The circles and hangouts are allowing a paradigm shift in social.
It really is happening on G+.
While following the activity of tech industry folks and celebrities on Google+ might lead you to believe that Google’s new social network is a sort of long-form Twitter, where users pontificate for a public audience, Google says that’s not the case.
(Seriously, watching the volume and speed of comments on new posts by Myspace founder and Google+’s leading armchair critic Tom Anderson is simply insane.)
In fact, Google+ users are two to three times more likely to share privately with one of their Circles than post publicly, Google revealed for a profile in the San Jose Mercury News. (The Merc article talks about “general” posts, but Google+ commander Vic Gundotra clarified that this means “public” posts.)
That’s an important metric, and one that validates Google+’s aim to be a more private social network.
Google announced last week that Plus is already facilitating one billion items shared and received per day. That measurement does not include public shares, and it’s counted a bit oddly, as I wrote at the time:
Essentially, each counted “share” is the number of people who potentially see any one item.
If a user shares a picture with a Google Circle of 40 people, that counts as 40 shares — even if all 40 people don’t actually look at the photo. If a user shares something publicly, it’s not counted.
Google said this is consistent with the way it counts sharing in Gmail and other products. However, it’s a bit of a tricky metric; at first glance it would be easy to think that Google means one billion items are posted to Google+ on a daily basis already — which it doesn’t.