When Google launched it in 2011, Google+ was intended to be a direct competitor with Facebook. As such, it was loaded with a myriad of functions and features to enhance both its appeal and do-all utility. The folks at Google envisioned a platform that would integrate every service available under the Google umbrella, from photos to YouTube to messaging, into one brand.
Despite its initial growth, Google+ floundered, never seeming to find its legs under the burden of its all-in-one format. As a result, Google is splitting up with G+. This, of course, is no news to those who have been declaring Google+ dead for some time. Still, in making the break-up official, Google holds out hope to us that there may yet be a future for a trimmed-down version of G+.
Even as Google needed to separate itself from a brand that fell short of its lofty aspirations, its dismantling of Google+ may very well be a blessing in disguise. As an alternative to Twitter and Facebook, a leaner, more focused Google+ offers an empty canvas of untold possibilities. Think of it as an amusement park, stripped of its roller coasters and Ferris wheels, its high-value real estate and property manager still intact, and you begin to see my point.
Creating a Monster to Slay Facebook
Where Google+ failed was in seeking too broad an appeal by combining too many disparate services, ultimately creating too much confusion in its integration of them all. When the aim is to rival Facebook for users, it’s understandable that Google would feel the need to muster all of its services together to maximize its numbers. Unfortunately, those numbers were less a testament to the success of Google+ than the result of funneling traffic into a crowded lobby, similar to selling everyone tickets for every attraction just for a ride on the merry-go-round.
Throughout the lifespan of Google+, the numbers Google cited to signify its success were based on use of services across the platform, and not indicative of how (un)popular Google+ truly was, and still is. There were several reasons for its inability to gain traction, not the least of which was the confusing layout. As a hub for so many different features, it lacked a sense of cohesion. It appeared jumbled and thrown-together somehow. And, of course, in a sense it was, for the reason stated.
Some of the push-back that Google encountered about G+ centered on privacy issues. Specifically, many users resented having to use a publicly searchable profile in order to access services linked to Google+. The reasoning behind using real identities was to create an environment where spam and trolling would be less commonplace than in other social media. So. would both Google and the internet at large be better served by making anonymity the rule, or by instead creating another version entirely, a place for “real” identities to meet?
Addition by Subtraction
Google+ has the potential to become what Facebook might have been with all the right privacy settings and spam filters in place. A place where users could focus on keeping up with friends, family and acquaintances. It may just be that the internet doesn’t so much need a rival to Facebook as it does an alternative wherein users can actually communicate with each other.
Google+ now benefits from a clean slate in many ways, and a sleek design. Those are appealing features in themselves. What is left of G+ when the superfluous is cut away may become the blueprint that will organically draw those communities that Google tried to artificially create.
Given their track record on social network developing (0-for-4, if you’re keeping score) it seems a better choice for Google to build the G+ platform into something on a more modest, but focused scale. Stripped of all the trappings inherent to an all-inclusive platform, it actually has enhanced its appeal in some ways.
Having burned the bridge between Google and G+, it is possible that from the ashes there may grow a network from which your brand can grow along with it. Sometimes it’s better to whisper to a captive audience than to shout for attention in a crowded lobby. credit-n.ru
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