I have been “using” Google Wave for over 2 months now. I write “using” because even though I had the privilege (good job Google for making us desire the product so much, that now I call it a “privilege”) of using the service, I did not know enough people who A) had Google Wave, and B) knew how to use it. Yes, I watched the Google tutorial videos, I read the blogs, but I still was not sure about its functionality in my social media sphere.
Now, after using the service extensively for more than a week, I think I am “in thrilled” once again. I discovered a new world in the social media sphere, and this world is called Google Wave.
These are 5 elements I think make Google Wave a great tool:
- It is a fast communication platform. In contrast to Twitter, you actually get notified when one of your contacts send you a wave (note: you need to have a Google Wave notifier, just like a Gmail notifier but for Google Wave).
- You can add as many users to the conversation, or “wave”, which makes it a great project management tool, or any group discussion tool.
- It has all the features of an email, social media, and then some. Just like a real wave that travels on the ocean’s surface in high speed, the “waves” of conversations travel much faster with all the features available to the users on the Google Wave toolbar.
- The use of Google Wave felt much more personal to me than Twitter. On Twitter, for example, conversations, or tweets, start and finish fast. Google Wave is different. I had times that I exchanged more than 30 “waves” in one conversation (hence the personal feeling).
- The last thing I liked- and I know it might sound irrelevant, but I still liked it- is the fact that you can literally see the person on the other end of the “wave” typing, erasing, thinking, and typing again. I found this feature quite exciting, although I do not see it benefiting anyone marketing wise.
So, is it a perfect product? Not quite. There are few faults about Google Wave, which I am sure Google will eventually fix (just like they did with Gmail when it first came out):
- Google Extensions are not available to Mac users (although it might change this weekend), which eliminates any use of the Google Wave notifier I was mentioning earlier. This is annoying because you literally have to check your account quite frequently to see if any of your friends “waved” you. Hopefully this will be fixed soon with the release of the extensions package for Mac users.
- Like any new product, it took me time to figure out how to use all the functions available, and with this I mean even the simplest function like adding a contact. It was not clear to me, and I know I am not the only one. I had a few friends who could not even find the reply button, which is really quite “hidden” with all the other widgets on the toolbar.
- Lastly, Google really limited the amount of people who can use Google Wave. This makes it difficult to use, because not that many people have Google Wave. In that sense this product is pretty much useless unless you find someone to “wave” with. Luckily for me, I had a few friends who were “privileged” enough to have it.
Overall, I like Google Wave very much. I think it is a great addition to the Social Media sphere, and I am anxiously waiting to see in what way marketing leading companies like Hubspot will integrate it into the Inbound Marketing sphere.
If you have Google Wave, I would love to read your thoughts on it.