Don’t write off Google+: it’s still before Ashton

Finally Google+ has launched a business service called Pages.

It’s been a long time coming and many have suggested that Google made a blunder by releasing their new social network to regular consumers, without creating any business offering.

In theory, Google+ should be a great service. It mixes the best parts of Facebook and Twitter and is directly connected into the Gmail email service, but so far consumers have not really embraced it and expert commentators have predicted a slow spiral into obsolescence – just like Google Buzz and Wave.

But perhaps a look back in time is what we all need?

Over two years ago the film star Ashton Kutcher was an early adopter. In a famous interview on CNN, he challenged the TV channel to get to one million Twitter followers before him.

This was really the start of the celebrity adoption of Twitter. Soon, musicians, actors, athletes, writers and artists were all using the network to interact directly with fans – without the need for a TV station as a medium. The adoption of the network soared to the point at which it now seems quaint to talk of a race to one million followers – Lady Gaga has almost 16 million today.

If the Pages service on Google+ now allows companies – and celebrities – to start using the network more effectively then will we see an Ashton Kutcher effect for Google? It’s not certain, but it’s too early to write off Google+ just yet.
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