Michael Robson left a comment on my Google+ and a Revolution in Social post tonight. I started writing a response to it and started drafting out some thoughts on why I think Google+ is ultimately being developed. I thought it would be worthwhile to put it up as a post to start a discussion about it.
Be sure to check out Michael’s review of Stephen Levy’s “In the Plex” which is about Google.
I speculated a bit on why Google would want a social network last year before G+ was in existence and I think their aim is social search. If I do a search for a book, Google will eventually show me a list of books that you and the rest of my social graph have read first, and then list best sellers, and so forth. Circles allows them to see how we are connected to people and who has higher priorities in our lives. Recommendations from friends and family will be slightly higher than people I’m just “following.”
But you’re right with your last point. Mobile is the future for G+. It’s a staggering amount of Android devices being activated daily. Every Android device is attached to a GMail account, which is attached to… a G+ profile. It’s why people have been spreading rumours about a Facebook phone (which I’m sure would be selling at a million users a day if the phone was good and offered globally). That’s the primary focus.
With the G+ app on Android, you have the option to upload your pics automatically to G+ (set as private as the default). I think this will help Google build a larger geo-centric graph and create a better sense of what we’re seeing, not just sharing. Maybe not so much with family photos, but when they start analyzing the data of the scenery behind the human figures in photos, they will be able build a hierarchy of the visual.
Going to take a big leap here, but think about the world in Minority Report. Tom Cruise walks down a pathway and everywhere he looks there are ads popping up directed at him. Surely, not all those ad placements will cost the same, but how do you judge which wall should have premium costs involved? I think the groundwork starts with G+ on Android, so they can begin development on the Augmented Reality (AR) apps.
They already know where we are (GPS).
They know what’s there (Maps, Places, Latitude)
Now they need to know what we’re looking at.
Of course, it’s late at night and I may be dreaming.