Thursday, October 10, 2013

Google Glass and Social Media

If you’ve been breathing for the last few months, you’ve probably heard talk of Google Glass.

This ongoing conversation has been promoted by the media, personal blogs, word of mouth, and marketing efforts by Google. The talk ranges from Google Glass as the pinnacle of technology to Google Glass as the annihilator of privacy.

If Google Glass achieves half of this speculated ability, we’ll have X-ray vision superheroes (and villains) walk among us.

With lasers. Hopefully there will be lasers.

So much of the dialogue has been about these larger than life theories that one very important effect of Google Glass has been overlooked.

Google Glass and its relationship with social media

Social media is already at our fingertips. Literally.

We carry our smartphones around with us wherever we go. My smartphone has become an extension of myself and works as a means of organization, communication, scheduling, and socializing.

I update Facebook, check Twitter, and share photos on Instagram throughout my day, without ever reaching for a computer. I reach in my pocket for my smartphone instead.

Look, everyone! No hands!

At the most recent Google I/O conference, where techies of the world unite, Google announced that Google Glass will include social media applications. Glass will have third-party applications, called “Glassware,” for Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Path.

With the device, you can automatically share videos and photos from Google Glass to your Gmail contacts and Google+ circles.

Social media applications available on Google Glass

According to, social media apps like Facebook and Twitter are extremely simplified on Glass. Some simplified versions of these social media applications work well (or relatively well) on Glass, and some of the apps still need some work.


Twitter for Glass allows the user to experience some, but not all, of the features of Twitter.

Users can:

•    Share Glass photos with followers
•    Compose tweets to @ replies from users they follow


The Facebook app for Glass is even simpler than Twitter for Glass.

With this app:

•    Choose to share to either Public, Friends, or Only Me
•    Upload photos from Glass


Tumblr for Glass is arguably the most useful social media app available on the device.

Users have options to:

•    Decide which Tumblrs and followers they’d like to share Glass photos with
•    Set frequency of Dashboard updates
•    View GIFs, even animated ones

How Glass will affect Social Media

If Google Glass takes off in popularity the way many predict it will, it may be incorporated into our culture and society as quickly and effortlessly as smartphone technology has. If this is the case, then the way we interact with social media is bound to be affected by the convenience of Google Glass.

We might be more social online than ever before.

Even closer than our fingertips, Google Glass will give the user the opportunity to snap a photo, record a video, update a status, and connect with people more easily than ever before. That means that you’ll share more and your friends will share more, creating a culture that constantly learns about other people’s lives.

This phenomenon will even extend to strangers, if facial recognition technology reaches Glass. See a stranger in the crowd, and receive information from Glass based on the personal information the individual shared on his or her social networks. It might even be acceptable to spark up a conversation with the individual if your interests align.

There could be a merger of traditional interaction and online social interaction.

Again, this prediction assumes that Google Glass and/or its competitors become as popular as smartphones are today. If everyone has Google Glass, or a comparable wearable device, then in-person social interaction may be supported, or even initiated, by interaction on social networks.

In-person conversation may center on a funny video someone just shared via Glass, or a hangout between Glass users may continue once the group meets up in person.

The giant influx of data will cause an information overload.

If you think people post photos, videos, links, and status updates a lot now, just wait until everyone owns their very own Google Glass. The prediction is that Google wants their wearable device to eventually be as widely available as the smartphone. That means a lot of Glass users.

As people share more and more information online, this may cause there to be too much data available online. Your feed will be bombarded with too many photos, videos, and updates for you to possibly react to them all.

This overload may cause important information to fall through the cracks, especially if Google attempts to alleviate the problem by ranking information in your feed based on your predetermined interests and preferences.