At the last count Google+ had 90 million registered users, 60% of whom “engage daily”. Whatever that means. The other 40% are wondering what the hell they can use Google+ for. Except of course the SEO bunnies who are using Google+ to jack up the rankings of websites. The jury is still out on both Google+ and the SEO benefits.
So how could this happen? Google have been promoting Google+ heavily, they have linked it into their search pages, their lucrative ad network, and CEO Larry Page has been touting the platform in earnings calls as growing rapidly and one of the keys to Google’s future growth. He said in January:
“Building a meaningful relationship with users so that we can dramatically improve the services we offer. Understanding no people are, what they care about, and the other people that matter to them is crucial if we are to give users what they need, when they need it.”
Perhaps not. The words are pretty but Google could have used a myriad of enterprise aocial tools to do the same thing. They are also yet to coherently articulate why people should use their social network over the other social networks. “Real life sharing rethought for the web” might work well in Silicon Valley but it hasn’t resonated in the suburbs. If people are already connected, there has to be a better reason than connecting with people. Hangouts are cool, but after a few, I gave up and went back to Skype. It was a little too hard. Catching up with what Snoop Dog and Brittany Spears are up to is OK I guess, but I don’t really give a shit.
Until Google can tell us why we should use their network over the others Google+ will be an afterthought for most users globally except the SEO heads, the celebrity whores, the technology addicts and the hyper connected. And that is not what Google want.