Skip to main content

Why Google + never exploded


Social media in the current age is dominated by three major players: Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. Google attempted to insert itself into this market through Google +, but their efforts have not had the impact on social networks they wanted. Google + was marketed as a brilliant conduit which could be used to connect people and to bring together Google’s various successful and wildly popular services like Google Drive and Gmail under one interface. But while, Google could boast a wealth of external services, it’s social media platform was seen as under-cooked and overly similar to it’s competition.  Google claimed that their newest product would “change the way people shared their lives online”, but in reality, it barely had an effect on the way people use social media and this article shows readers the fatal flaws that caused Google + to flop.

On paper, it would appear as if a large section of the population is using Google Plus. Logging onto the platform allows users access to all of Google’s apps and services as advertised, but the social media aspect is significantly underused.  Research done by blogger Kevin Anderson (seen in graph in article) reveals that 2.2 billion profiles have been created but only 4-6 million of these people are using Google +. Even more tellingly, only 6% of users have been active in 2015.  This situation can be displayed through a large social network with billions of nodes that have very few links to each other. Since so many nodes are inactive, they are isolated from each other and even the nodes that had activity initially and interacted with others through weak or strong connections would eventually have stopped their activities since no one was there to view it. Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin have access to massive social networks of nodes as well but these nodes are in constant interaction with each other and there is constant activity within social/business groups so there is little to no incentive to switch to Google Plus, especially when it’s platform is not as strong as it’s competitors.

The article also listed several other factors to why Google Plus never hit the ground running but they aren’t as strongly related to the materials discussed in class. Here is a short summary of the points listed:

1. Google Plus was slow to move into the mobile industry. Facebook too was late into this process but they invested heavily in making their mobile presence felt.

2. Google Plus did not have the full support of everyone within Google

3. Vic Gundotra, the leading force behind Google Plus, left the company in a surprise move, without leaving a succession plan.


Leave a Reply

Blogging Calendar

September 2015