Analysis and strategy recommendation for google+

Introduction and case background
This is an interesting case on late entry advantage in the social networking arena. was the first social networking website followed by Friendster, Hi5, MySpace and Facebook. We analyze various social networking website from the period of year 1997 till date and reasons for their respective successes and failures. We also provide recommendations for the future success of Google+, the latest entrant in the market.
Business problem started with an idea to connect people online. However it was clear from its initial success and subsequent failure, that people wanted to do more than just connect with each other online. Websites such as Friendster, MySpace tried to fill this user need but were overtaken by Facebook, Currently the largest social networking website. The case gives a hint on the fact that sometimes late entry to the market is actually beneficial for the company as it gives them time to understand the landscape and avoid mistakes done by the previous companies.
Important factors and analysis
So what were the reasons for Facebook’s success and can we predict similar success story for the latest social networking site from Google? Facebook provided a platform where users could not only connect, like, but could also spend time playing games or consuming media. Facebook learnt from mistakes of previous companies and refrained from putting heavy advertising on its website. Unlike its predecessors, Facebook also offered external players to develop apps, games etc. to provide more user engagement.
However success of Google+ as a social network will depend on lot of different factors. The primary area of concern is the switching cost for users. People like to spend more time on the social networking site which best represents their friend circle. The more people a social site has, the more people tend to use it for longer duration and the more popular it gets. Google+ is backed by Google which is considered a powerhouse in search but is not very successful in social media.
In our SWOT analysis we found following details:
  • Strengths: Google Supported, Existing Gmail Users, Capable Infrastructure
  • Weakness: Switching cost, Novelty factor, less number of people
  • Opportunities: Better privacy control, more open policies
  • Threats: Competition, Market dynamics
Alternative strategies and recommendations
Based on the above analysis it is clear that making people switch from an existing social network would be an uphill battle for Google+. Google+ could gain more by not presenting itself as a replica of Facebook but by informing users of its better and easier privacy controls. Providing an option for users to take control of their own data could also be a game changer since Facebook is often criticized for its draconian data access policies. In addition, Google+ could also rely more on the user feedback to incorporate real time updates functionality to tap into twitter market share.

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