The competitive prospects of Google+

Google+ looks like Google’s best effort yet in social media. To get a handle on industry reaction to Google+, we did a quick survey over the Fourth of July weekend of 451 GigaOM readers on Google+’s chances for success, its competitive weapons and its likely impact on other social companies. In a new research note at GigaOM Pro (subscription required), we analyze the results.

Why does asking GigaOM’s readership make sense? Because, as we suspected, they’re radically early adopters, as the 69 percent of respondents that said they’ve tried Google+ shows.

Source: GigaOM Pro

We asked this early adopter audience what kind of impact they expected Google+ to have on the competition. What did they think? As shown in the chart above, survey respondents think Google+ will have the biggest impact on Facebook and Skype, while companies like Twitter and LinkedIn won’t feel as much heat.

Why Facebook and Skype?

A few select quotes from the survey’s open-ended responses (the best of which are in the research note)* may give you a clue.

On Facebook

“Google+ has the potential to be a Facebook without the ‘my life is better/worse than yours’ component. Instead, it can shift the focus from digitally stalking your ‘friends’ to making authentic human connections how and with whom you choose.”

On Skype

“Google+ makes video chat an obvious choice rather than a secondary offering just to remain competitive. Initiating a hangout is intuitive. Combined with Circles, Google+ can be a place to share information with friends, family, and coworkers — even as a place to get work done — that moves the ‘social network’ idea to the next logical place.”

That’s not to say that Google won’t have to work hard to compete in the social media space, and the company’s past flops in this area only underscore that fact. For more on Google+’s competitive outlook, and to see more of the survey results, read the full research note at GigaOM Pro.

*To protect the identities of the respondents, we have not included names with any of the quotes.

Disclosure: Automattic, the maker of, is backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of this blog, Giga Omni Media. Om Malik, the founder of Giga Omni Media, is also a venture partner at True.