At the end of last month, Google revealed some changed to Google+, it’s social networking platform.
Since it’s launch in 2011, Google+ has been a mainstay in the Google experience, whether we’ve liked it or not. Whether it be through Youtube, Gmail, Google Drive; you probably have a Google+ account. Seemingly, Google needed something to unify the profiles you may have on the plethora of platforms they own.
However, it was announced that Google+ will no longer be treated as its digital ‘glue’.
Bradley Horowitz, Google’s VP of Streams, Photos, and Sharing, explained:
“People have told us that accessing all of their Google stuff with one account makes life a whole lot easier. But we’ve also heard that it doesn’t make sense for your Google+ profile to be your identity in all the other Google products you use.
So in the coming months, a Google Account will be all you’ll need to share content, communicate with contacts, create a YouTube channel and more, all across Google. YouTube will be one of the first products to make this change.”
The announcement of this change was warmly accepted by YouTube users, who have somewhat incessantly attacked the Google+ commenting system that was integrated with Youtube.
But, What does Google’s announcement mean for marketers?
Google has given up on directly competing with Facebook
Despite their best efforts, Google+ never took off as a social network. Evidence suggests that if it was ever going to ‘take off’ it would have long ago. So, if Google+ is edging away from being Facebook’s lonely cousin, what is it going to be? I’m not sure, no one is. The Verge wrote an interesting article on their insight, though.
They still have data
Lots and lots of data. Grant Owens, chief strategy officer at digital agency Critical Mass, told AdWeek:
“I don’t think Google will entirely kill anything that allows them to tie user data together across their touchpoints. he combined data story is what marketers, especially programmatic advertisers, are willing to pay a premium to access.
If Google can dismantle all of Google+ without undermining the combined data view, then I could see them letting it fade away into the sunset. But if Google+, in any way, still underpins a single-data view of a consumer prospect, it’ll be around for a while.”
Given Google’s thirst for data, using it to build the web’s most successful ad business, it’s highly unlikely that Google would proceed to scale back Google+ without having a way to keep a robust combined data view.
So, marketers probably shouldn’t worry about the fact Google’s ability of tracking users across its platforms.and gathering data has diminished.
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