What happens when you combine the world’s largest search engine and email provider on a red-hot social networking site?
Google has already integrated killer search capabilities into Gmail, which accounts for approximately 38% of all email usage worldwide.
Now they are inviting you to import your Gmail contacts into Google+. In addition to that, you are free to do the same with your Hotmail and Yahoo mail contacts.
What do you suppose Google is up to?
Social Email is Possible if the Environment is Right
Many email services have been bringing social to email over the past year or so. Most of us just want to process our emails as quickly as possible, so the last thing we want to do is hang around reading the Twitter updates of our email contacts.
Email is for communicating and conducting business. Social networking is social. Can you mix the two?
Facebook attempted this last year when they merged Facebook messaging with chat, SMS (text), and email. The problem with so many other things Facebook is that it all happens within Facebook – without access to the rest of the world. All this really accomplished was to make it easier to communicate with our friends.
That’s nice, but not a category killer.
We do have business to conduct and if we can accomplish that on a single interface where we happen to enjoy hanging out, then it has merit. Many of us have discovered that our friends on Facebook and associates on LinkedIn tend to respond to the messaging from those respective networks better than email.
Combine all of them and you have what Google+ could become.
Social Email is Possible with Open Integration and Privacy Controls
The beauty of Google+ is that I can follow folks I don’t really know, as I do on Twitter. I can network with business associates as I do on LinkedIn. And I can let my hair down (what I have left) with friends on Facebook, while keeping all of these groups separate if I wish – or merging them as appropriate.
What got me thinking about this was that large and prominent email button on my Google+ profile – and these comments that suggest Google+ will be integrated into Gmail. While that may occur, I envision Google+ becoming what it can be – a fully searchable and social CRM that becomes our primary location for interacting with friends and colleagues alike.
When the environment (social and open) and the functionality (open, integrated, and searchable ) are right – you can really get a lot accomplished. Suddenly email doesn’t feel like such a chore.
This is what I like about Google+.
At last year’s Web 2.0 Summit Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said every industry (and by default every business) will have to redesign itself around social within the next five years.
Uh oh, Google is doing that right now.
We all stand to be the beneficiaries as they help us to do the same.
Leave a comment below or share this with your social community on Facebook or Twitter. You may also wish to try the Google+1 button in the red bar at the bottom of your browser.
And if you still need an invitation to Google+ just leave a comment below and I’ll send you one.
Until tomorrow, Jeff