AfterDawn: Tech news

Google+ not dying, Google insists

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 23 Nov 2011 10:39 User comments (6)

Google+ not dying, Google insists Google+ is part of a larger plan, apparently.
When Google+ launched this year, it was described as the search giant's best effort in the social space, and possibly the biggest threat to Facebook's dominance of the field so far. Why not? It hit 10 million users within 16 days, compared to two years for Facebook and Twitter.

After 100 days in operation, it hit a 40 million milestone. On paper, it would certainly look like a winner, but a tally of registered users cannot tell a complete story about the popularity of a web service nearly as well as analytical data.

Chitika, a web analytics firm, reported that the Google+ excitement began to fade just a month after its public launch. Its data shows a 60 percent drop in traffic. As for the number of registered users, Google has not released updated figures since September.

Media outlets have already dug the ditch, with Forbes publishing a Eulogy for the service, and Slate declaring in a headline that, "Google+ is dead". Well, not so, according to Google.

Bradley Horowitz, vice-president of product at Google+, says that it is aimed at being more than simply a social networking service. "Google+ is a foundational element for identity, relationship, interest across all we're doing at Google," Mr Horowitz told BBC News.

Google is really attempting to build a social layer across all of its services, including GMail, YouTube and Blogger, helping to tie them all together. "Everything we do is going to be informed by this sense of person and interest and relationship, so that all users' data can be used in their interest at their discretion," Mr Horowitz says.

"So the concept of Google+ dying, it's a misunderstanding of what we're doing. We have not even begun, let alone these reports of premature demise."

Tags: Google
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6 user comments

123.11.2011 13:13

They should really try advertising the service or something, because not one of my friends knows what it is...

Just a thought. I'd rather use it over Facebook, but not if there's no one to use it with.

223.11.2011 15:01

Anyone who uses google services, like gMail or even Android will use G+ in some way.
These kinds of articles seem to think that if it isn't as "exciting" as Facebook then it must be dieing.

G+ serves an entirely different purpose. It serves that purpose well and is not going away anytime soon.

But, if you use it expecting to see what gym your twice removed cousin is working out in today or want to find out what happened at that party over the weekend that you missed, then you'll probably be disappointed.

G+ is for Bloggers and people who like to read bloggers. It is topical like Twitter, but more engaging. It is NOT the place you go to follow your friends, to see what is happening in their daily life, like on Facebook and will probably not be that in the foreseeable future.


Oh, Im sorry... Did the middle of my sentence interrupt the beginning of yours?

325.11.2011 14:37

Originally posted by Morreale:
They should really try advertising the service or something, because not one of my friends knows what it is...

Just a thought. I'd rather use it over Facebook, but not if there's no one to use it with.
Totally agree... The service seems more robust and more thoughtfully designed. I'll admit, though, that I'm not the most experienced social network user.

It's sort of like how everyone would buy an iPhone at first even though At&t's service kinda sucks and there were better phones to be had.

If Google is willing to stick it out for a while and give it some time, they will probably gain the market advantage like Android seems to be doing.

425.11.2011 22:40

I agree with the Slate article that Google made a boneheaded mistake by not allowing company profiles or public pseudonyms at the time of full launch. The point of that article is that Social Networks are not like other applications, but that they are "places," and that Google hasn't figured this out yet. For a new social network seeking to make inroads against an established player like FB, first impressions are extremely important for new adopters. It determines whether and how often they return. Ongoing analytics show that G+ traffic peaked months ago. Perhaps this will change in the future, perhaps not.

Google has since backed off their previous stance against company profiles and public pseudonyms (for which they deleted thousands of profiles in a rather heavy-handed fashion.) Facebook has a similar restriction that profiles use real names, but it is rarely enforced (and typically only when complaints are filed against a profile on the grounds that it is impersonating someone else). Why doesn't FB delete profiles with pseudonyms like G+? Well, because the folks that run FB understand social networks a lot better than Google evidently does.

When Google banned all those profiles for not using "real names" (or even just Western-sounding names!) they claimed it was all for the higher principle of truth in identity -- that pseudonyms were bad for the Internet and caused people to act impolite and possibly criminal. (Seriously.)

Now they change this policy? Was it not a matter of principle? Was their original argument finally seen for the nonsense it is by Google staffers? Either way, unless you want your real name publicly visible and integrated into all of Google's properties (including search) and cross-referenced to everything you have ever submitted in a text field while signed-on to Google -- all there for anyone to mine for whatever purpose, then you still have to wait (and wait, and wait) to utilize G+ as they are taking their sweet time implementing their new policy. It is little wonder to me why the excitement around G+ has tapered off. This, coupled with Google's more serious problem of their overall brand slowly losing its decade-long luster as more users become disenchanted with the company's growing impersonal corporatism, and I see G+ as "too little, too late" at this point.

526.11.2011 8:44

No idea, heard about it a while back and since nothing... Case in point i guess.

626.11.2011 9:58

It never really seemed like a service unto itself to begin with.

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