Steven Levy took a look behind the scenes of Google+ and how it came to be.
Over the past few years, many (myself included) have chastised Google for their failures around Wave and Buzz. Looking back on it though, these were iterations where they were continually learning about social. It’s how Google and engineers work – they iterate until something works.
Google also acknowledged they were a search company and needed to do something new, getting Vic Gundotra (Senior VP of social) and 100 engineers to set up shop down the road and operate autonomously.
I’m most optimistic about Google+ succeeding because it ties into what Google does well – search. Previously, Wave and Buzz were these independent products that the company hoped users would check in to. However, some of the new authorship markup features will have a play with SEO and bubbles better content producers to the top.
At SXSW, a search-focused panel showed the line of thought that Google feels with social, they can provide better and more relevant search results.
Most of all though, I’m optimistic because last night over dinner with my college-aged sister, we got into a discussion about Google+. I quickly realized that non-tech geek youth are interested and wanting use it. Apparently it “makes sense” and is winning people over quickly.
It’s a win-win: users share and explore and get a better web-experience, and Google has a chance to compete in social. It’s even possible that for Google to win Facebook and Twitter don’t necessarily have to lose.