Google+ Creates Data Gold Mine For Advertisers
The data Google collects from Google+ should increase the effectiveness for conversions and ad targeting. The overall result could become an increase in click-throughs and a rise in cost per clicks.
"For advertisers, one of the biggest benefits from Google+ will become the user data they don't have access to from Facebook," said Debra Aho Williamson, eMarketer principal analyst. "It will give them another medium to interact socially outside Facebook and Twitter."
Facebook allows marketers to reach consumers in a social environment. Twitter expanded that concept with ads that appear within the experience. The company that created AdWords and AdSense will create something just as successful for social media, Aho Williamson said. Insights shared by industry insiders during a call hosted by Wedbush Securities Analyst Lou Kerner on Tuesday suggest Google+ will impact Facebook's membership and ad revenue.
While it's not yet clear whether Google+ will become successful, it will begin showing the market that Facebook is not invincible, training people how to move between networks, per sources.
Google+ has become became the fastest-growing social site -- hitting nearly 25 million visitors worldwide as of July 24, just four weeks after launch, according to comScore. It took MySpace 23 months, Twitter 33 months; and Facebook 37 months. Now industry insiders wonder whether quick growth promises longevity.
Google understands the power of Gmail. Communication and photo sharing are two important toolsets in social networks, which could explain comScore's observation that Gmail could have prompted the quick uptick of Google+ users, specifically in the United States and India.
Andrew Lipsman, vice president of industry analysis at comScore, said Gmail appears to have become a predictor of Google+ adoption. The U.S. and India lead in adoption rates. Aside from the U.S., India has the highest continuous increase of users. He said Google+ has about 6.5 million users in the United States vs. 3.6 million in India. "We looked at the correlation between Google+ and Gmail and we found a strong association with an r-square of about .69," he said. "In fact, India has the highest penetration of any market of Gmail."
About 63% of Google+ users are male, compared with 37% female, according to comScore. The data firm said Chrome users are twice as likely to use Google+, and that the highest percentage of users falls between the ages of 25 and 34.
By contrast, Twitter's business could withstand more competition compared with Facebook, mainly because it serves as a broadcast tool -- a method to send content to a large audience.
Facebook, unlike Google, has only one domain. And although Facebook Connect is a fundamental technology for the Web, the social site did not create off-domain revenue from that product.
Google will need to continue to build Google+'s user base or risk losing members. The "follow" effect becomes one of the biggest problems companies have when it comes to sites driven by social behavior. As people begin to exit a social network, more tend to quickly follow. The timeline could quicken depending on the momentum.
As Google opens its application and gaming environment, which some expect within the next few weeks, the company could quickly double the amount of application providers by creating a social system that will likely spread throughout Google's platforms -- not just Google+.
Expect Google to allow brands to have a little more fun with interactive features compared with Facebook, said Robert Scoble, managing director at Rackspace Hosting. Ridding the service from noise will become Google's biggest challenge. There is no tool to filter specific posts; for example, with words such as "politics."
Brands and organizations are waiting patiently to start using Google+. Ford Motor began sharing on Google+ since launch. Opening the service would allow government agencies, such as the Navy, to use another social media tool, alongside Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, which would allow it to reach possible recruits as well as enlistees and their families.
Update: A Google spokesperson wants it made clear that the company "will never give or sell personally identifiable information about users to advertisers. Whenever we provide information on users, for example in reporting, we will require a high minimum number of users for the data to show."