Is Google+ A Total Failure?

When Google+ first launched, it took only one month for 25 million people to sign up. Twenty-five million people in one month. By comparison, it took Facebook almost three years to get 25 million members. Three years. When you look at the numbers alone, it seems as though Google+ is on track to overtake Facebook with ease. But when you look at how many people are actually using Google+ on a regular basis, it looks like the exact opposite: that Google+ is a failure.

Will Google+ soon join the graveyard of Google ideas that never quite turned out as planned, like Buzz? While it’s true that Google+ is a failure in some respects, it’s not a total failure by any means. It’s certainly not horrid enough for Google to scrap entirely. The truth is that Google+ can’t truly succeed because Facebook is just too big, and the majority of its users won’t bother to make the switch because they’re perfectly content where they are. It has nothing to do with the actual quality of Google+, and in fact there are lots of redeeming features that save Google+ from really failing.

Privacy Controls
One of the main differences between Google+ and Facebook is the ease and availability of intuitive privacy controls. With Google+, your friends are divided into neat circles that help you digest your newsfeed and target your sharing to the right audience. Facebook is a lot harder to segment in such a way, and lots of people are never exactly sure who can see what they do. Google+ tells you exactly who can see what and provides you with an upfront and clear way to change your preferences.

These controls don’t necessarily matter much when so few people are using them, but the point is that Facebook took notice. Facebook users are often unhappy with privacy controls on the site, and Google+ introduced us to a new way of doing things that was what we wanted all along. In response, Facebook was forced to make its settings more intuitive, if only slightly. Google+ is inspiring change on social network that really matters, and that’s a success in its own right.

Hangouts
Google+ also brought us the ability to video chat with a total of ten people at one time via Hangouts. Facebook’s instant message-only system of live chatting with friends pales in comparison. Not only does Google+ totally show up Facebook in this respect, it also beats out services like Skype. Google+ Hangouts is inspiring a new way of connecting with multiple people at one time, and everyone else is going to have to rise to the occasion or be left behind. If people use Google+ for no other reason, they’ll use it for Hangouts. It’s such a redeeming feature that it’s almost single-handedly responsible for saving Google+ from just being a Facebook clone in usage capabilities, or in other words, a total failure.

The bottom line is that while Google+ doesn’t have nearly as much daily activity as Facebook does, it’s still the fastest growing social network ever. While it may not be the stunning success that Google envisioned, it’s far from being the total failure that Facebook diehards predicted.

 

The Web Ninja Ben Sharp never met a networking site he didn’t like. To keep his business writing professional and his marketing pitches as sharp as he is, he depends on the world’s best grammar checker. He expands his social networks through his work in young entrepreneurs associations.

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