Since google+ brand pages launched earlier this month questions have been asked why pages such as Burberry, NASA, Honda and CNet have managed to accrue such a large number of followers. Of course, this is all relative to Facebook and Twitter’s rate of adoption which boomed through ’07 and ’09 respectively.
What has happened is a shift of early majority adopters. Those who would usually rank as mid-cycle in the diffusion of innovation have moved forward as early adopters because they’ve become comfortable with the concept of social media. After innovators, 13.5% of the whole Market is needed to cross what Geoffrey Moore defined as “the chasm” to reach a tipping point.
Google+ had it made from the start. Not only did it possess the distribution of the most visited website in the world, but previous social cynics are now eased into the ideology and usability of social networks. The invitation system to get users on board is exactly why Apple under-stock their stores when a new products released. The challenge to be first brings gamification into real life.
Once the dust settled on google+, access was opened to the rest of public (early majority) sparking another wave of new users and activity. The stage was set for brands to sign up safe in the knowledge that they’d instantly have an audience desperately waiting to be engaged with.
The first brands on board that users had emotional attachement with were jumping to connect. And despite the flurry of fake pages, the ones that appear legitimate and were controlled by the brand stood out above the rest.
Does this mean google+ is set out to be a as big as Facebook? Far from it, and I think google have other things on their agenda such as using google+ profiles to leverage more definitive demographics, like with Facebook Ads. It’s early in the grand scheme of google+ and it will probably take about a year for us to see whether it really just has been a flash in the pan or part of google’s longterm strategy.