Tag Archives: Google

On Why iOS Should Be Worried About Google+

After a week of using Google+, it’s become clear to me the platform that should really be afraid, is iOS. 

There’s been lots of talk about “social network” comparables.  Is it Twitter?  Is it Facebook?  It’s a bit of both, but thruthfully, it has the potential to blow them both out of the water.  How so?  One word: Android.  Mobile isn’t just how Google+ will survive, it’s how it can explode.

I’m an iPhone guy, but I’m not an Apple nut (though they’re close to making me one).  I like iOS and iPhone because the UI / device compatibility is almost flawless (the virtues of which I’ve extolled) and the ecosystem they’ve created — I also have an iPad — is easy to get sucked into.  Hands down, it’s the best phone on the market.

But, as most everyone knows, Android is the mobile OS market leader.  Sure there are compatibility problems, it’s open source.  But the fact of the matter is, more people have Android phones in their hands than iPhones and that’s the key here.

There’s a reason why there have been rumours of a Facebook phone.  There’s a reason Apple has strategically aligned iOS with Twitter.  Social isn’t just about sharing.  It’s about sharing in the moment.  People don’t want to have to wait until they get home to tell people what’s happening, because by today’s standards, that makes it ancient history.

Before Google Buzz’s (failed) launch, The Tech Journal posted an article that contained some interesting stats about mobile social sharing:

  • There are more than 100 million active users currently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices.
  • People that use Facebook on their mobile devices are twice more active on Facebook than non-mobile users.
Heads up: the future isn’t just mobile, it’s social. 
Google hasn’t been able to get a foothold in the social sphere and it’s no doubt been frustrating for them, which is why Google+’s success (so far) is as exciting to early adopters as it is threatening to Google’s competitors.
I’m not sure how much Apple and Twitter knew about Google+ when they struck their partnership, but if they didn’t know much, then they were prescient, lucky, or both.
If Google can effectively and seamlessly integrate G+ into the Android platform as the default method for social sharing…?  Well that’s the sound of Apple, Twitter, and especially Facebook, shaking in their respective boots (collective, in the case of Twitter and Apple).
It’s the step Blackberry couldn’t make.  This could be Google’s BBM.  Sure they’ll have the iPhone app available, but its real power will be in its integration with Android.  And if Android users can bring their friend networks over to Google+, then guess what: people are going to want a “Google+ phone”. 
Or, you know, the phone Facebook wanted to make.
Apple’s in a better position, having Twitter in its corner.  It’s an established social network and Apple’s facilitating the ability to use that network.  Facebook is still the giant, but hey, so was Friendster at one point. Its biggest asset might also be its biggest risk: not being strategically aligned with a mobile platform.
We’ll see how this all plays out over the next year or so, as iOS 5 is realeased, a new iPhone(s?) comes on the market, and Android brings a newer version to the party.  Google prides itself on being open, so we’ll see how developers take to the API.  If I can post to Google+ from Twitter with a “#g+”, maybe it won’t be such a big deal, but quite frankly people don’t need this many social networks (I know I don’t).  Someone’s going to come out ahead.  The question is: will it be a social network or a mobile patform? 
Because right now, Google’s got both.
Let me know what you think in the comments below!