There’s been wide spread skepticism for years about Google’s ability to nail a social solution that could compete with Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
Such skepticism ought to be put to rest with how fast Google+ has grown to 50 million users. In less than 90 days. Compare that to 1325 days for Facebook and 2354 for LinkedIn.
Admittedly social networking has accelerated dramatically over the last couple years giving Google+ a lot of early momentum. Nonetheless Google+ is taking off, not likely to go away, and not something that can be dismissed by those lawyers and others using social networking and social media for business development.
What does this mean for the many lawyers who are using Facebook as well as the lawyers just thinking they were ready to use Facebook? After all, most lawyers are just coming to grips that social networking and social media isn’t going away anymore than the Internet is
Competition can make companies much better. Facebook has improved its functionality in the past few weeks by implementing changes inspired by Google+ (lists, longer posts and comments, the subscribe feature, etc.) At the same time, they have leaped forward in other ways with new features like Timeline and by partnering with music and media companies.
Competition is great. Even though they have been fiercely competing for decades, Apple is worth $367 billion and Microsoft is worth $209 billion. Both have huge impact worldwide. Facebook vs. Google will be no different. Customers will benefit as these two innovative tech companies try to empower users with the best social tools. Some people will choose one social network over the other and will evangelize their choice. Others will use both to communicate with different groups of people.
I agree with Allen about the opportunities presented by Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Blogs.
I think we are witnessing the most exciting battle in tech history as two well-funded, fast-growing, highly-profitable, genius-led Silicon Valley companies are competing from very different starting points to affect how we find information, how we connect with people, how we view the world, and how we spend our time. And unlike tech battles of the past which unfolded slowly as new hardware or software was “shipped” every few months, since these companies operate in the cloud, product changes happen almost daily, and the reactions from customers flow in real-time on Twitter, blogs, and on these two sites themselves.
Not every lawyer is going to use Google+. Heck, by years end we’re unlikely to have a half a percent of lawyers with a Google+ account.
But no question at all, Google+, Facebook, and LinkedIn are here to stay as a means for lawyers to connect with people, demonstrate their care and experience, and enhance their reputations.
It will be up to you as a lawyer to pick and choose what social network you use and possibly use them all to connect the with the people you wand to and need to.