Google’s new social network, Google+, has a lot of early problems: it looks and feels a lot like Facebook, but doesn’t offer anything obviously compelling enough to get users to switch. Plus, there’s nobody on the service yet.But there’s one aspect that should have Facebook a little bit nervous.
Once you’ve signed in, every Google site you use gets a toolbar across the top with some new icons related to the service.
Among those icons is a little notifications window. Whenever somebody adds you to their Circle (“friends” you, in Facebook terms) or comments on something you’ve said or shared, the notification window turns red. You can’t help but notice it — just like the badges on iPhone apps that get you to check for new messages.
Gmail has more than 200 million users, and every single one of them has to be signed in to use it. Google.com gets more than 1 billion visitors per month, and some of them are going to be signed in as well. As those users sign up for Google+, they’re going to be continually reminded to check the site.
That’s one way to build an audience fast.
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