Published on May 16th, 2012 | by Jesse Oguns0
Dear Google, Design A Unique Mobile Feel For Africa, Then People Will Start Using Goolge Plus
Recently, we witnessed a redesign of Google plus on the web. Many of the Goolge plus users loved it. Like it is often when there is a redesign of new product, like it happened with Facebook, people would often moan.
We have seen Google making several efforts to make people use Google plus. Some have termed it that Google is shoving Google Plus in people’s faces. There was a celebrity and influencers hang out at Get Arenna in Lagos last month.
This was an event that was hosted by Google to promote the product. It was well attended by lots of people, but I have observed that people have gone back to their comfort zone using what they are comfortable using; Facebook, Twitter, BBM, Whatsapp and other services that have ease of access on the mobile.
Google has a way for people to access its services on mobile too, as I have shared in recent times on twitter and as it is pretty obvious, Google and Facebook are still looking at how to crack mobile—how to turn mobile into a money spinning engine.
They have just released a new version of the Google app for iPhone. I have tried the earlier version and I think it is not so engaging. Unlike the one I just saw in this video.
[youtube dCz8xpEnmF0 nolink]
There are more than 50% of Nigerians that are accessing the internet via mobile. The remainder access the internet from a shared computer—at work or in a cafe, while only a very limited number have personal computers. That being so, it is going to be pretty hard to get more Nigerians to get used to using Google Plus.
Nigerians access the web primarily via mobile. You get more stored power on a mobile phone than on a laptop. Since power supply can be very epileptic, you are more likely to find more people using their mobile phone as the primary access to the web, to consume news, search for information and connect with friemds and interest on the social web.
No to forget that a sizable number of Nigerians that are using smartphones are using Blackberry. There is the Android range of phones too that is powered by Google, but the acceptance and adoption of the Blackberry phone far outweighs that of the Android phone, There are those who heard about Android phones, got excited about it, got it, only to start abandoning it at home or selling it off. Why? It guzzles internet data and the power/battery management is very poor.
But Google, advertising to the celebrities who are mostly on Blackberry, does not have a Blackberry app. I wonder why. There are two markets for the Blackberry phone; the enterprise and the consumer markets. It was initially meant for the enterprise users, but the younger folks in Africa and Asia found that it is a cheaper means of connecting with their friends via the popular Blackberry messenger (BBM). Even when many of them are not using a new Blackberry, they can be spotted carrying one. To get these young ones to start using Google plus from this parts, they have to do more than launching a way to post to Google plus via SMS and trying to pull people in using celebrities.
Once Google get’s in right and is sticky among a group of people—iPhone users, Blackberry users, bloggers or else—it is on its way to being here on the long run. Until a unique mobile experience is tied with it, it will remain a ghost town as far as Nigeria is concerned.
Do you use Google plus via mobile or via the desktop version?