On Tuesday the tech blogosphere had leak after leak about Google+ (“Google Plus” not “Google Add”), Big G’s offense against Facebook’s social media domination. Google has no qualms picking fights against other giants and has already entrenched in several fronts: enterprise apps (vs. Microsoft), mobile OS (vs. Apple), and communications (vs. mobile carriers).
Now it’s ready to take on Facebook. Although Google+ is not yet generally available to the masses, the lucky few (e.g. prominent journalists, bloggers, techies, etc.) that’s had the chance to take a sneak peek seemed to like it. Google, of course, is well aware of its past Wave launch blunder, and the company is definitely taking a more cautious path with Plus.
I think Google realizes that Plus will be a “now or never” project to compete with Facebook. If Plus fails to gain traction, Google might as well wave the white flag in the Great Social Media War.
But Google has some advantages: 1) It learned from the Wave lesson; 2) It has had time to learn from its competition, namely Facebook; 3) It has complete control over the user experience; and 4) It already has several enterprise customers.
Google+’s cool factor may or may not wow the typical user, but what about rolling it into the enterprise along with other Google services, specifically applied in unified communications?
Contact management, enhanced? Check (Google+ Circles feature).
Email management? Check (Gmail).
Document management? Check (Google Docs).
Voice (over IP) communications? Check (Google Voice).
Instant messenging? Check (Gtalk).
Videoconferencing, even with a group? Check (Google+ Hangouts feature).
Mobile chat? Check (Google+ Huddle feature).
Better yet, all of these products from Google are free or cost significantly less than getting your own servers.
Facebook may feel threatened by Google Plus, but what about all these UC vendors, especially those that are going after the burgeoning SMB market?