Updated July 3, 2011Doc Sheldon
Like many, I’ve spent a LOT of my time the last few days, familiarizing myself with Google+, building my circles, and digesting the comments and impressions of others on Google’s latest foray into the Social Web. Let me go on record as saying that I’m favorably impressed and hopeful that this effort will be hugely successful.
I won’t even get into all the conjecture flying around about G+ being the Great Facebook Killer. If that’s the sort of thing you want to read, you’ll find no shortage of treatment of the topic on other blogs.
Of course, many questions do still remain unanswered. Google seems to have the release schedule planned as a very methodical process, and can be expected to roll out new features continuously for some time. At this point, even they may not have a good idea of what the final product will look like, since they seem to be paying a great deal of attention to the comments and suggestions offered by the open beta users. Most certainly, none of us know what to expect, once the fat lady finishes her song.
One question that I haven’t seen raised yet is if/how Google intends to monetize G+. Will we soon be seeing targeted ads interspersed between the posts of our friends and acquaintances? Will all that lovely free space in the sidebar be swarming with ads?
Or is this possibly nothing more than it seems at this point… a user-oriented hub, where we can access the many gServices that used to occupy multiple browser tabs?
On the one hand, I’d be surprised if Google were to miss the opportunity to flood another space with their main income generator. But then, I’ve been half-expecting them to start shakin’ their moneymaker in the margins of my Webmaster Tools page. Maybe I’m getting jaded in my old age.
I do think that if they do monetize G+, it will precipitate the demise of yet another attempt by Google to entrench themselves into social. And that would be a shame, because this seems to me to be their best effort to date, and has the potential for great success.
What do you think? Will they pass the offering plate, or will they be content to just preach? Let’s hear from you in the comments.