5 Steps Google Must Take Now To Bring Google+ into the Mobile Sphere

It is official; Google has made it in the world of social networks. After countless failures, the likes of Buzz and Wave, Google+ has hit ten million users in a short period of two weeks.

It seems that user feedback is overwhelmingly positive once you get passed the initial “I don’t get why I need this in addition to Facebook”, “Google copied Twitter”, and “Checking this out but so far, I don’t get it” updates.

Of course, by now it is clear to all of us that for a social network to make it, its mobile implementation has to play a very central role in its growth. The following are five steps Google must implement immediately for its growth spurt to continue into the major leagues of Twitter and Facebook who have millions of mobile users:

  • API: Just today we saw the first iPhone app offer access to Google+. The problem is that it is a workaround and we will not be seeing many more apps enable you to post on Google+ so long as Google does not release it’s API for Google+. Of course, Google probably wants to release its own iPhone app in addition to the already existing Android app before it opens  up the API for 3rd party apps, but the success of Google+ very much depends on other apps accessing the API.
  • iPhone App: With 200 million devices running iOS, Google is not naïve enough to believe its Android app, no matter how great it might be, is enough to bring the social network into the major leagues. In fact, Google has already submitted its Google+ app to Apple for approval. This was two weeks ago and still nothing. As of now, all iOS users are forced to access Google+ via the HTML5 Web app. Now as much as HTML5 might be the future for Web apps, the Google+ app is sorely lacking many features, and is very buggy at times. This cannot go on and Google has to pull a few strings over at Cupertino to get its app on the fast lane into the App Store. This is a must, and every day that this does not happen, means a whole lot of users ditching the idea of Google+ and going back to Facebook and Twitter.
  • Cross Platform: Google+, as the new kid on the block, has to stand out. While the Android app is impressive and the iPhone app is on the way, when are we going to see Google+ apps for BlackBerry, Nokia, WebOS, and even QNX. What is QNX you ask? It is the OS that the BlackBerry Playbook runs on and guess what it is missing? A solid Twitter app. Creating a free cross-platform app for Google+ might help Google separate itself from the other players in the social game. Yes, there are already Twitter and Facebook apps for most mobile Oss but only a few platforms have official apps created by Facebook and Twitter itself. An official Google+ app for every mobile operating system in the mobile landscape will really give Google the lead it very much needs in the mobile space.
  • Data Portability to and From: One of the most problematic issues with Facebook and even Twitter is data portability (ever try backing up your Twitter lists?). Google knows this and included a simple option to “liberate” your Google+ data at the click of a button. Google did not do this out of the kindness of their heart, they did it to differentiate themselves from their competition. Except for Google+ to really take off, users are going to need to easily sync their data from Google+ to their mobile phones, as well as vice versa. Google should also be looking for a  way to cooperate with the other social giants the likes of Facebook and Twitter to easily sync users’ data from those services to and from Google+. Although, something tells me, our friend Zuckerberg won’t jump from excitement when such a proposal is raised by Google.
  • Integration with Other Apps: Here is the thing with the social Web; there are a lot of players and everyone is competing with everyone. As a user, do I update my status on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn? Do I check in on Foursquare, GoWalla, Facebook Places or using some other less known service? All these social players are fighting each other at the expense of the user and are essentially shooting themselves in the foot. If Google offers a mobile app that integrates other services such as Foursquare, Twitter, FB, Quora: (yes, I know this is a far fetched dream), the barrier of choosing one service provider for all your social or check in needs would be knocked down and users, by the millions would migrate from the Facebook or Twitter app to Google+. That is sure to increase the virality of the newest and most exciting social network on the Web.

It is just a matter of time before most if not all of the steps mentioned above are implemented by Google, which means one thing. Google+ is on its way to making a huge impact on the Web and the world of social media.

Author: Hillel Fuld

"Hillel is a tech blogger who manages multiple sites such as Technmarketing, Appboy, and inneractive. In addition, Hillel has written on many leading online publications such as Mashable, Gigaom, and others. In addition to his blogger hat, Hillel is an active Twitter personality who defines himself as a "Social media addict". When Hillel is not blogging or tweeting, he is the Head of Marketing for inneractive, a mobile startup that deals with app monetization across all mobile platforms."

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  • Tanner Wells

    I disagree with quite literally every single one of your points on what google “must do” to remain viable. The service in no way shape or form hinges on there being an iphone app available. give me a break.

  • Tanner Wells

    I disagree with quite literally every single one of your points on what google “must do” to remain viable. The service in no way shape or form hinges on there being an iphone app available. give me a break.

  • Ron

    making android apps easily compatible with the google plus platform will be an additional incentive to developers wanting to reach more people

  • Ian Scott

    MOBILE…. SPHERE

  • TabberWellsIsFag

    Fag. At no point does he say that it will hinge on an iPhone app. 

  • Guest

    The main thing google needs is to add games to the social networking site to keep people on it for 30 minutes-hours at a time, just like facebook does.

  • http://twitter.com/bdpowell81 Brad

    I agree with most of your points!  As a user of most of the mobile apps you have pointed out, having one universal platform to connect everything I do is very important to me.  I have used the service now for almost a week and see great potential for this social network.  I think Google is going to really pay close attention to devs and current users of the site and come launch, we will see a revamped Google+ that will have a good, fighting chance of taking a lot of devoted followers of the “F” away!

  • Bruce Hackler

    “After countless failures” I love authors who use flamboyant descriptions, it’s that or he can’t count very high. 

  • Anonymous

    How stupid, it isn’t even out of “limited trial” and you are already demanding it expand into other areas. They can’t even open it up to the general public yet!

  • Anonymous

    How stupid, it isn’t even out of “limited trial” and you are already demanding it expand into other areas. They can’t even open it up to the general public yet!

  • Mmm

    Why can’t I +1 this????

  • Mmm

    Why can’t I +1 this????

  • Sean1977

    lol 5 steps google+ must take, who are you again?

  • Joe Ward

    From beginning to end, this article is bad.  Not only is it a difficult read, it is flat out wrong. What does Google need to do to make Google+ a success?  Exactly what they are doing: Working out the minor bugs, making sure everything is working smoothly, then roll out the next feature set.  Rinse and repeat as needed.

  • http://twitter.com/HilzFuld Hillel Fuld

    Thanks for the mixed responses… Happy to see the article got some emotions stirring…

  • Tim

    “iPhone App. This was two weeks ago..” – with 130million Android devices and growing fast, Google shouldn’t waste its effort on Apple, just like Facebook doesn’t bother with an iPad app

  • Tim

    “iPhone App. This was two weeks ago..” – with 130million Android devices and growing fast, Google shouldn’t waste its effort on Apple, just like Facebook doesn’t bother with an iPad app

  • roses

    I think its great will be better than twitter, facebook, is the next best succes I cant wait to join google+

  • http://twitter.com/Andjelija Andjelija

    You can get google+ for your iphone here http://t.co/2t0E1sq :-)

  • http://www.bigdavegrizzly.com/ Big Dave Grizzly

    Google Mobile is there with several Google Apps, but Google+ is not among them yet. It has been over 2 weeks now and we’re still waiting. Not waiting desperately mind you, but just looking forward to a more complete experience on the iPhone.

  • http://www.bigdavegrizzly.com/ Big Dave Grizzly

    This would be a pretty similar regardless of the product discussed. He was talking about what he thinks Google+ should do to succeed on the Mobile App world.  Google has done an amazing job listening to us all as Beta Testers, they are receiving suggestions and criticism openly. 

  • http://www.bigdavegrizzly.com/ Big Dave Grizzly

    Why would anyone purposely limit their target audience? I don’t see Apple losing a ton more market share anytime soon. Any app developed for one would do well to develop for all platforms as Hillel points out in Item 3. I’m sure Android would have had its own bullet point as well if it was not out already. Again, why exclude any portion of a potential market.

  • Ruslan1313

    I like that now the picture and videos I take are safe and away from my cell phone. It is just more peace of mind thanks to Google.

  • http://profiles.google.com/penguin.balances penguin.balances awesome

    ” It has been over 2 weeks now and we’re still waiting”. 

    right, because Apple are quite generous and open about their products and services for other platforms.

    i find it strange that Apple give virtually nothing to other mobile OS’s, yet Apple’s customers expect  those same other OS’s to give generously to Apple’s mobiles.  if you want these things earlier and so badly  then get the premier platform they run on, otherwise be patient because you have a platform that is not Google’s priority right now.

    Google have it in their best interest to have their products and services on as many platforms as possible, but why do you feel you’re already waiting too long during this beta period for an Apple version of a Google product? 

  • http://profiles.google.com/penguin.balances penguin.balances awesome

    ” I don’t see Apple losing a ton more market share anytime soon” 

    except they are losing market share, and have been for a long time, be it a ton or not. 

    http://www.cellular-news.com/story/48744.php

  • http://profiles.google.com/penguin.balances penguin.balances awesome

    ” I don’t see Apple losing a ton more market share anytime soon” 

    except they are losing market share, and have been for a long time, be it a ton or not. 

    http://www.cellular-news.com/story/48744.php

  • http://profiles.google.com/penguin.balances penguin.balances awesome

    ” I don’t see Apple losing a ton more market share anytime soon” 

    except they are losing market share, and have been for a long time, be it a ton or not. 

    http://www.cellular-news.com/story/48744.php

  • Dantallion

    He’s one of the critics.