A young woman sings about the advantages of the network Google+ and Internet users marvel. However, not all believe in a hit without a marketing strategy: The singer has up to now left hardly any traces on the web.
On the Internet, it is easy to speak out about anything. For just about any object or state of mind there is a page on the web. It would have gone down as a murmur that a young woman named Ashley Pitman recorded a love song to the social network if it was not about Google, a company led by men who no longer speak of money, but rather of how they will change the world.
In 120 seconds Ms. Pitman praises the advantages of Google+ to the melody of the Queen hit “Another One Bites the Dust”: Finally one can block the “uglies,” “randos,“ and “the friends I never liked.”
This is a way Google promotes its new social network, which is in direct competition with Facebook. The industry song is choreographed in a sort of state of dread: Ashley Pitman sits in a dark room, on the desk lie cold fast food wrappers, she stares at her monitor. She is killing time until the next of her friends’ status updates promises a diversion.
A few hundred thousand people have seen the video on YouTube. There is also a Facebook song, which has received more than 10 million hits. The Facebook clip was supposedly recorded by two comics without economic interests. The authorship of the Google+ song is still unclear.
25 million users have registered with Google+ since its start in June. With enhancements like the Angry Birds game, Google+ is making clear that it wants to contend with Facebook for customers and advertising. Nevertheless, Facebook has 600 million members world-wide; in comparison, Google+ is barely visible.
Reactions to Ashley Pitman’s Google+ promises are mixed. Some criticize that the memory of Queen vocalist Freddy Mercury, who died in 1991, is being sullied. Others think that it could be an attempted viral marketing campaign.
The list of fake personal profiles on the Internet is as endless as the web itself. The most well-known example is lonelygirl115, an allegedly distressed teenager, who reports about her life on YouTube. The access statistics climb and climb — until it turns out that the lonely girl is an actress and only wanted to be noticed by a film production company through her video diary.
The Google+ video originates from the American website break.com. There, equally bad and silly videos of very drunken students are published — a mixture of RTL-Explosiv and America’s Funniest Home Videos.
Ashley Pitman claims on her Google+ profile to be who she says she is: a real user. However, on the networks popular up to now — from Twitter to Myspace — there is no trace of her, except for the clip.
That is unlikely, because today just about every 10- to 60-year-old leaves behind a digital footprint in social networks. Google insists, by the way, that users only register with real names in Google+.