“The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” — The Usual Suspects
Google+, contrary to popular belief, is not the devil. At the same time, it’s not necessarily the messiah that has come down to purge us of all of our earthly (read: Facebook) sins. And, in fact, right now, it’s not necessarily, well, anything. News articles on the Internet giant’s social network have, since its inception, severely dropped off both suggesting that a.) it’s not ‘in’ right now and b.) momentum for the potentially monumental social network has plummeted significantly.
Despite the fact that Google+ just over a month ago hit 25 million users, the luster and attraction that it initially shone has since worn off. Now, like a skinny kid in a rough neighborhood, Google+ must fend for itself and is certainly beginning to experience some severe growing pains.
Judging by the recent mass exodus by the media, a lot of the problem with Google+ is that it is just simply not new anymore. There’s nothing interesting, controversial or provocative to talk about.
But it has also begun to face tougher competition from its primary competitor Facebook. Facebook, after having initially rolled out Skype integration through the social media network, has now granted users the ability to sort their friends similar to Google circles.
Facebook has and will always have the advantage of being the bigger, intimidating father of Google+. Facebook was the reason why Google+ was born, and therefore always has substantial reason to give its child a living hell. Which, frankly, is quite unfortunate because, for all the things that it has done wrong, Google has also created some equally brilliant products like Android and Gmail.
Still, there’s no telling what sort of position Google+ is in right now. After all, Google has become quite familiar with failure following both the closing of Wave and the privacy issues with Buzz that eventually resulted in its relegation to Google’s dusty old closet of forgotten products.
But, undoubtedly, recognizing that Google+ is certainly vulnerable to Facebook’s dominance, Larry Page and all of the other big wigs at Google are most likely scared. Maybe not necessarily willing to concede that Google+ is a failure just yet, but certainly wary of Google’s tenuous position.
Now the challenge for Google+ is in creating enough additional incentive to get users to flock to their social media platform. Sure, Google circles are awesome but, as they’ve already conceded, it’s not the solution to all of Google’s problems.
But until Google actually admits it themselves, Google+ isn’t a failed effort. The sheen coating that had initially covered the social media platform has since dried up, and users have all but deserted it. While it may not necessarily be do-or-die for Google right now, they should be treating it as such.
If Larry Page is willing to tie company bonuses to the success of Google+ , now he must be equally willing to dedicate as many of the company’s resources towards that project as reasonably possible.
But we’ll most likely see, within the coming months, how brave Google can be in the face of overwhelming odds against them. And ultimately we’ll see if Google+ ever becomes the massive social network that it had initially set out to be. Odds are, it won’t, but cheers to Google if they can pull it off.
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