General Question

jca's avatar

What happened to the anticipated popularity of Google Plus?

Asked by jca (27929 points ) June 9th, 2012

Google Plus was slated to become the new Facebook. Everyone was talking about it, about a year ago (??). Now I never hear about it at all. What happened to it?

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17 Answers

hearkat's avatar

I know bunches of people who migrated there and very few are still active. I always said it would never catch on, because everyone and their grandmother is already on FB, and those aren’t the tech-savvy or quick learners, so they weren’t about to move.

Those who seemed to like G+ best were the ones who really wanted the networking expansion capabilities of Twitter for their profession and hobbies, with a more conversational format; and privacy options when wanting to share more personal content. The masses are happy just using FB to stay in touch with those they already know.

I hated that G+ allowed anybody to find you and add you to their circles, and it became inundated with spammers. Of course I didn’t add them back, but I didn’t like that I couldn’t remove myself (other than by blocking completely), so those people could then over-inflate their number of people in their circles to imagine the they were relevant.

wundayatta's avatar

I use Google+ about ten times more often than I use Facebook. Google * is much easier to control than Facebook is, and no stupid games to wade through. What you see is what you get, unlike Facebook which is opaque and sneaky and darn near useless.

The race is not over yet. Google+ makes money, I bet, just like Google. Facebook? Who knows? I bet they aren’t very happy right now, though.

Aethelflaed's avatar

They killed it with their ‘real names’ policy. While it’s the same policy, they enforced it much, much more than Facebook does, and people don’t want to have to go by their real name. So, lots of people who would have otherwise been interested were hesitant, so it didn’t get enough momentum to get all the other people who already have Facebook to come over because “everyone has it”.

hearkat's avatar

@Aethelflaed: Both G+ and FB have accepted Kat Hearkat as my name (it isn’t). In fact I have 3 FB accounts from before they had the ability to group friends, and select which were able to see a given post – an improvement to FB that came about in response to G+‘s “circles”.

hearkat's avatar

@wundayatta: Ignoring games is easy on FB – from the desktop. Sadly, they don’t offer those controls on mobile or apps.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@hearkat But right when it launched, they were saying you weren’t allowed to deviate even a little bit from your legal name. Even if I go as Ethel all day long, even on my business cards it says Ethel, but my Social Security Card says “Aethelflaed”, I wouldn’t have been able to use that. Now, yes, they would have had to catch me, but it created a huge bruhaha before they even were open to everyone.

tom_g's avatar

I’m under the impression that it already has surpassed FB among certain crowds. For example, I work in software development, and it is very popular among my coworkers. They don’t login to FB, which has basically become a place to visit once a week to wish family members a happy birthday.

I am really too old for all of these things (G+, FB, Twitter, etc), as I long for the days when people maintained their own domain and wordpress blog. RSS kept everyone in the loop when you posted something. I do use G+ occasionally to share a link, and I do have a FB page that I occasionally log in to and cringe.

Anyway, Google has gone all-in with Google+. Everything is being “plusified”, so it’s here to stay. Maybe there is space for the big 3.

hearkat's avatar

@Aethelflaed: I created my Kat Hearkat account very early in the beta stages on G+, and received no contact from anyone regarding its legality.

serenade's avatar

By “anticipated popularity,” do you mean “hype”? :-P

Neizvestnaya's avatar

It seemed redundant when so many people are already on fb. I deactivated mine because checking into that and also my fb accts. was more energy then I wanted to devote to that sort of thing. I use several gmail accts. for shopping site anchor emails, job applications and random correspondence to utilities and bill paying so I didn’t want my social stuff to be accessible to those contacts.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@hearkat That’s great for you. Tons of others weren’t as lucky.

roundsquare's avatar

@Aethelflaed Interesting. I don’t remember being even aware of the real name policy. As I remember it, one of the big controversies was that the only non-optional field was gender. Randell Munroe made a big deal out of this and it generated a decent amount of discussion among us geeks.

Still, I think its redundancy is what killed it. When it started people couldn’t see it as being different from facebook. The “circles” concept wasn’t different enough from “friending” to get people excited. Nonetheless, I think facebook is becoming to big for its own good and I’m sort of hoping it dies since they seem to dislike privacy.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@roundsquare Yeah, between the forced genderization and the Nymwars, there just wasn’t really a reason for people to add on another service that wasn’t really all that different from what they had. Also, I think that you couldn’t have a private profile after a short beta stage really hurt.

Rarebear's avatar

I’m on google plus all the time. That’s where we do out astronomy live streaming events.

DaphneT's avatar

I thought the biggest issue with Google+ was that you needed someone to invite you, so they didn’t make it easy enough for everyone to join during all the hoopla. If that restriction hadn’t been there at it’s inception, it would be bigger today. I have an account but haven’t used it because the people I know don’t have accounts.

gambitking's avatar

Google plus isn’t going anywhere anytime soon unfortunately, but the hype you refer to that happened at the beginning was just that – hype. They had so many adopters at the outset because they basically gave it to you if you already had a google account. Still, despite I use many, many google products, I stayed away. Facebook was simply so much better, and in many ways still is.

Anywho, Google still has big plans for G+ and just will not let go. Their most recent change was to remove Google Places and basically migrate it over to Google Plus Local. Also, your default web search will usually be G+ integrated feature called “Google Plus Your World”, so there’s lots of people now getting personal results based on Google Plus when they search the engine. You have to switch it off manually most of the time.

Another thing they did has to do with blogging. They gave blog writers and web content authors a way to build authority for themselves on the internet and be personally recognized in the search results for content they publish online. But taking advantage of this feature requires a solid tie-in with the author’s Google Plus account.

Many web marketers and SEO’s are very aware of what G+ is doing, and where it’s going, and not too many ppl are happy with it. Nevertheless, it’ll probably keep going and growing, and we’re all a captive audience along for the ride.

rodlee's avatar

Google Plus is a total mess.
You probably knew that already. But you may not have realized that of late it has become an interesting mess…like Frankenstein’s monster.These days there’s a lot of disingenuous chatter about how G+ is just a “social layer on top of Google,” and was never intended as a direct competitor for Facebook; which is, of course, revisionist nonsense. But some people say that google plus is definitely one of its most significant features the way forward for all businesses & can only improve SEO.

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