The Elephant in the Google+ Huddle: Community Monetization

The Elephant in the Google+ Huddle: Community Monetization

Google+ invites have circulated for a couple of weeks now and as the exclusivity begins to wane, curiosity of Google+’s evolution is on the rise. One thing that seems incredibly common is that Streams are too frequently populated with updates on Google+ itself – something that many users have begun to find quite annoying.

Suspiciously absent in all the Google+ talk is an active discussion of how Google plans to make money with their social network.

Let’s start that discussion here.

The unavoidable comparisons between Facebook and Google+ have been tackled from every conceivable angle, but the balance sheets tell the true story as to why these networks exist in the first place. Facebook’s 750 million users will help to generate an estimated $2.2 billion in annual display ad revenue, while Google will be lucky to generate $1.2 billion.

It’s not often that Google is the small player in any online game, is it?

When Google first launched GMail talking heads all wondered why Google would bother to invest so much in technology just to give away the service and data storage for free.

The answer was simple — to serve more ads.

If you haven’t made the connection yet, Google+ will most certainly serve up ads all over the place and they will probably do it in dozens of different ways.

While we as users of Google+ are getting acclimated to Streams, Circles, Huddles and Sparks – Google is probably hard at work trying to find the best way to blend in sponsored ads, links and videos of all kind. Cementing this belief for me is that Google has already taken a steadfast approach to preventing businesses and online communities from infiltrating their network, while knowingly attracting some of the most active and savvy online publishers as their core group of users from the start.

What do you think is in store for Google+?

Discuss in the comments below, and let’s get some ideas flowing.

EDIT: Jon Henshaw wrote a post on Monday discussing the same thing, but it much more detail. Please give this a read: Google+ will introduce new ad types and higher prices

8 thoughts on “The Elephant in the Google+ Huddle: Community Monetization

  1. “Google is probably hard at work trying to find the best way to blend in sponsored ads, links and videos of all kind.”

    Oh i think they have already figured that out – maybe with a few unknowns depending on the adaption and us “users” interacting with it. Lets me honest, there probably will not be much “innovation” in the matter of ads. I think it will be very similar to FB with the right column being utilized, I wouldn’t be surprised with some inline stream ads.

    On a side note, i have also installed google+ on the droid. which comes with a sort of “mandatory” gps utilization. (sort of as i can disable gps on the phone) which will give me a stream of “locals” i do not know in my general area. I do give them a + on that, as i am sure we will see a similar foursquare local “deals” and check ins integrated there.

  2. I agree with Mack. I think they already have a plan in place for ads. This is just a time of “wait and see” for Google as they track how the new social network is being used.

    I would not be surprised to see in-stream ads but I think the mobile/local market is what they are really after. They want the mobile space so bad they made their own mobile OS and gave it away for free.

    1. They also built their own OS are now selling ChromeBooks later this year. That doesn’t mean they’ll be successful though, does it? The mobile and local space would make sense – but many are having many problems with the mobile app. I can’t even log into + on my Android phone. Even if I could though, what could they do aside from record where I am? There are no businesses allowed on Google+ yet, and AdWords advertisers can’t drop ads into + yet. I’m not saying you’re wrong, though. I think those things are all coming – but why aren’t they there now? Google isn’t known for pushing out incomplete products on this sort of scale.

  3. Far be it for me to question the almighty Goog….but I don’t get it.

    I mean, I’m sure that they’ve got a monetization plan in place. Like the above, I’m sure it’ll combine the sidebar, in-stream and location based channels.

    Maybe I’m missing something, though. I just don’t see the appeal. It’s like Facebook, but, worse? The only real benefit that I see, unless I’m missing something, is their use of privacy settings within your Circles. While that is a solid feature, it’s not enough to make me jump ship (or even use them in tandem, with an regularity.).

    As far as privacy concerns go, sure – Facebook isn’t known for making it easy to keep your personal information, well, personal. That being said, I wouldn’t trust Google with the information anymore than I would Facebook…

    If you’re really that concerned over the privacy of what you’re posting on your social networks, perhaps you should rethink posting it at all.

  4. I agree with Eddy… although it does seem like somewhat of an improvement in the user interface from Facebook, there’s no novelty to it.

    I do like how quick and compartmentalized it seems to be to access the information but I’m not sure if this will make me want to shift over to Google + or even continue using them after the hoopla has died down.

    I guess I’ll just sit and wait.

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