But there is change in the air.
Recently, Google unveiled its own foray into social media with the limited rollout of the Google+ project. Touted as "Real-life sharing rethought for the web," it gives the company a means to extend its prowess in assessing how we interact with the fabric of the Internet based on an organization's experience with search, mail and mobile within the social media realm. Google has already rolled out integrated Google+ components on its search engine optimization arm.
Most people are wondering what Google+ is. Currently, Google+ is composed of a few different products that work in tandem:
Circles is the platform on which Google+ is built. While Facebook doesn't distinguish between users' different groups of friends, Google+ will make sure they don't accidentally share the same content with their grandmother and their fraternity buddy.
Sparks is comparable to Facebook's "Wall." It's a customized stream that takes into account the user's interests.
Hangouts is a feature that will allow users to video-chat with one another. It will accommodate multiple users and has a feature that will determine who is speaking and enlarge that person's video accordingly.
Huddle will be a text-based version of Hangouts where users can chat with groups of their friends.
Instant Upload will allow users to get pictures and videos onto the Google+ platform. It integrates mobile platforms with the Google+ platform.
Google+ will have applications in our industry on a number of fronts. From the beginning, for example, Google was comfortable enough with advertising to allow ads onto its platform. But within the mature market, relevancy is going to be a must, and Google certainly won't dilute its product with ads that aren't relevant to users' interests and needs. There's speculation on other ways companies will be able to interact with users, but Google will be rolling this product out very slowly -- and that's part of the strategy.
Do we believe this will be an immediate social media game-changer for the mature market? In reality, it probably won't make "waves" (pun intended) with most users for the next few years. But expect Boomers to be curious about what they can gain from Google+ if it is successful with a younger demographic. Given what we now know about the mature market's proclivity for social media, this may give Google a chance to develop a platform with Boomers in mind from the beginning.