• I think writing off G+ is not just premature, but also illustrates just how wrong our impatient Microwave Culture has gone. The platform launched four months ago, opened to the public a few weeks ago, and is still very much an early Beta release with existing features actively being tweaked and new ones rolled out on a regular basis. While the gurus may have moved on (thank god!) and the hype is dying down (thank god!), I’m seeing activity from regular people steadily tick upwards, not unlike what happened when Facebook lagged MySpace because it was just for kids.

    PS: I’m cross-posting this comment as I’m curious to see where you get more activity. :-)

    • I think you are right.  My attitude has been wait and see, and I have not wavered from that.  I still think we’re waiting and seeing, too. Interaction rates could stand to increase still.  We’ll see. :)

  • It’s easy to get to an arbitary number of users if you already have a large user base which can be directly integrated into that new service from the existing services you offer.
    If <5% of those 'users' are using the service on a daily basis, it'll be hard to show any benefits in the short term – especially if there's no growth outside the existing Google user base.
    The biggest challenge Google plus will have to grow that 'circle', is there already are a huge number of social networks which people are engaged with. Perhaps, unlike Linked In and others, they need to focus on their key differentiator not on features which mimic facebook and that will attract users from the outside in.

    • I would agree with this during the first phase. Recent growth exploded after Facebook’s F8 conference and changes to privacy. Competition is a bitch.

  • I am seeing or interpreting things a little differently. To me, Google products have always had a good base product which I see as great building blocks for the features that will later lay upon that base product. I don’t necessarily think that Google+ will take the social media market. I see Google+ as more of an extension of their social features and integrating those into their integrated schema.

    Saying that, Facebook is putting up a better fight than I thought they would. However I think FB will will plow forward with reckless abandon as they have done recently with their sharing our every move on news sites and will eventually turn people off. Their scrambling now. With that said, I think their partnership with Spotify and other music/multimedia companies is smart as long as they see these companies as more of a partnership and let them do what they do best and not try to oversee and control things at a high level essentially locking out possible innovation.

    I have always thought Googles culture was very innovative when they had Labs and were trying new things. I’m not so sure that closing all the projects in labs was a good idea and has caused me to second guess where they are heading. I think Google+ was also a big push for Android and Chrome. I think they are looking at those markets and Google+ has seemed to have helped. Personally I think it’s almost to the point of acting proprietary when they stopped adding any of their Tools/addons to Firefox and it is getting old that most of the new things are Chrome based.

    I still think Facebook will hang itself eventually if they are not very careful. I see Google as always in it for the long haul and they are slowly getting where they are going. A little more slowly than I thought tho so it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out.

    • I agree with the proprietary remark, especially when they stopped indexing Twitter in favor of Google+.  Good observations on Chrome and Android, and certainly a very good perspective of Google.  Thank you for sharing your insights.

  • The fact that there were “Google+ Experts” the day it came out really bothered me. And I think that the majority of the people that joined Google were blogger/techie types who went out of their way to sneak their way in before it was open to the public. But if you’re doing social media for business, you would still have to go with Facebook because that’s where the majority of the customers are – sooo… not sure why there would be Google+ for business experts. 

    And I do agree that the market is open and you can do what you want with it. I would just hope that people wouldn’t buy into the hype and purchase the products.

  • Great post, Geoff. On Point #3, I was an early adopter who connected to a large group of those social-media 49ers. I also added as many real-life friends I could find, though I sent no invitations.

    My real-life friends have pretty much given up on G+, and so have I — for now. The SM “experts” continue to post regularly. Even noticed one who posted an “I’ve moved” notice on his Facebook page while writing a book on G+. Maybe just a marketing ploy, eh?

    G+ is a great platform, but those soon-to-be billion folks on Facebook have a lot of inertia. Will G+ ever find a point of difference big enough to move them? It may take a major blunder by Zuckerberg to change the game. And he certainly appears capable of that.

    • I think there is much to say about this third point. Things like people spinning spinners (or BSing BSers).  I just don’t want to get dragged down in something that clearly makes them look like the ambulance chasers they are.

  • I think for most folks, it’s all about how many of their friends and family are on G+. Most have already established a network on Facebook and until/unless ALL those people go to G+ with you then there’s really not much reason to go there yourself.

    I certainly haven’t written it off, I’m just in a wait-and-see phase still.

    • Many of us are.  I find it to be a strange place full of people I don’t know. Maybe it’s Twitter redux, but I am too old and cranky for it this time.

  • When they launch business pages (that will impact search, the area where Google really rocks, ’cause social ain’t their thing) then I’ll really pay attention.

    When 3 of 5 regular folks in line at the Safeway have heard of it, then I’ll really pay attention.

    After the hoo-haa and then die-down of Wave, Buzz, Sidewiki et al, I’m not wasting much brainpower on Google’s latest toy until it makes an impact on search, where they DO know what they’re doing.

  • I’m on G+ but no one else in my family has any interest. They are all on Facebook, and one is on Twitter. I think it is still seen as something only for “insiders”. I’m also less impressed with the record breaking rise to 50-million. We need to remember that all of the other platforms were startups. They were nobodies who came from nowhere. Google+ is owned by…Google. They start with a huge base and easy distribution. And a lot of the accounts were created for people, not by them, because of others tagging them, etc. In my mind, they should be at a much higher number now, solely because they ARE Google.

  • G+ doesn’t make my life easier. It just adds one more site to those I have to monitor daily. I’m already busy with Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and the rest. Until G+ somehow distinguishes itself, and so far it as not, it’s more of the same IMO.

    Henry Posner
    B&H Photo-Video

  • I’m waiting for the business pages to come out Jeff but I find Google+ a far superior experience over Facebook, which I am still using. However nothing will tear me away from Twitter unless it stops being available.

    I saw some of the land grab you mention and found it funny that anyone had enough to work with to create a course that cost money.

    Regardless I believe that if Google+ does continue, and I think it will, it will begin to effect SEO and rankings.

    • I like your willingness to stand up for your network of choice.  It’s a good thing, and I totally agree with you on the SEO front.

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  • I’m really struggling with Google Plus myself – much like I am really struggling with the three columns of content coming at me on Facebook now. The posts on Google Plus are too many, too big, and I just find it overwhelming. The “share a post” feature is the new direct message, it feels like, and I’m unclear on the etiquette. I’m also unclear on what the difference is between “following” and “circling.”

    However, when I have written about G+ or done informal surveys here and there, there have been several people who are really loving it, and one of my friends has already abandoned Facebook completely in favor of G+. It will be interesting to see how it all shakes out. I’m trying to stick with it.

    • I am struggling with three networks right now. It’s too much.  I am sure some will love one or all of them. I am sure I cannot do all of them well as an individual.

    • I am also struggling to allocate time and content to G+. Right now I’m focusing where the ROI has been proven. I can experiment in the future after I have my bookings and funnel running more smoothly. 

      I think G+ has a future, but the user base will be a different beast from Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or even YouTube. 

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    […] How the Google+ Hype Lost Its Mojo […]

  • People will join Google+ simply because it will be foolish not to.  As a blogger, I don’t publish there as often as other social media, only because business pages are not open yet.  As soon as that happens, it’s going to be a free for all.  I am already in the process of joining and adding to as many circles as possible.  Facebook has hurt business with the changes too quickly, Google+ is starting there.  It can only improve.

  • When I worked in the restaurant industry, we never used to judge a restaurant in the first 3-6 months after it opened its doors. We called that the honeymoon stage and most restaurants do well in the honeymoon stage. The key indicator of a restaurant’s success was its performance in the 12 months after that honeymoon period.

    Google+ has a LONG way to go to be considered a legit competitor to Facebook. The question is should Google be focused on ramping up its social networking efforts? Or should it be focused on ramping up its search efforts so the company continues to dominate in that area? You don’t see Facebook focusing on its search.Good stuff, Geoff. Cheers.

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