Google Plus – email re-imagined?

In the last few weeks a lot has been written about whether Google Plus is the ultimate killer social networking site of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or several others, you name it. Perhaps we have seen far too many articles and blog posts on the topic and while I do think it’s just a bit too early to make such kind of statements, even if Google Plus has just reached over 25 million users already. I still think it’s a bit too early to be announcing the painful death of each of those social networking environments. Let’s not forget how long it took both Facebook and Twitter to become mainstream and reach that tipping point of no return, of rampant progress, of gaining enough relevance and importance to stick around for a while, in short, of having enough global impact that almost everyone has heard, or knows about them. G+ still needs to reach that level. I do know though it will reach it eventually, perhaps even sooner than anyone else!, but what I am rather surprised about is the fact that hardly anyone has talked or blogged about the fact that Plus does present a real threat to the king of communications, collaboration and knowledge sharing: email!

For me, one the interesting things I’ve found about the Google+ experience to date is how much it resonated with my experience of enterprise microblogging platforms.

Now, Google got things right with Gmail (right now, it still is IMHO the best email app available and I love my ninjas), but stumbled with Wave. Google+ may well end up being the evolution of Gmail into email being re-imagined, perhaps later combined with the elements of Wave that did work (and also Open Social). But for that happen, Google+ will need to support a seamless, minimum level of compatibility with current email systems and other social tools.

Being open could be a recipe for success over the longer term, rather than trying to make Google+ the single social network. The unstated goal should also be to retire Gmail in its current form (although I’d like to keep the ninjas!). And that’s where I see the enterprise going too – who will be first?

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