Google+ is considered as the fastest launched social network in history. It gathered 10 million people in a few weeks. Larry Page, Google’s CEO, almost announced a “Facebook killer” but fortunately for him, he did not. Google+ was already a failure, even before the launch. It might not die, but definetely will go down the hill. Why it is a failure?
If Google big bosses had something social in their strategy we would have noticed already. No, Google is not about socializing, it is about the Geek attitude. Google is by far the most brilliant search engine we ever had. Not because we “feel” connected with that white page with the funny logo on it…. No. It is because it gets us what we are looking for. So Google search engine strenght is its Algorythm. Google’s strenght is their programers, it’s about software, mathematical formulas and efficient methods. So, why Google cannot succeed in Social? Well, just because you do not teatch to Descartes how to write poetry like Shakespeare. This is rational vs emotional.
You need a reason to join a social network. Let me give you the secret for a successful social network: it is the people. Social networking is about gathering a community of people hooked in by commom sharing values. A community starts with a few people and in time this people become many and thousands and millions. Why? Because the community builds these strong links between individuals that settles down its foundations. Google+ did not settled a community. It just gathered a group of beta testers, in order to check if the tool work. What is the spirit behind Google+? Nobody knows. And this was the first big fondamental mistake in Google+. They wanted to start a community as a “project”. Hey, Mr Page, we are talking about people here, not algorythms.
Then here comes the second fondamental mistake. Google+ started too big. In deed, since the first day, Google+ had already thousands, then millions of people connecting. Tis is not natural. A community is built on the shared interests that individuals can have with each other. Take the example of Facebook. It started in a Harvard’s dorm, then it spreaded out to the entire campus, then to Columbia and Yale, then other universities and high-schools before going to public landscapes. In total, it took 30 month to Facebook to become a community. This means people connecting with each other because they have a common interest, or simply a common spirit. Google+ started a huge launch with all Google power. More than 38% of total Google+ traffic comes from Google websites. So this represents a lot of people. But tell me something: what kind of community intends to please and admit everybody? No one. And thought, this was the aim of Google+.Too big, too empty. If you try to please everyone, you pleases no one.
One interesting figure about Google+ is that it had a visitors drop by 40% since the launch. People creates their profile as early adopters and then, never come back. Why? Because you will never spend time in a social network in which none of your key 20 contacts are members, or regular users. So basically you get back to Facebook.
One supposed interesting feature brought by Google+ was the idea of Circles. Basically it was a clever yet forced way to classify your contacts. Unfortunately it came out as a disguised “tweets organizer” nothing more. Google+ became a huge twitter in which you can manage the information flow by gathering them as “friends”, “professional”, “family”, etc… Nothing more.
Is Google+ going to disappear? Not really. It will remain a Geek network. But the real question is: how long will geeks socialize only with themselves? They will probably come back to Facebook where everybody is.
Google made the same mistake with Google+ facing Facebook than with Android facing Apple: superior software but they missed the most important thing, which is the People.
Info sourced at Forges.com, Journaldunet.fr, theguardian.co.uk and Google search engine 🙂
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