What does Google+ mean for video?
The biggest news in technology over the past few weeks has been the launch of Google+, the new social media site from the most widely-used search engine on the planet. Naturally, the question on everyone's mind is what sort of impact this new site will have on the world of social networking.
From my perspective, Google+ is rapidly making inroads, particularly among technology folks. I don't use tools that aren't useful. I use Google+ every day. It's the first thing that has come around in a long time that I can say that about.
Much of the appeal of Google+ is that it allows users to organize and categorize their lives. Its core component-- Circles--lets users sort contacts into different categories or circles, such as co-workers, industry experts, school chums, family and friends. Then, they can select them on the fly, as they create content. This ability to easily manage social groups and achieve some privacy is the big difference between Google+ and Facebook.
Privacy concerns have plagued Facebook since its inception in 2004. Users have long complained that privacy settings were inadequate and kept changing. In addition, instructions on how to protect their accounts have been classified as confusing.
While I find the Circles module both intuitive and attractive, for those less orderly, the process of categorizing--moving people around into different groups and the like--might be daunting and time consuming. For these individuals, the following questions loom: Will users go out of their way to customize the experience? Will they value the control that Circles gives them?
Personally, I see great value in having the ability to manage and control the flow of information. With Google+, it's all signal and very little noise. This is a fundamental difference from Twitter where one follows a feed of content. With Google+, you can easily move people in and out of your circles.
Many of my tech friends have moved over and embraced Google+, with more certain to follow in the days ahead. As Google+ continues to gain momentum and followers, I'm certain that Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook founder) will not sit still. Undoubtedly, he will integrate some of the features of Google+ into his own social networking site.
So, how do these recent industry developments impact companies like VMIX and others in the online video delivery space?
For starters, we're big believers in controlling where our content is delivered, and we're committed to our vision of delivering video content on any device to any person from a singular source.
Presently, third-parties are unable to embed video content into any stream on Google+. But, we fully believe our API's will be implemented as part of a future release. As such, we have signed up to be part of the Google+ developer program called the Google+ Project. We've shown the ability to push content onto Facebook and expect to duplicate that with Google+.
As for the next frontier as it relates to content (including video), I think much depends upon finding collaborative, intuitive filters as opposed to manual, keyword filters. We can all agree that there is plenty of social media content right now that is neither important nor interesting to us. Google's rich application set--combined with this new capability to understand what is valuable to the individual--will enable the company to take social networking services and make them less about pure entertainment and more about delivering useful, pertinent tools.
Google is uniquely positioned to offer users personalized content that they find explicitly interesting. Its +1 button is a step in that direction as it allows users to publicly give something their stamp of approval. Consequently, as it relates to our business, it should result in more relevant video content and offer a much more intelligent feed of content based on the person's interests.
Ultimately, through integrating your network via Gmail, calendar, Google docs and the like, Google+ is able to effectively bridge the gap between your social personal world and your social business world.
Greg Kostello is Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer at VMIX, a provider of carrier-class online video publishing and communication solutions. With 25 million unique videos stored, and processing over one million new videos every month, VMIX offers a reliable, scalable white-label online video solution.