Will it pay off… or not?
From the clever fingers / brain of Marco Ament:
It’s easy not to “be evil” when you’re ahead. But when you’re backed into a corner and your usual strategies aren’t working, it’s easy to get frustrated, scared, and angry, and throw previously held morals and standards out the window.
Google’s foray into social networking was late.
They knew this. The reversal of some of their key policies, touted as differentiators (such as now welcomes young people, when it said it wouldn’t and now it allows pseudonyms, sort of, when it said it wouldn’t), smacks as a little desperate along with the ‘Google+-button-creep’ into all of their other product lines.
So why are they going all in?
Maybe, it’s not to create hoards of long term users (especially when you take into consideration how users only spend 3 minutes on the site last January, compared to half of the same time for Pinterest users or 7.5 hours for Facebook maniacs) but more the fact that it simply increases their ability to productise your ongoing use of their other platforms:
Google scrambled to build Google+ because it watched Facebook and saw users were willing to volunteer biographical data to their social network, and that data is crucial to serving accurate ads users want to click.
From the insightful Google doesn’t care if you ever come back post—which is why you’ve already cleaned out your Google data… haven’t you…
Being such a big Google fan and user, this is a fascinating scenario to watch play out.
Especially if you extend the metaphor a little further with the knowledge that you might get lucky, but in the end, the house always wins.
What do you think, will their gamble pay off?