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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Can Google create another Android with Plus?

Since the launch of Google Plus, one question that I keep asking is whether Google can replicate the success of Android by disrupting the social realm.

After the iPhone set the pace for what a smartphone is supposed to be like, Android came over and disrupted the market such that established leaders like Symbian were virtually torpedoed out of the market.

This time around Google has Plus, its third major attempt at entering the social space. Though the smartphone market is distinct from the social space, it may not be far fetched to stick one's neck on the line and make the Android claim for Plus.

From how I understand Plus, Google's fundamental goal is to force Facebook to open up so it (Google's) crawlers can access the vast store of user data behind the Facebook walls. And what better way to do this than offer a far superior platform that has everything Facebook and more?

Of course Facebook will not sheepishly open up just like that, something evident from its doing its utmost best to frustrate any attempt at exporting one's "friends" list.

To pull aother Android with Plus, Google would need to iterate faster than Facebook can copy. Not long ago we wrote here about how Google could take on Facebook simply by straddling the latter. Well it seems Google did that and more, so Facebook is the one to now do the straddling, or copying from Plus.

Also Google would need to make Plus as open as possible to as many other social networks as possible. For instance, I should be able to post from my Plus account to Twitter and vice versa. The Liberate your data feature of Plus is already a good sign of how open one can expect Plus to be.

Of course Plus is not even public yet, so it's too early to say what form it will take regarding inter-operability. However, if Google wants to really pull off another Android- which I expect is going to happen with time- in the social realm, it'll first need to make Plus as open as possible, putting the end users in at the center before advertisers.

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By Salman with 1 comment

[Infographic] State of the Internet 2011

The interntet, our ever present second home, has woven its way into every sphere of our lives and has come a long way. The following infographic gives a great overview of the state of the internet in 2011

State of the Internet 2011
Created by: Online Schools

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By Seraaj Muneer with No comments

What Startups Can Learn from Google+

After a series of misses in the social realm, Google seems to have hit it right this time around with Plus, their new social media service. Yours truly was fortunate to have had an invite into the pre-release and it's really an exciting  service in the making.

A lot has be written about G+ and will be written. What I find very intriguing about this Google project is the level of interaction between Google and the end users. When one thinks of a company the size of Google, it makes this level of interaction even more unprecedented.

Having Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Vic Gundotra, Marissa Meyer among others all using the service and actively responding to user feedback will go a long way to make the service a force to reckon with. 

In all of this, there is a lesson to be gleaned, especially by startups; involve end users as early as possible and as much as possible. Previous Google social attempts all proved futile because the company assumed for users what they wanted. It's very exciting and humbling having the likes of Vic Gundotra thanking you for your feedback in comments.

Since we all have ambitions to start our own businesses, the Google Plus success lesson should go a long way to guide us in all our ambitions, especially as young Africans who have the odds stacked heavily against us. 

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By Seraaj Muneer with No comments
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