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Fixing the Google+ Engagement Problem


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Google has a real problem with Google+ engagement - especially with new users. If unchecked, Facebook will use its deeper, more distributed engagement to better understand people’s interests and threaten Google’s core business. Here are some ideas on how to address the situation.

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Fixing the Google+ Engagement Problem

  1. 1. Fixing the Google+Engagement Problem
  2. 2. Many of us have found wonderfulcommunity on Google+.
  3. 3. We can’t understand why othersaren’t having a similar experience. “3 minutes” (average time spent per month on Google+, according to ComScore)
  4. 4. But thetruth is thatthere is abarrier onGoogle+.
  5. 5. Google+ is different than Facebook. = / While Facebook connects us with existing friends, Google+ connects us to new friends via shared interests. 5
  6. 6. It’s easy tofind existingfriends onFacebook,and beginengagingwith themright away... After all, we already know these people.
  7. 7. That’s a nice hat.But Google+ is more like a partywhere you don’t know everyone, andneed to reach out via shared interests.
  8. 8. The problemis, it’s still toohard for newusers to findpeople whoshare theirinterests onGoogle+.
  9. 9. Helping us connect to a bunch offamous people isn’t the solution... ...They don’t engage back.
  10. 10. Humans have a problem with payingtoo much attention to famous peopleas it is. We don’t need any morehelp there. We’re already wired that way. 10
  11. 11. On social networks, people with lotsof links tend to get even more links.When it’s easy to get “famousfor being famous,”and when the“rich just get You and Me.richer,” it actually The Famous.weakens a socialnetwork... 11
  12. 12. Conversationsbecome broadcastsand less actualinformation getsexchanged on thenetwork. t r r! ae s w p o
  13. 13. This isn’t TV.It’s not aboutsitting back andwatching famouspeople broadcastto us.That’s old-school.
  14. 14. This is about getting into it... youknow, engaging with other people.
  15. 15. Think of it this way...Broadcasters do share But way more interesting interesting content. content is exchanged over a phone network. 15
  16. 16. Google now needs lots of socialcontent sharing to improve itssearch results.But right now, new users justaren’t engaging enough onGoogle+ to generate a reallybroad base of “social signals.” 16
  17. 17. Facebook gets lots of social signals by connecting existing friends.Facebook users have 234 friends onaverage. That’s a lot of dense,decentralized connecting - sevenhours per person, per month, in fact. 17
  18. 18. Facebook already has thenetwork for existing friends,and most people don’treally want another one.To build a new networkwith lots of engagement,Google needs a differentapproach. 18
  19. 19. And that approach is helping peoplebuild new ties via shared interests.
  20. 20. Here’s the thingabout meetingnew people:sometimes weneed a little help.Think of it ashelping usbreak the ice. 20
  21. 21. Knowing people’s interests can helpwith breaking the ice... ...and Google already knows a lot about our interests...
  22. 22. What if...Google madebetter use ofwhat it knows Here are a few rough ideas...about ourinterests tohelp us betterconnect withothers?
  23. 23. Explore your interests. These are some topics and people we think you might like, based on your search history and Google+ engagement. ☐ Travel to exotic places.How about an Tips and ideas from people like you.Explore pagefor tuning ☑ Social enterprisewhat Google mixes business and mission. Insights from people in the field.knows aboutour shared ☑ Clean energy is ourinterests? future. Stay up with the latest trends and breakthroughs from people who know.
  24. 24. Google is starting to play with Search as a kind of interest-sharing icebreaker...(See how the Explore page is now highlighting search topics?)
  25. 25. But what if our “saved searches”became a much more importantway to consume content andconnect with people?
  26. 26. How about morestructured,standardizedways to tellothers about ourinterests on ourGoogle+ profiles?
  27. 27. And what if we could use that infoto more easily find people, based onwhat they tell us they care about? Topic clean energy
  28. 28. What if we could tag our postswith these same categories...
  29. 29. ...and then filter people based onhow heavily they engage with ourposts in those categories?
  30. 30. Shared circles are great for gettingpeople to circle you.But they can also perpetuate the“rich get richer” problem...
  31. 31. We need better tools for followingpeople back - like improvements tocircle notifications to make iteasier todiscoversharedinterests.
  32. 32. And how aboutintegrating a Marvel Fan Clublittle of Google b luGroups, to help n C Fagroups of usbetter engagearound sharedinterests?
  33. 33. These are just roughideas, but make nomistake:“Icebreaker technology”is absolutely critical toGoogle right now. 33
  34. 34. It will help Google build the “interest graph” - which improves search and ad targeting. And that means more revenues.34
  35. 35. More importantly though....7 hours = 3 minutes / Google has a real problem with Google+ engagement, especially relative to Facebook. 35
  36. 36. Facebook will use its deeper, moredistributed engagement to betterunderstand people’s interests... andthreaten Google’s core business. 36
  37. 37. The world doesn’t need anothernetwork to engage existing friends, oranother network to hear more fromfamous people.What it does need is a betternetwork to share interests with thosewho share our interests. 37
  38. 38. At the simplest level, that meansGoogle needs to invest like crazy in helping us build new relationships around shared interests. And that, in the end, comes down to giving us better tools to break the ice. 38
  39. 39. All images use Creative Commons licensing:• Sea Ice:•Wall:• Party talk:• Alone:• Chimps:• Bieber:• TV:• Talking:• Radio:• Operators:• Couch:• Handshake:• Limbo:• Twister:• Badges:• Ice: