Thursday, July 14, 2011

Google+ circles: revenue generating genius

You've got to love the fast-paced way in which business models around us change and keep us on our toes.

Google+ has gained a reputed 10m users in its first week and it shows signs of creative sales and marketing at work in a really, really clever way.

Users are invited, encouraged, to place their contacts into 'circles' to make it easier to share content selectively with different groups. What a great idea, and very convenient.

Even better, Google promises that your contacts won't know which 'bucket' you place them in; but, of course, Google will and here lies some of their cleverness.

You see, Google's algorithms can begin to build up an ever richer picture about the people you know and interact with, nuanced by the detail of all the circles that they're placed in. It's not just your descriptive label for the circle that Google can use; they can do detailed analysis of the circle's characteristics from their knowledge of the other members, and the circles that they are also in...

Only Google gets to see this full picture, with all its rich potential for honing their finely-tuned advertising engines; and the (evil?) genius is that contacts don't get to opt-out - you place me in your circles, whether I like it or not. Brilliant!

Once more, the economic value of a 'free' service works out to benefit the service provider.
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