Google+ Is Not Just Another Pretty Facebook

Tim Beyers sits down with Rick Engdahl to talk comics, TV, movies, tech, and related geekery. Beyers is a member of Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team, as well as the real-money Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I growth portfolio.

Beyond just a Facebook alternative, Google+ has become the "touchpoint for all things Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) ," Beyers says, representing not a stand-alone social network, but the social aspect of your entire digital life -- and it has some high-profile cheerleaders.

A full transcript follows the video.

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Richard Engdahl: I always feel like the other secret weapon that Google has, that people -- and perhaps investors -- have written off, is Google+. More and more, it seems to be one of those things that everybody has, whether they realize it or not, and it's really becoming the spine of the user experience on Google.

Tim Beyers: Right, and it's how you get access to every other Google service. Google keeps a profile, you log into that profile, that profile has a Google+ page. You can use it if you like, but it's how Google knows who you are, and it gives you an entryway into every other Google service you use.

If you notice, on your Chrome browser it'll say... for me, it'll say, "+Tim" -- that's my Google+ profile -- and it'll say Drive, which gives me access to all the productivity apps, YouTube, Gmail, and on, and on, and on, all of these things that I can look at.

And all of that starts with Google+, so you're right. It's incorrect to think of Google+ as a Facebook alternative. It's where Google gets to know you, and gets to control your access to the rest of the Google-y world

Engdahl: They just flipped a switch, and now, in order to make a comment on YouTube, you do it through Google+.

Beyers: Yup.

Engdahl: They seem to be, now that it's kind of locked in as the touchpoint of everything Google, they seem to be making this push of, "And we want you to acknowledge Google+, in and of itself," with that move.

Beyers: Yeah. You know, it's been slow going, but you can see that some big influencers are really taking to this -- and it is an advanced network. I'll give you an example.

Guy Kawasaki, the former Apple Macintosh evangelist, wrote a book about Google+, sort of advocating it as the ideal social network. That's fascinating, especially for a guy that was an early adopter of Twitter, and a pretty heavy adopter of Facebook, for a while.

Now, he is all in on Google+. He also got early access as a consultant to the new Moto X smartphone, which he considers one of the best smartphones out there. It's very interesting to see a Mac guy look at the advantages of a Google universe and the integrated nature of it, recognize it, and fully adopt it. It's pretty fascinating.

But I would say yeah, Google is taking these deliberate steps because the more that you acknowledge that your entry point to Google is via Google+, the more likely it is you'll be to share your Google experience, the more likely it is that you will try other services.

You're interacting with YouTube via Google+, you're introducing other people to documents you're writing in Google Docs. It becomes, instead of being on a social network, your digital life becomes entirely social. Does that make sense?

Engdahl: In a frightening sort of way.

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  • Report this Comment On October 28, 2013, at 8:20 PM, chrisp114 wrote:

    Leaving facebook for google+ is like leaving Wal-Mart for Target. I guess Target is slightly better, but essentially they are the same thing, and there is no real compelling reason to leave. Sure, google wants all of their services to be connected to google+, but that's not really what users want. The biggest issue with facebook and google is privacy. I decided to leave facebook, but I didn't go to google+. Instead, I went to Ravetree - because they offer privacy (and they don't have ads). It's all about privacy!

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