In Defense of Google+
Numerous headlines and articles have declared “Google+ is dead”. The sad thing is, as Google continues to dismantle the framework surrounding Google+ (G+), the widely speculated demise is quickly becoming a reality.
But G+ hasn’t died of natural causes.
Yes, it was flawed from the start and it was never going to meet the lofty targets that Google CEO Larry Page set for it back in 2011. But it’s not dead yet, and indeed it won’t be until Google completely pulls the plug and here’s why.
The complaints against G+ are manifold. Ranging from poor user experience to a lack of engagement and a plummeting user base.
Let me quantify ‘success.’ As an unknown writer, with only my boss for company on G+, when we started receiving hundreds of site visitors from G+ alone each month we started to take note. Our site only receives a couple of thousand unique visitors each month, so any upturn is noted.
One of the most insightful responses I received was this: ‘Everything isn’t meant to be “general market”. G+ has attracted a much more mature and politically aware core audience and thinking people are simply not the general market.’
Clearly, Google has failed in this regard. G+ is far from a complete social network.
So why did Google try and compete in the first place? People were never going to move from Facebook’s cushy confines and this is why G+ has failed; because it has ignored its user base right from the start. Misstep #3 on Denning’s list.
I can only call it a fortunate mistake. But if we took a spectrum of social networks. With the frivolousness of Twitter and Facebook at one end and the more serious natured LinkedIn and Quora on the other, where would you place G+?
Yes, there are plenty of communities that constantly share motivational quotes, and they receive commendable engagement. But the only ‘Cat Pictures’ community I could find had 13 followers while ‘Science on G+’ has 582,457.
Strip it down, get rid of the pushy excessiveness that characterized the amalgamation of all Google’s services into a social network and concentrate on the small, but highly engaged user base you do have Google.
Quora on the other hand, affords little other than pure question and answer functionality – G+ could, feasibly, fill a gap between the two. But that’s a speculative attempt to save a platform that seems to already be lost.
Indeed, what drove me to write this article, wasn’t an urge to disprove Denning’s conclusions that G+ is dead. It was an urge to silence those who believe it’s a completely defunct platform. Call me an idealist, but there’s a possibility that G+ has just missed its niche.
Without hashtags too, Brandon’s posts were doomed to fail. I’ll let you in on a secret, if you don’t have many followers then sharing publicly is pretty defunct; no matter if you are an established and excellent writer.
The point of G+ is to find the communities who might be interested in what you have to say and share it there. When I write for Ri Web concerning digital marketing, web design, entrepreneurship and small business I find relevant communities to share the posts to.
By doing so, you have a ready-made audience keen to engage with your content and answer your questions. Such communities are still alive and well and if Google decides to take note G+ could be too.