In November 2010, Facebook announced an ambitious feature, Seamless Messaging, that among other things touted, “You decide how you want to talk to your friends: via SMS, chat, e-mail or messages. They will receive your message through whatever medium or device is convenient for them.” Two years later, in my opinion, Google+ has executed an integrated messaging that comes with you no matter which device or software you are using.
According to the Pew Research Center Internet & American Life Project survey Digital Differences, 91% of all adults check e-mail, while 64% are active on social networks. This proves that people have not abandoned e-mail to depend on social networks for their messages. If you are like me, you probably get your Facebook messages in e-mail which makes your e-mail the “integrated messaging platform.” In fact, many social networks have started sending messages to your e-mail when someone mentions you or messages you.
Google+ has achieved as good as an integrated-messaging platform as is available today — especially if you are a Android smartphone user.
Here is how Google+ is integrated
- When there is an interaction on Google+, I get an e-mail and the kicker is that I can +1 the post and reply if I choose to right from my e-mail.
- When you use Google or Gmail, you get a toolbar to choose to check your Google+ profile.
- Google Chrome users with a plug-in can get notified on the interactions on Google+.
- Photos from Android devices with Google+ can be uploaded and available to share on social networks easily.
- Google+ profile and updates may appear in the search results on the right-hand side.
- Google+ helps you match your Google+ contacts to your own contacts, and there are several other plug-ins that help this integration.
- Google+ Event reminders pop up in your e-mail.
- It is easy to start a Hangout and video chat with multiple people — sometimes even the president.
According to a recent 2012 Social Marketing Survey by Chief Marketer only 32% of B2C and 26% of B2B marketers said they used Google+. Google’s Vic Gundotra announced in a Google+ post that Google+ had 400 million signups/upgrades and 100 million active users. There is still a significant amount to catch up with Facebook’s 1 billion users. Along with businesses, if Google+ can attract families, they may come out ahead.
Facebook began with a great idea, but in implementation it has so many barriers that make you go through several steps to see your Facebook updates even when you are notified in an e-mail. Until the day comes when you only go to Facebook for all your messages and e-mail falls by the wayside, Facebook has work to do.
What do you think about platforms that make it easier integrate messages? How do you use Google+ in your business?
This guest post is by Shashi Bellamkonda, senior director of social media and public relations — employees call him Social Media Swami — at Web.com, a company that helps small businesses establish an online presence and conduct online marketing. He is also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University.