Archive for the ‘profile data’ tag
Connecting with customers in meaningful and relevant ways is the backbone of successful marketing. It has never been more important to use data to cleverly to support cross-channel marketing activities that can better drive sales.
The data people share on social media can be quite valuable to businesses, since it helps them personalize their email and mobile optimized offers.
Some companies even specialize in collecting and selling consumer information on social network sites, but this information should be treated with care: Not everyone is comfortable with the storage of their personal information, and some consumers may seek legal retribution if a marketer uses this without their consent.
Conditions for accessing social profile data
At present, the onus is on the web user (whether on desktop, mobile, or tablets) to setup their profile permissions to ensure that their information is either private or public, depending on their own preferences.
At the same time, no advertiser or business is allowed to collect social data of its user without asking them to volunteer this information up front.
Methods of accessing social profile data
Social media sites usually know more about your clients than you do — and some digital services offer tools to access that knowledge legitimately.
Social subscription, for example, is one way to allow visitors to subscribe to email newsletters via a social network login as an alternative to filling in the traditional email address, name and other require fields manually.
Why enable email subscription via social login?
- Every social account can have lots of additional data about a user to help you refine your segmentation; from gender to location to interests
- Social data helps you send more targeted promotions and adjust your campaigns to users’ change of preferences or location
- Accoding to a Blue Inc. study this year, if you personalize the experience between you and your subscribers, they are 50 percent more likely to return to your site, and 40 percent more likely to recommend you to others
- Also as per Blue Inc. 2012, consumers often provide faulty information when subscribing via a form, with the majority admitting that they have given incomplete or incorrect information
- The average social media user has 195 connections: Imagine the exposure and other marketing possibilities if you could tap into those connections
In summary, social subscription integrated into newsletter subscription forms helps marketers grow their contact lists and learn more about their audience. It simplifies and increases the accuracy of the subscription process, helping drive increased conversions.
There are, of course, other methods of gathering social profile data (such as the Rapleaf service I noted in an earlier article) however, with new and more advanced tools like social subscribe being developed, marketers today have an unprecedented ability to get and leverage social profile data.
Have you got what it takes to be the BMW Superfan? To celebrate reaching 10m fans on their Facebook page, BMW are turning your Facebook data in to a personalised (but branded) infographic.
After liking the page and accepting the app on Facebook, you can find out if you are the biggest BMW fan out there. Give it a go yourself and tell us what score you got! What do you think?
Here’s one I made earlier:
AppHero Raises $1.8 Million For App Recommendation Service Which Learns Your Interests From Facebook
Following Apple’s acquisition of Chomp, the app search and discovery business continues to heat up. Last month, app search startup Quixey raised a healthy $20 million Series B, and today a much younger startup, AppHero, has raised a $1.8 million seed round for its app recommendation platform.
The round included investment from OMERS Ventures, Golden Venture Partners, and ENIAC Ventures along with other angels and seed funds who, combined, have put in around $1.3 million. An additional $500,000 came from other undisclosed sources.
The company is building an app recommendation service that helps users find new applications to try by analyzing their historical activity and their social data. It also includes a friending functionality so users can see which apps their friends are installing and recommending.
At first glance, this setup sounds very similar to what the mobile app recommendation platform Crosswalk is currently doing. Like AppHero, Crosswalk keeps track of your apps and allows you to recommend your favorite ones to others. And it does a better job at figuring out your interests than iTunes Genius does, in my opinion. However, while Crosswalk taps into Facebook (and other services) to discover which of your friends are on the platform, AppHero takes a different route – it actually uses your Facebook data to help it make its recommendations.
According to AppHero founder Jordan Satok, also the creator of popular website App of the Day, AppHero looks at nearly everything you do on Facebook including liked comments and threads, liked pages, your shares, profile data, interests, location and more. However, it’s not parsing the text in your status updates just yet, although that is something they’re now working on, he says.
A recent high school graduate, Satok started AppHero in May 2011, finding inspiration in the untapped potential of mobile technology. “These devices are capable of so much, and people are under-utilizing them,” he says. “I’ve been thinking about how we can deliver the most value to consumers, and it led down this path of thinking about the space of personalization.”
He thinks that AppHero is a better tool for app discovery than an app search site because search is only great when you already know what you’re looking for. “But people don’t know what they don’t know,” he says. As for the comparisons with Crosswalk and the like, he claims the big differentiator is the underlying intelligence in AppHero. Not only does the service understand “who someone is and what they’re like,” Satok says, it also learns more about them over time by tracking their Facebook social data (think: updated location, marital status, likes etc.) and activity (e.g., geo-location, app downloads and likes/dislikes).
Currently a team of five, AppHero will use the new seed funding to hire machine learning experts to help grow the team.
If Facebook itself isn’t a covert dating site, then at least its social graph could be — a big group of startups have been going for this honeypot of user data and connections ever since the company launched its platform back in 2007. Few have really taken off, and incumbent dating sites like the not-so-social Match.com have continued to hold mindshare with date-seekers.
This is where theComplete.me sees the opportunity. The company quietly launched a Facebook app in March that pulls in and analyzes data from Facebook and other social sites to figure out who you might be a good fit with — and goes way beyond most rivals in its effort to undermine the incumbents.
Led by Brian Bowman, the former vice president of product at Match.com, it’s also announcing a large $1.22 million seed round from Intel Capital, psuedo-rival dating site PlentyofFish (a strategic investor in this case), the CrunchFund, and a list of prominent angels.
Here’s a closer look at what’s getting all these online dating pros so interested.
The app first has you sign on with your Facebook identity, then it shows you a list of people who may have interests in common in a Pinterest-style interface. Your own profile data is organized into a feature called “fraMEs,” — pinned frames that show categories such as Liked Facebook pages, that can be easily edited beyond the pre-populated Facebook data.
A top row of thumbnails shows other Facebook users in the app that theComplete.me has determined are potential matches for you. Clicking on them reveals the things you have in common, also Pinterest style — including the ability to comment on Page-based interests like Neil Young or the Outside Lands music festival.
But there’s a lot going on under the surface. Matches are based on a wide range of factors including people you view, who people like you view and correspond with, the number of messages you send and receive from people, and other behavioral data. The product also figures out generally shared interests, like if you and another person both like action movies, because you each have Liked the page for the movie The Matrix, for example.
The app goes further than Facebook, too. Once you’re logged in, you can also connect with LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Photobucket, Flickr, Foursquare, GoodReads, and Instagram. It then pulls in unique data about you from each service (who follows you on Twitter, the types of places you check in on Foursquare) to figure out even richer matches. In private beta testing so far, it has amassed some 1.5 million profiles of users and their friends, which is already helping to shape recommendations.
It also pulls off a very clever move to disrupt the utility dating sites, that I haven’t seen done by any of its rivals. Users can provide the IDs to their profiles on other sites, including Match.com, eHarmony, Zoosk and other big ones. You can see the results in aggregate if you click on the “Dating Sites” link of the top “Search People” tab in the app. You get direct, free access to other users of these dating sites because you can just message them through the app/Facebook. No need to pay the one-time or monthly fees that Match.com and others charge.
Beyond undercutting the business model, Bowman points out that most of these other sites provide basically no social context beyond what users manually share.
At the same time, theComplete.me preserves anonymity. Users only see each others first names initially, and nothing gets posted to Facebook for others to see (unless you manually enable it to do that).
Going forward, the business model is going to include microtransactions around things like “buying” an ad next to interests. If you really want to find all the ladies on the app going to Outside Lands, you could advertise yourself next to that fraME, for example. But the core app, Bowman says, will remain free.
TheComplete.me does have a few challenges. The interface hides some of the cooler features, like the social network syncing and dating site finder. And the Pinterest interface felt a bit clunky at some points. There’s work to be done in this area. And other new dating apps are also doing a good job of creating matches using social data (like Yoke, which Josh has fallen for pretty hard) and Circl.es.
But the experiences of the founding team and its supporters could help them navigate the many nuances of getting the app right for the dating use case. Beyond the previously-listed investors, angels include Russ Siegleman, Ben T. Smith IV, Social Starts, LLC, Spark Unlimited, Inc., Parker Coddington, Kevin Henrikson, Ali Jahangiri, William Lohse and Konstantin Othmer.
Disclosure for my girlfriend: I was only testing this app out for work. No dates were had during the production of this article.
Checkin apps have always disturbed me. Why would I want to tell everyone in the world where I am? Call me a curmudgeon, but I like my privacy.
For those of you with a more laissez-checkin attitude toward location and privacy, have a look at this app: Girls Around Me. It lets any random creeper scan women’s public Foursquare checkins and renders a map scattered with profile pictures, allowing the aforementioned rando to stalk to his heart’s content, flipping through your photos and reading your profile data.
See this? This is why I don’t check in, not anywhere, not ever. Publicly telling the world where you live and work, where you’re going, and whom you’re with isn’t just narcissistic; it’s a very bad idea for your own personal security. And making all that data publicly available online is just asking for someone to scrape it up and make apps like these.
As an astute Cult of Mac writer notes, this should be a wake-up call to all of us — especially the ladies — about the importance of privacy, of discretion in what you post online, and of understanding how your data is or could be used. However, I’ll wager that most of the social media-happy women already using Foursquare and similar services will be hitting the snooze button and continuing to check in.
Apps like this are not new, not by a long shot. Every now and then, I get a truly disturbing pitch from a developer — always a man, always insisting the app is “all in good fun” — who wants me to know about his checkin-tracking app for finding chicks. There are apps just like Girls Around Me for telling you the guy/girl ratio at a party (based on Facebook RSVPs); there are many apps for showing you your friends’ checkins around you. Ban.jo is one that will show you not only the location-tagged checkins, photos, and tweets from your friends; it’ll go a step further and show you all the public activity from anyone in your vicinity.
Showing women’s public checkins with the specific intention of making women into moving targets isn’t even the creepiest app idea out there. SceneTap, an absolute sewer of an application from two Chicago-based men, uses hidden cameras and facial recognition technology to determine the age and gender of unwitting people in public bars.
But did any of those apps get shut down by a barrage of vitriol from concerned citizens? Did young women stop checking in and sharing their location with anyone with a 3G connection? Hardly.
The wake-up call should have happened back when each person signed up for these services. There should have been a long, hard moment of thinking, “Why, again, do I want to share my location with anyone? And why do I want to share it publicly, not just with my friends and family?”
If we were, as a gender, going to pick a time to start being concerned about our digital privacy, we should have done so long before now. I can only hope that the spotlight currently being aimed at Girls Around Me will prevent some of the public checkin activity that allows apps like this one to be possible in the first place.
hat tip: Reader Gaurav Sharma for pointing out Ban.jo as a specific example
Image courtesy of Couperfield, Shutterstock
Filed under: social
What do you get when you look at social media as a source of information about people? This topic usually goes off into a discussion of influence, a result of thinking of social media as media. What if, instead of influencers, you think of the people who participate in social media as individuals?
All you need to start is an indentifier—a name, email address, Twitter handle—and you start connecting dots. When people include, for example, a Twitter handle in a LinkedIn profile, you can have real name, location, employment, schools… Maybe links to more networks to continue the process, too.
It’s not a question of probabilities. When people create links between their various network profiles, it’s a clear statement that the accounts belong to the same person.
Why build when you can buy?
This is another niche for startups, of course. Several of which are working to reconcile public profiles across multiple social networks and using that information to create information-rich individual profiles. To make it even more useful, most of these companies offer APIs for integrating their profile data into other systems.
Your data plus detailed, individual profiles. What will you build?
Just when you thought this space couldn’t get any more saturated, yet another ambient location app throws its hat into the ring as SXSW prepares to kick off. Introducing INTRO. But wait, before you groan “enough already!“, you should know that INTRO at least has a unique take on the location-based social introductions market. Unlike the majority of this year’s crop of location-based networking apps, INTRO’s angle is business introductions. Built on top of LinkedIn, the app lets you specify who you’re looking to meet by both industry and profession, then enables you to make that connection.
The app shares a lot in common with others in this newly-hot space, but offers a unique selection of features which the company hopes will give it life beyond the social blowout that is SXSW.
“SXSW is a great place for us to launch, but the social side of things always gets the biggest hype there,” explains INTRO co-founder Anthony Erwin, “but while we’re incredibly useful for events and conferences – and we’ll be great at SXSW – we’re more interested in promoting the side of us that’s really useful for startups, which is to specify exactly who you’re looking for.”
Like competitors Highlight and Glancee, INTRO runs in the background, alerting you to people nearby who you may want to meet. But unlike most of the competition, INTRO requires that you sign into the app using your LinkedIn account. The entire experience here is built on LinkedIn – the app uses your LinkedIn profile data to determine what industry you’re in, and suggest possible matches nearby.
However, once signed up, you can also connect your social networking accounts from Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare, so you’re not limited to seeing only those who are on INTRO’s network. In this way, the app is like Sonar or Banjo, tracking check-ins and geo-tagged tweets to see who’s nearby. These are included in a separate section of the app.
To get started with INTRO, you first configure a user profile which allows you to facilitate business introductions. This makes the app more of a competitor to something like the business-focused Mingle, for example. But Mingle lacks the “social proof” provided by INTRO – that is, INTRO tells you how many connections/friends you have in common on social networks, which helps when you’re trying to reach out to people you don’t know.
In your profile, you specify your job title, as well as the titles of others you want to meet. This is all done using a smart tagging system – no typing needed. (Hooray!) On your profile, where it reads “I am in the _______ scene and work as a _________” you can tap on the fields to switch industries (e.g. “Tech,” “Media,” “Marketing/PR, etc.”) and title (e.g. “Journalist/Blogger,” “Director/Founder,” “Architect,” etc.)
You then do the same for the “Looking to Meet” section below, optionally specifying the industry and/or the job title you’re in search of. When INTRO finds possible connections, you can view all their data, including name, bio, distance, tweets, what they have in common with you and who you both know.
INTRO also has a cool “teleport” feature that lets you virtually travel to any place you want in order to network. So if you can’t actually attend SXSW, you can still reach out to those who are there. This feature is free if you invite 3 friends to INTRO, but will be a premium offering in the future.
Because the app is meant for business, not dating or social networking, there’s a layer of privacy to the experience, too.
“Privacy is actually a unique feature, which seems completely nuts to me,” Erwin laughs. “Or maybe I’m just getting old.”
You can reach out to others using INTRO, but unless they accept your invite to connect, you can’t message them in the app, he explains.
Lastly – and perhaps most importantly – INTRO uses proprietary server-side technology that aims to increase the battery life of location-based apps. While the details are being guarded, Erwin’s explanation of how the app knows when to smartly shut off the phone’s GPS, for example, sounds a lot like what the social tracker Glassmap was up to.
The company, co-founded by Anthony Erwin and Mike Small, is the newest member of Dogpatch Labs in NYC. Both founders have previous entrepreneurial experience, specifically with dating service StreetSpark, and have worked with location technologies for the past two years. The London- and N.Y.-based team, which also includes three developers, came together five months ago to create INTRO.
INTRO is currently bootstrapping, but is planning on raising seed funding soon.
The app is available on the iPhone here, and the Android version will launch in about a month, with Windows Phone to follow.
Womply’s “Efortless Offers” is a new offers platform that links local merchants’ discounts to all major credit and debit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. Live now in the D.C. area, with plans to roll out to five additional markets by early January, the service feels like a daily deal site for consumers, but works like targeted advertising for local merchants.
The key differences between Womply and something like Groupon are that the offers are personalized for the consumers and are directed towards specific audiences. They don’t require a certain number of buyers in order to “tip,” and there are no coupons to print.
The company, which just launched last week in the D.C. area, was founded by former GM and Head of Sales at LivingSocial Brandt Squires, whose old startup, BuyYourFriendADrink was acquired by LivingSocial in 2009, and Toby Scammell (yes, him, but lets not doom Womply on a 24-year-old’s mistake, shall we?)
Womply has raised nearly $1 million from Dave McClure of 500 Startups and Deebek Ventures, LLC.
Here’s how Womply’s Effortless Offers works:
Upon signup, via Facebook login typically, Womply can tap into the customer’s Facebook profile data to initially locate and display the best offer in the neighborhood. To claim the deal, the customer will purchase it on their credit or debit card. Later, when they visit the merchant, they pay the full price for the goods or service provided. Womply, which has partnerships with banks and other financial partners, can spot the transaction and then credit the difference. The credit shows up within two days.
Although Womply means customers spend more money upfront, there are several benefits to the service, both for consumers and merchants alike. Consumers don’t have to remember to print out coupons or carry them around with them – they can just use their credit or debit card as usual to receive the deal. Also, because the deals require the additional upfront investment, consumers are less likely to buy a deal on impulse, and are more likely to purchase only those deals they plan to use. The targeting and personalization helps cut down on the noise created by daily deals, too, which is the same route Google is now going with its Google Offers product.
For merchants, Womply’s ability to spot the transactions means it knows how many offers were redeemed with 100% confidence. In addition, because of Womply’s personalization capabilities, merchants don’t view Womply as a “daily deals” service – they view it as something more akin to targeted advertising.
Further down the road, Womply will be able to use its transaction-spotting capabilities to further refine the deals it pitches consumers and reward their loyalty to specific merchants. This is likely the basis of its next, still undisclosed, second product which will roll out in a few weeks.
D.C. area residents can sign up for Womply now here.
Facebook has quietly added support for Microformats to its “Download Your Information” feature, it appears. The addition provides developers with a way to parse the profile information, posts, photos and videos contained in a Facebook user’s account. Although the change doesn’t have a direct impact on what a mainstream user can do with their Facebook data – you still can’t export your Facebook contact list, for example – it’s an important step for Facebook to make in terms of loosening its formerly tight control over user data.
If case you’re unfamiliar, “Download Your Information” is a relatively new Facebook feature, that, upon request, bundles your personal data in a large zip file and makes it available for download from Facebook’s “Account Settings“ page.
However, there is not much that you, as a user, can do with the data, beyond looking through HTML webpages included in the download. If anything, the feature serves more as a backup of your data than a way to import data into other programs. The zip file does not include a list of your Facebook friends and email addresses, for example, or a collection of photos that you can import into another photo-sharing website.
It’s data, but it’s essentially useless.
Now, that’s changing.
While the term “Microformats” leaves average consumers scratching their heads, it greatly expands the possibilities for developers looking to leverage Facebook data in new ways.
Microformats, which provide a lightweight way to provide interoperable meaning to HTML documents, are now being used to mark up the exported data. Specifically, Facebook is using the formats hAtom, hMedia and hCard.
hAtom is used in marking up wall posts and comments, hMedia designates photos and videos and hCard is used to mark up your profile data and friend’s list.
Unfortunately, it’s not all good news. The hCards are “close to useless,” he says, providing just your name (e.g. “Sarah Perez”), and no URL (e.g. facebook.com/sarahperez), let alone a phone number or email address.
In comparison, on Google Takeout, the search giant’s own data exporting feature (which incidentally just expanded its offerings yesterday), hCards provide your name, your profile URL and your email. In addition, Google also provides vCards for direct importing into another email program or contacts organizer.
Facebook’s implementation of hAtom is a little better – the wall posts now include permalinks and published dates, as well as hCards for the post’s author. But again, Google’s hCards, as noted above, are much richer.
Google also does a better job at distinguishing a post’s title from its content, says Marks, while Facebook just says the content is the title.
The final Microformat, hMedia, marks up your photos and videos, providing titles, timestamps, comments and album name. It also marks up each album so you can extract the photos, the time posted and comments.
As for what this change means for developers, it’s simple: it’s now much easier to access a user’s Facebook data…outside of Facebook and its APIs (application programming interfaces). That means that application developers, especially those focused on personal data like lockerproject.com or status.net, will have an easier way to access data in a format that’s more consistent with the rest of the Web and the services that live there. Twitter, Blogger and WordPress all use Microformats, for example.
Now Facebook does too.
As for Marks, he’s more philosophical about the importance of the change, and quotes Ian Hickson (2007), to explain his sentiment:
“I decided that for the sake of our future generations we should document exactly how to process today’s documents, so that when they look back, they can still reimplement HTML browsers and get our data back.”
Facebook says it implemented the Microformats last month, but has not made a public announcement yet.
Less than 48 hours of field testing Google+ and I’ve got more questions than answers. But here are my first thoughts.
DESIGN: The interface resembles a clean version of Facebook. And, while there’s more breathing room now, you can assume the extra space has been reserved for paid advertising. The home page makes sure you can easily access your profile, circles (contact groups) and photos by displaying these options prominently.
INTEGRATION: One thing Google Buzz did well was integrate with your existing Gmail account. They’ve built on that with Google+ and Gmail power users will enjoy how well they work together. In fact you can access your Google account from Google+ to see what services you’re using and your overall preferences.
PRIVACY: While Google Buzz had its moments, it’s initial privacy issues stopped it from gaining much traction beyond Google’s user base. Google clearly learned from this and it not only makes privacy settings obvious, you can dial them up and down based on your personal preferences. It’s also made a big deal about its Data Liberation capabilities. This section allows users to back up the data they have on the site by downloading Picasa Photo Albums, Profile Data, Stream Data, Buzz and Contact Data as well. You can also easily determine which accounts are connected to your Google+ account.
CIRCLES, SPARKS & HANGOUTS: Circles are simply easy to create groups of users. This allows you to compartmentalize content you share across your network. So if you only want your family to see pictures of the newest addition to your family, you can use Google+ to do this. Similarly, if you only want your colleagues to know you won an award for filing the most TPS Reports, you can do that too. This addresses Facebook user concerns about the difficulty in compartmentalizing your professional and personal lives on the site. But when it comes to the Internet and Privacy remember there are no guarantees.
Sparks is a curation feature that taps into its search capabilities to deliver you content of your choosing. Google+ notes it’s “a feed of just the stuff you’re really into. So when you’re free there’s always something to watch, read or share. The only thing I’m curious about is where it is pulling the content from. It’s unclear if it comes from search, other users’ content streams, Google News or a variation of the three.
Hangouts takes Google’s video chat options and pulls them directly into Google+. This makes it seemingly simple to conduct video chats. Unfortunately, as a field tester, I’ve been unable to align my schedule with my contacts that also have Google+ access. But it appears to be a point of differentiation for Google+. I can imagine it opens an impressive amount of ad opportunities for Google via YouTube alone.
MOBILE: The mobile app is also being touted. Unfortunately for me, it’s only available on Android right now. It’s a refreshing change of pace for iPhone users that are used to have first access. I’m sure Google is enjoying the ability to roll out in this fashion. And while some would argue this is a bad move. Turnabout is fair play, in my opinion. And they score big points with loyal Android users.
So with all of the above positives, there were some issues or questions that came up based on my experience. Google assumed this would be the case. Upon accepting my invitation, I was greeted with a welcome message that included this: “It’s very early, so there may be some bumps along the way, but you’ll be one of the first to test drive Circles, Hangouts, Sparks, mobile, and more!”
Google+ and -
So with the above in mind, I’m here to offer feedback and not to pick Google+ apart (as the blogosphere is inclined to do with a healthy dose of keyboard courage). As a field tester, the rollout seemed a bit mysterious. And learning the network is a bit self-serve with 11 different videos available to explain the how to and the why behind some of its features.
How many men are known for reading directions? Hopefully video will get more views than a set of instructions. I’m told that making the experience more discovery for the field testers was done on purpose. More features will be rolled out and some might even be rolled back based on our feedback.
As I noted earlier, I like the integration with your Google account. But there could be too much integration. It initially served up all of my Google account’s contacts. I assumed the contacts were all other Google+ users as well. I was wrong. You can still share with these individuals through Google+ and add them to circles. It simply sends your non-field testing friends an email instead. And I can tell you it’s interpreted as less helpful and more “nyah, nyah!” as these contacts cannot comment or engage with you based on what you’re sharing.
It’s obviously similar to Facebook. You can argue whether or not this is a plus or a minus. But keep in mind, all social networks will share common traits. Is it similar to Orkut too? Some may wonder if it’s also similar to Google’s social network launched ahead of its time. Orkut is still wildly popular in Brazil and India and is still actively used today in these countries. But Google+ is more nuanced and less about a walled community and more about sharing across the web – through your Google account of course.
If Google’s Finally Nailed Social, Will It Matter?
Never say never. But the deck is stacked against Google. Any new social networking entrant immediately becomes “yet another social networking service” YASNS. It’s tough to break web users habits and get them to start using a new social network exclusively – even if it is integrated into their Google account.
In fact, Google integration could create a branding issue. Taylor Wiegert, a fellow Word of Mouth team member at Empower MediaMarketing, is quick to point out that Google is known for its utility. It’s more of a tool you use when you need email or search or another of its services. But it’s not known as an engagement platform that you spend an extended period of time using to find and share content with friends.
Time will tell if it breaks its streak of having successful product launches – for everything but its social media products. But Google+ clearly has the best chance of competing with sites like LinkedIn and Facebook. If you extend the paid media opportunities it could bring, it’s worth waiting to see what happens.
The Candy Everybody Wants?
While Google is offering limited access during the launch to finalize the product and improve it, they are also hoping it will create more curiosity and desire to access Google+. Don’t take the bait. While the platform is a clear improvement over Orkut and Buzz, Google+ is essentially a new flavor of Facebook. It’s a worthy opponent because of the sites foundation – an enormous user base using a well-established portfolio of services/products and the potential for paid media. And as of launch, these assets are invisible to the user experience. If you don’t have access to Google+ you’re not missing anything. Not yet.
Cross-posted at my work blog.