It’s been a year since the launch of Google+ and I’ve noticed very little fanfare about the anniversary. Perhaps they’re waiting to celebrate the anniversary of the general public launch in September.
Or perhaps they’re not looking to celebrate at all. After all, what exactly would they be celebrating?
Last September, in response to the public launch, I wrote this piece on the future of Google+:
Let me get my prediction out of the way, right here at the beginning. That way, anyone who feels the need to tune out can. And those who are worked up about my prediction can start forming their charged rebuttals without having to wait for me to get to the point.
I think that Google+ may end up being a flop. If not a flop, then definitely not the major evolution in social media that the fat cats at Google are predicting. It may go the way of Google’s previous social media experiments: Google Wave and Google Buzz.
In the months since, I really don’t think a whole lot has changed. The numbers for Google+ are up, but then, the bean-counters at Google have begun using some pretty dodgy numbers — such as including people who have used any number of sites in the Google family (such as YouTube) as “regular users.”
Sure, there are people who use the Google social media service — and some of them have thousands of followers — but does this make it the player that Facebook is?
Here’s a little barometer check for you: Google “news” for both Facebook and Google+. Take a gander at which site people continue to talk and write about. Here’s another barometer check: Simply ask your friends how many of them regularly use their Google + accounts in comparison to their Facebook ones.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Google has the ability to direct market to almost every computer user on the planet. Have a YouTube account? You now have a Google account. Use Picasa? Ditto. And still, major inroads aren’t being made.
A final teller? The new Apple iOS6 will contain a built in Facebook app. Google+? Not so much. And when you’re not going to appear on the majority of smart phones and tablets on the planet, catching up is going to be impossible.
Google+ does have a niche. Some of the geeks/nerds love it (and, while I put myself partially in the geek/nerd camp, I’m not a G+ fan). And some of the refugees from the “Facebook is evil” camp have also embraced it.
But I don’t believe that it is a serious contender for the major social media crown.
So, the survey for the day. Two simple questions:
1. Do you regularly use Google+?
2. Do you see it as a legitimate threat to Facebook?
Let me know, either here, or Facebook, or on Twitter.
Just not on Google+.
I’ve kind of deleted my account.