Great article on Read Write Web about the rumor of a new Google Social Network called possibly Circles. LINK
I have written before that Social Media and Marketers via Social are still at 1.0
We have Fan Pages and Twitter Accounts because those are the platforms that to date Marketers have been able to convert to Marketing Channels. Remember for MySpace it was just digital advertising that was the Channel. So you see lots of Social Media Agencies focusing on Facebook and Twitter Marketing.
But the chances of these still being the main platforms in 10 years is Zero. In 5 years? Not sure. People move fast. We are very public on twitter because Direct Messaging is one on one vs for groups right now. I run a Facebook Page for a client. Over 80% of all accounts that are Fans are private. This doesn't prove we want privacy. It proves we want choices. And without the choices our default is 100% private. And we are cautious what we share!
I only publicly check in on FourSquare with Twitter rarely now. Same with Gowalla. In fact for Gowalla I am very picky who I accepted as my friend because I want to keep it a circle of people I am ok seeing I checked in where ever I decided too.
Circles and possibly Diaspora could be offering us this choice. And it just takes enough of ones friends to start trying a platform to get us all to move. This is a BIG threat to Marketers but not Brands. Brands do not bet the house on one Marketing Channel. They use them all and allocate resources where needed. But there are a lot of Agencies and Freelancers betting the house that Social Media will always be a public forum to reach people for marketing. There are add on technologies doing the same like Klout who if everyone goes private they can not measure Social Influence!
Stay tuned for the next chapter and Social 2.0 because it is coming and while I do not see it disruptive for Brands, I see it very disruptive for Marketing/Advertising/PR. Remember the people only care about having a great communication platform for Friends and Family. They do not care about talking to Brands via Social. That is not why we are using Twitter and Facebook. I bet 99.9999% of Communication on those two platforms is between people not people-Brands.