There has been a lot of talk and speculation about how and when Google will jump into the social networking space. I think Google already launched a social network – its called Gmail. (Leaving Orkutout of this thought process and other iterations)
As I said in the final line of my last post the best social network might be one you are already on, but never proactively joined.
By having a gmail account you can;
chat with your friends across multiple networks
video chat with your friends
search all your correspondence
access everything via mobile and more apps
…and much much more.
This is not to mention all the other Google features that somehow are finding their way woven together.
What is the underlying central point for all this? I believe it will soon be your Google profile page, but not yet. For now its Gmail.
The reason is because people are having the continued problem of signing up for yet another account on yet another network. I believe the most beneficial network is one you do not even realize you are a part of. If you are anything like me you have way too many profiles already.
By delivering value at the point you need it without cluttering up the experience with features you don’t Google is delivering the ultimate disintermediated experience.
Who wants game apps when you want to video chat?
Why deal with comments and replies when you want to send a direct email?
Looking for a place to eat with friends via mobile? Then why clutter the area with favorites and status?
Each is solved with the ever ubiquitous Google account via any number of devices, all connected via the social network that is there when you need it with the functions you want – while hiding everything else.
Now that Google is encroaching on real estate on my blog, I expect features to roll out that pertain to “me the publisher” and will surface when I need them. For those that do not have a blog or a need for Google Friend Connect – they will never know it exists, which is exactly how social networking features should be.
Seamless transitions between the things you need and the things you don’t are what make a service great. Not knowing you are on the network is what will make the service succeed.
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