It was clear that Google+ was never going to be a hit like Facebook or Pinterest, but I really thought it would gain momentum eventually. I certainly didn’t foresee that it would end so soon.
News is quickly spreading that the Google+ platform will be done away with and its features will be split up into various products. The rumors were already circulating for many months, but they recently became more concrete.
This came after a post by Bradley Horowitz, a Google VP, in which he announced that he would be taking over “Google’s Photos and Streams”. The confusion (or newsworthy part, depending on how you look at it) occurred because he never specifically referred to “Google+” as part of his new role.
Doomed from the start
Google+/Google Plus launched in 2011 and ever since then, it’s been constantly described using one particular phrase: “a ghost town”. However, people (tried) to make use of it because, well, it’s a Google offering after all.
But there’s nothing particularly appealing or innovative about the social network. In fact, it seems like the result of a forced marriage between Facebook, LinkedIn, and even Twitter. It has circles, ripples, events, communities, etc., which never took off. The latter, especially, has become a breeding ground for spam, trolls and men looking for “a good time”.
I’ll admit that I’ve become sort of fond of it though. I post there once in a while, so will be sorry to see it go. I’ve also advocated it for SEO purposes.
Born out of the ashes of a failed social network
Here’s a quick breakdown of what the separate Google features might look like:
Photos – a place to store, edit, organize, and share pictures.
Streams – the unoriginal news feed (and inferior to that of FB’s); many say that this one’s likely to be scrapped eventually.
Hangouts – a powerful and popular video service / communications tool.
What does this mean for your social media strategy?
Well really, now you’re just going to have one less social network to worry about. Isn’t that a relief though? We already have FB, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, Tumblr… perhaps it’s time to make some cuts.
Of course, if you have been making an effort on G+, it’s a pity about all that wasted time on building a profile, circles, communities… and right now we have no idea what will happen to Google+ Local and Maps.
On the other hand, this would be a welcome move for those (like me) who have found little success on the platform and who’ve little time to explore all its features.
So, in the meantime, should you cease all efforts on G+?
If you have time to spare, don’t stop posting. Things change so fast in the digital world―so who knows if G+ will really be axed, or even if the Photos and Streams product will work or take off.
Right now Google+ is still up, it’s still functioning, and nothing has changed. Yet.