A number of sources believe that Google are due to unveil a new social network called “Circles” at South by Southwest Interactive today.
One of the main “selling” points for Circles is improved privacy whereby the user can choose which “Circle” of friends sees an update or certain information.
At the moment, it seems that Chris Messina and Jonathan Sposato are some of the lead guys on the project. Early feedback from developers is quite positive because these two have impressive backgrounds and track records. It is highly likely that “Circles” will be constructed using a standards based approach to make it easier for developers to create new tools and widgets and apps for the new social network.
So what does this mean for Internet Marketers?
Well it would seem that this social network could allow for high quality communication about specific interest topics. It may result in better interactions. However, people could shut down the commercial message so you may have lower reach.
I always say that quality trumps quantity. So if Circles allows businesses, influential people et al. to talk about their industry sector then it may be a tool for better marketing interactions. If it allows people to ruthlessly filter out noise then the “hard sell merchants” will take a hammering. That’s great for ethical marketers that take a longer term view on their online interactions.
Ultimately, the more control users have the better it is for businesses who are honest and genuinely interested in helping people within their sector.
Who knows, you could see mass migration from Facebook to Circles like we have seen from Bebo to Facebook here in Ireland.
I will be keeping a watchful eye on developments. Let’s hope Circles can become a useful tool that helps people maintain relationships better.
Read more about Circles from the source article I used for this post by Marshall Kirkpatrick at Read Write Web
Here is an excellent presentation from ex-Google social technology researcher Paul Adams who has since moved to Facebook. It could help us understand the concept behind Circles.