eView: Don’t Overreact to Google Chrome
The recent launch of Google Chrome, the search engine's free open source browser, has some marketers concerned that they'll need to spend time checking yet another browser to ensure their online promotion campaigns appear as designed.
That's understandable. The mere mention of Google launching a software application brings with it expectations that throngs of users will flock to it, and that revenue opportunities will increase. But before stretching your already strained budgets even further, I'd advise a wait-and-see approach.
See if it sticks first
A Sept. 4 post on ChannelWeb.com noted that Google Chrome's market share was 1.15 percent, according to Stat Counter. While that number may seem high considering the offering has only been available since Labor Day, it still pales in comparison to Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Mozilla's Firefox, which combined have more than a 90 percent share of all Internet surfers.
Add Safari and Opera users to the mix and you've covered more than 97 percent of all Web surfers. Even early adopters who've downloaded Google Chrome are still using other, more mainstream browsers at least part of the time until they get a better feel for the product's feature and function set.
What's more, Google Chrome may not necessarily be primarily focused on dominating the browser market. Google may, in fact, be using the tool for information gathering purposes to improve its other products, such as its ad serving products.
History may repeat itself
Many analysts will tout Google's large user base as a reason to jump on the Chrome bandwagon, but numbers can be deceiving. In fact, with the exception of Google Earth, the company's installed product adoption actually is quite small.
Google Analytics, YouTube, Blogger and other popular products were incorporated into the company's line of offerings through acquisition, and came with an already large user base. A quick check on the adoption of its organically developed products, such as Google Desktop, Google Health, Google Finance and Google Calendar, is smaller.
Time will tell
None of this is to say that Google Chrome won't make a positive impact on both consumers and marketers over the long term. But marketers need not hit the panic button just yet on their current and planned online initiatives. In a year or so, Google Chrome might be a browser to take into account. But for now, the best tactic organizations can employ is to not overreact.