Real life social networks

13 Jul 2010 by Randall Helms, No Comments »

Paul Adam, Senior User Experience Researcher at Google, has recently posted this fascinating paper on real life social networks. Well worth a look.

According to Mashable, this paper is rumoured to be the basis of Google’s next venture into social networking. I remain fairly skeptical about the consumer need for new social networks; now that Facebook is nearing total penetration of the Western world, what’s the incentive for individual consumers to move to a new platform and take the time to rebuild their friendship networks? After the failure (more or less) of Google Buzz, I’m surprised that Google would be moving so quickly back into trying to create its own network, when it would make more sense, in my opinion, to better figure out how to exploit opportunities with the existing social networks.

In any case, if they want to be successful with this new venture, they’ll need to figure out how to deliver something that is both user-friendly and unique, that will allow users to do things that they cannot currently do with Facebook or Twitter. On the revenue side, I suppose I can see the potential of Google to leverage their existing advertising relationships, but search marketing is a different beast from social media marketing, so it remains to be seen how enthusiastic major brands are about having to use another social platform.


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