Digital Marketing News Update – Google+ vs Facebook and iPhone 5 Rumours


Google+ release

This week saw Google release its much anticipated social network which it hopes will rival Facebook’s popularity and pick up those apparently numerous disillusioned users.

While that dream is still a long way off, Google+ is certainly proving popular with its current users as well as those still awaiting their invite (yes like me).

But while most reviews are heralding Google+ as the new Facebook, it also has some real potential as a viable workplace solution which could better support communication and team working.

The Circles feature in particular is great if you’re working with different teams or groups of colleagues. You can set up a circle for each group or for specific projects and send updates to the group that are relevant to them. You can post links to files, status updates or recent developments without having to clog up your colleagues email inbox.

And more than that, you can connect with other users outside your organization so you can create a circle for a project which includes individuals from any number of companies.

Another really nice tool which supports this is Hangout, Google’s video conference facility which allows you to video chat with up to 10 people. What’s really nice about it is its integration into Google+ so there’s no messing around with a separate app. You can move seamlessly from IM to video chat or even leave it open in the background to allow your contacts to chat to you as and when.

You can also use the IM function during your chat so you can share links which relate to the topic you’re covering. This might also work well if you’re delivering a presentation to the group as users can use this function to pose questions without interrupting.

As well as Circles and Hangout Google+ also has Huddle, a group messaging service and Sparks which allows you to set favourite topics and pull in related search results.

While the system isn’t yet perfect Google have been quick to respond to any flaws. There have been some complaints around privacy when sharing information and Google have assured users they are working on fixing it.

All in all it’s a great application and given the level it’s being pitched at during the beta phase it will be interesting to see how Google develop tool for wider release.

Google’s blog has more about these functions as well as some nice videos.

Also if you’re using Google+ and are wishing it looked more like Facebook you can download a Google+ Facebook Theme! Yes I’m serious and yes I think it’s ridiculous.

Editor: Usability issues aside (they’ll soon fix these) Google+ offers some really game-changing stuff. This isn’t a pure Facebook replacement but a lot more. Interestingly I know somebody that is working on a toll that will take all the content from your Facebook page and port it over (wehere possible) to Google+. Something like that may be what people need to make them bother with the transition.

Facebook is fighting back

While Google is making great strides, Facebook is by no means sitting back on its laurels.

Facebook has already integrated streaming music in Europe thorugh its affiliation with Spotify and rumors are that we’ll see this rolled out in the UK very soon. Announcements are expected to be made at its f8 developer conference next month and all tied into Facebook’s music offering.

However it seems a more imminent development will be announced this week and looks set to be the integration of a Skype style video chat facility into Facebook linked to its existing IM service.

And we’re expecting big things from this week’s announcement which Mark Zuckerburg claimed would be “awesome”! Of course he would say that but it’s a considerable claim he’ll be expected to deliver on.

The full announcement will be made on Wednesday and as usual I’m sure us Brits will have to wait a while before we see it. In the meantime I think I’ll start playing with Google+.

Editor: Google entering the market and starting to offer something that can compete with Facebook (in some ways) is great news for consumers and should really heat up the innovation drive.

iPhone 5 update

For anyone experiencing withdrawal symptoms now that the warm glow of the iPad 2 has started to fade, here’s what we hope is some detail about the new iPhone 5.

The design looks like it will remain true to the iPhone 4 but hopefully with a slightly larger screen in a move to match with it’s Android competitors. It’s also hoped that a black and white version will be available a little more speedily than the iPhone 4 release.

The phone will almost certainly run on iOS 5 and will come with wireless syncing although full use of Apple’s cloud based software may not be an option right away.

We may also see the iPhone 5 to use Apple’s new A5 dual core processor which means we can expect speed to match the fastest Androids on the market.

And finally, although it looks as though we won’t see a massive improvement to the camera, Sony’s CE has indicated that they may be making an 8 megapixel camera for the iPhone 5 which will bump up the image quality a few notches.

Of course this could all just be a dirty rumor but this lot seems to be doing the rounds so I’m convinced.

Editor: This is an improved phone, but calling it iPhone 5 is overstating things I think. Its an improved iPhone 4 and not much more. Of course I’ll buy one though….

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