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