUTURE of Google Plus. 
We’ll discuss how Google+ will cope with the competition from other social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, but also content sharing communities like Reddit, StumbleUpon and Digg.  ~theJo

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