The recent public launch of Google+ was enough to secure their future as an up and coming social network online – or was it? In the weeks since the launch, something terribly familiar is happening…people aren’t going back. Like Google Buzz or Google Wave, Google+ might not be successful after all. There has been a 60% fall in activity since the launch – and this bodes badly for Google.
But Google+ still has a respectful 43 million users, so is it worth using?
The Life and Times of Google+
One of the first things we noticed about Google+ was that it attracted lots of tech-people and business influencers. The kind of people that tend to be progressive and embrace new technology. We also noticed that conversations and comments tended to be a lot longer on the platform, than on Facebook. This may have been due to Facebook’s character limit on their updates.
Now Facebook has upped their character limit from 500 to 5000 – which essentially destroys that unique feature on Google+. It seems at every turn, Facebook has been able to come back with updates and fixes that have blown Google out of the water. But Google+ is still ticking along, with a host of new features coming out soon, like the much anticipated business pages. Perhaps this will attract more online users, and their numbers will start to climb again.
One thing is becoming bracingly clear. Google+ has not been the runaway success that tech-lovers predicted. All the hype, secrecy and beta-phase testing in the world, could not combat the kind of innovations being produced by the Facebook team. So the question remains – should you bother being on Google+?
Facing The Music: The Google+ Dilemma
Honestly at this stage, it’s hard to say. For business-minded people that want to connect with influencers, it’s a nice platform. For the average, everyday user – it may not be as valuable. And that’s why the influencers are there in the first place. Google+ can’t be successful without a mainstream market. It’s behaving more like a really powerful LinkedIn group at the moment.
Bottom line is that it lacks the addictive-ness of Facebook, the marketplace, functionality and connectivity of Facebook – and is living in the shadow of an established giant that will not be supplanted. Google+ does not give users a compelling reason to stay. They check it out, muck around, and then head back to Facebook. It’s been blindsided by the incredible Facebook team.
At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide whether Google+ will be worth using. Yes, you can establish a business presence there without the business ‘page’ functionality, but even that seems forced. Why not spend more time on your Facebook business page, where you know you can get good returns?
Even business people know that time spent on any social network is money. Either you’re earning it, or you’re losing it. All we can say is, good luck Google+, you’re going to need it in the coming days ahead.
Do you use Google+? What do you like about it? Leave your comment below!