Why Google+ is the way it is

Google+ is Google’s big foray into the social media field. Google has already played a huge role in social media but creating their own network was the next logical step. Google held a closed beta in mid 2011 and transitioned to an open model in September of 2011. Within 3 months of operation Google+ hit 50 million users! According the wiki page, it took MySpace 1,046 days to reach that level; Twitter 1,096 days; Facebook 1,325 days; and LinkedIn 2,354 days. By September of the next year, Google+ reached 400 million users but faced a major issue.

The average Facebook user spends 7.5 hours on the site every month, while Google+ users spends a measly 3.3 minutes per month!  There is a lot of speculation of why this has occurred but I will give my own thoughts about it. At the most basic level, social media is about building relationships and interacting with people online. People want to use a site that their friends use, or people with similar interests use. A site like Facebook appeals to almost every user and is extremely broad in its use. In comparison, Google+ has developed a niche audience and lost many of its initial users. This results in Google+ having millions of users who made accounts, tried it out, and never came back. I also believe people had different initial thoughts when joining Google+ when compared to Facebook. I joined Facebook because I had several friends on there and more were constantly joining. I joined Google+ because it was a hyped Google product, not because I had friends constantly using it. Google+ is a very powerful social tool that is well designed and is extremely capable in the right hands but to the average user it provides nothing revolutionary.

George Hancock



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