It’s been a year since the launch of Google+ and I for one was very excited at the prospect of a new social network as a self confessed social media addict. However, a year on, what has happened with Google+? Has it taken the world by storm as predicted? Well in a word, no.
On paper, Google+ sounds really good. They have over 170million users signed up to the service and you can video call using their hangouts feature and divide your followers into circles, so that you can send certain messages to certain groups only rather than your entire friend list. It also provided a fresh start so that you can move away from the hundreds of friends you made years ago but no longer want to know what they had for lunch.
On the other hand, Facebook their main rival, who had 700million users at Google+’s launch last year has grown by 200million users. Furthermore, Facebook users are active, with reports finding that in January this year, an average user would spend 7 hours on Facebook in contrast to the so called ghost town of google+ where users were likely to spend just 3.3minutes per month on the site.
To give google+ it’s dues, it is a thriving network amongst certain small groups, but on a larger scale the network simply isn’t sticky enough to tear people away from their timelines. A further reason for the lack of use for Google+ is the slow initial release to news corporations and marketers, for example brand pages were not allowed on the site for four months, which could have lured customers to the site with their messages, instead the ‘shine’ went off of the network and many marketers didn’t even bother to create a page for their brand.
I do still see the benefit in google+ from a search engine optimisation point of view, as I’m sure Google may use this as an advantage in their algorithm. Plus, you never know, they may just pull something out of the bag to give Google+ a boost and if you’re already there you’re more likely to succeed in this eventuality. But for now, get used to posting updates to nobody.