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Google is brilliant. They made the best search engine. They made the best email app with Gmail. They made the world’s most popular operating system in Android. And they have plenty of other successful products.

But Google just doesn’t know how to get into social media. The latest Google+ debacle proves it.

Is Google+ Dying? It Seems So

google-youtube

On Monday, Google announced that Google+ will be delinked from YouTube comments, not even two years after making Google+ mandatory for posting on YouTube YouTube's Comments Section Now Cleaned Up, Courtesy Of Google+ YouTube's Comments Section Now Cleaned Up, Courtesy Of Google+ Google has cleaned up YouTube with a new Google+ powered commenting system. You'll now see the most upvoted comments, the ones from people in your Google+ circles, and from the owner of the video. Read More . The “Googleplusification” of all its products was annoying OK, Google: We Get It. Just Go Ahead And Add Google+ To Everything. [Opinion] OK, Google: We Get It. Just Go Ahead And Add Google+ To Everything. [Opinion] Don't worry Google, I think you can get everyone onto your network in just a few months if you really push. Here are my suggestions. Read More , and we’re glad to see this requirement going away.

This move comes on the heels of delinking Google+ Photos from your images and launching the new Google Photos app. And just last month, Google+ brand posts were removed from Google’s Knowledge Graph. Meanwhile, Twitter made its way into Google Search results after years of Plus-prompted absence.

Along with the delinking from YouTube, Google+ will also delink the Locations feature to track your whereabouts and put it into Hangouts, its awesome chat and messaging app The Best All-In-One Messaging & Calling App For Android: Google Hangouts The Best All-In-One Messaging & Calling App For Android: Google Hangouts What if there was one app that could do it all? Meet Google Hangouts for Android. Read More . This is a small change though, and an understandable one since Hangouts has to compete with the likes of Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, which already have this feature. In everyday usage, your battery life and privacy will be attacked 7 Free Google Services That Cost You Battery Life & Privacy [Android] 7 Free Google Services That Cost You Battery Life & Privacy [Android] A nameless writer once remarked, “If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product.” While probably in reference to broadcast television, the saying also applies to Google’s recent introduction of several poorly implemented... Read More just as it was earlier, only this time it will be a different app doing it.

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“We want to formally retire the notion that a Google+ membership is required for anything at Google… other than using Google+ itself,” said Bradley Horowitz, VP, Photos and Streams at Google.

Mashable’s Christina Warren was ready to sound the death knoll for Google+. In her post, she said that as someone who has seen several communities die slowly, this is the end of important new features, bug fixes will be fewer and slower, and the Google+ brand will gradually retire.

“It’s over guys. You can either accept reality now or continue to use a service that, thanks to its official de-coupling – is now seen as truly non-essential to Google. Google will let it exist for only so long, but at a certain point, they will retire it. Google Reader died. This will too,” she wrote.

How People Reacted

how-people-reacted

Aaron Goldman, Chief Marketing Officer of social media data firm 4C Insights, told The Wall Street Journal that this was a failure of Google’s attempt to muscle its way into becoming a social media giant.

Existing Google+ users don’t seem pleased with the new change either, with some complaining that Google can’t make up its mind about their own social network, while others claim the company doesn’t listen to its loyal users.

On the post announcing the change, user Clare Cosgrove commented, “Google+ has continued to make changes that users didn’t want, ruin things that users are happy with, integrating products that didn’t need to be integrated… There used to be a time when I would sing the praises of Google+ and sell it to people, and now I just find myself feeling helpless and at a loss at how horribly wrong it has all gone. (I still) do not understand why Google continues to blatantly ignore what its users are telling them.”

Google is mistaken in thinking that social is just about making the best product. As we found in our extensive Google+ vs. Facebook shootout The Final Showdown: Google+ vs. Facebook, Which One Is REALLY The Best? The Final Showdown: Google+ vs. Facebook, Which One Is REALLY The Best? Which is better, Facebook or Google+? Even here at MakeUseOf, we can't quite agree. When it comes to social networks, especially big ones like Facebook and Google+, we all have our opinions. Some think Facebook... Read More , Google+ is better than Facebook in most ways. But Facebook is where the people are, and as our reviewer Yaara pointed out, “if you truly want to stay updated and have an audience, you will understandably stick to Facebook.”

All of this points to one thing: Google has no idea how to make it in the world of social media. And history bears witness through some of Google’s greatest social flops.

Google Wave was Ahead of Its Time

google-wave

Google Wave sought to reinvent email and change the world 4 Ways Google Failed to Change the World [Opinion] 4 Ways Google Failed to Change the World [Opinion] “We celebrate our failures,” Google’s Eric Schmidt once said. Google’s had some amazing successes that have changed the world, but some of their attempts to do so have failed. With their famous “don’t be evil”... Read More , but it lasted just a little more than a year. Announced in May 2009 in beta and released to the public in May 2010, it stopped development in August 2011, and removed all traces in April 2012. Three years was all Google gave its most ambitious attempt at social. You’ll find several Google Wave fans even today, with some (including this author) arguing that it was ahead of its time. Unfortunately, Google Wave was less of a social network and more of a project management system, but Google never realized that.

Dodgeball, Google’s Greatest Mistake

google-dodgeball

Dodgeball was one of Google’s biggest mistakes The Top Ten Dead Google Projects Floating About In Cyberspace The Top Ten Dead Google Projects Floating About In Cyberspace Read More . The app was focussed on location-based social networking. While not made in-house, Google acquired this five-year-old company back in 2005 and then did nothing with it for years. Frustrated with Google, Dodgeball’s co-founder Dennis Crowley quit and went on to develop—you guessed it—FourSquare, the king of check-in tools Check-In Much? 6 Interesting Uses For Your Foursquare Data Check-In Much? 6 Interesting Uses For Your Foursquare Data Foursquare is one of those apps that you either love or hate, and many feel it is just another part of the oversharing culture of our online Instagram, Facebook and Twitter lives, where everything we... Read More . Google then tried to make up for their mistakes with Google Latitude, which was pretty useful How to Trace a Mobile Phone Location With Google Latitude How to Trace a Mobile Phone Location With Google Latitude Read More , but later shut that down too.

A Virtual Avatar with Lively

Second Life is the biggest social network of virtual avatars and Google wanted a piece of that pie. In July 2008, Google launched Lively to give users the chance to create a virtual representation of themselves and hang out with friends in a virtual world. In December 2008, Google shut Lively. Six months. Yup. Well, at least you can still get started with Second Life How to Get Started In Second Life in 10 Easy Steps How to Get Started In Second Life in 10 Easy Steps Read More , which has over a million active users at last count.

The Twitter Competitor, Google Buzz

google-buzz

In February 2010, Google tried to take on Twitter with its own microblogging tool Google Buzz, going to the extent of integrating it into Gmail. That proved to be a big mistake though. Google would tell Search Engine Land that it “failed to fully appreciate the wide range of differing privacy expectations that Buzz (within Gmail) would confront at launch.” Buzz never took off, and was finally discontinued in December 2011.

Orkut was Big… in Brazil

google-orkut

Last year, Google finally announced it was shutting down Orkut Google Kills Orkut & Quickoffice, Yahoo Saves Community, And More... [Tech News Digest] Google Kills Orkut & Quickoffice, Yahoo Saves Community, And More... [Tech News Digest] UK cinemas preemptively ban Google Glass, Reading Rainbow breaks Kickstarter popularity contest, Emojli chat app made for emoji masters, 'Yo, Hodor' adds Hodor to Yo, and Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare gets an honest trailer. Read More . In case you didn’t know, Orkut was one of the biggest social networks in the world and a rival to Facebook, enjoying an especially big user base in Brazil and India. In fact, Orkut was the only Google-made social network to actually become so big. Forbes says that in July 2009, Orkut had more than 27 million users in Brazil while Facebook had only 4.2 million. Today, Orkut doesn’t exist. Good job, Google. This one tweet sums it up:

Do You Actively Use Google+? Will You Continue To?

Almost every Google user has a Google+ account, but we want to know if you actively use it—posting updates, checking what friends are saying, and so on. More importantly, after the recent signs that Google+ is being separated from the core Google experience, will you continue using it over alternatives like Facebook and Twitter? Why?

Image credits: spooky graveyard via Shutterstock, kropekk_pl/Pixabay, mintchipdesigns/Pixabay, AlternativeTo, TechCrunch

  1. sdfdf
    November 14, 2015 at 4:06 am

    Spell check. It exists.

  2. Fergus Conolly
    August 18, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    Right on latter part of your statement - we DO however use it as a social network within a large education organisation with thousands of employees. It's handy to formulate social networks amongst focused interest groups - e.g. technicians, learning technologists, student societies.

    For entities that use Google Apps for Business or Education it's a very short jump to get people onto G+. In effect everyone already has an account.

    G+ has the inbuilt ability to limit posts so that they can only be viewed within an organisation

    It also has the segregation required - I don't want to use Facebook at work. I see that as a social network for my old school mates and friends.

    I was positing that G+ would definitely have a future in this context :-)

    • Mihir Patkar
      August 18, 2015 at 1:20 pm

      I think the earlier exchange didn't get tagged, so for newcomers, Fergus was referring to this statement: "G+ is a good tool when not used as a social network, but instead as a group communication tool with the ability to expand to public when needed?"

      @Fergus I do see your point. Honestly, it's a bit like how I viewed Google Wave at the time (and still do, to an extent). As an interpersonal communication tool, with the ability to go public if needed, it was fantastic. So I see how Google+ is an extension of the same concept, and goes a step further with integration of other Google apps and tools.

      Tell me this: If Facebook were to offer the same apps and tools, or Twitter, or Microsoft, then would it make a good enough reason for you to move away?

      • Fergus Conolly
        August 18, 2015 at 1:33 pm

        Probably not - I wouldn't trust Facebook privacy policies - which have led to unsanctioned 'exposure' for me. Google are far more transparent.

        I grudgingly use Facebook on a personal basis as it has the numbers and gravity. But I think it's mistake - to think of it as just another social network. If you think about it Google apps are ideal for teleworking and collaboration - and what is the key element that is missing from that model? The watercooler chat, the social spaces etc. And that is where Google+ can act as a vital social 'glue' that an enterprise with that work environment needs.

        I do wonder how much Google+ is used within Google itself? I think that is the real test of whether it has legs...

        • Mihir Patkar
          August 18, 2015 at 1:41 pm

          Google employees do use Google+ regularly, as far as I can see by tracking some of them. They use other networks too, of course. Several of them are really active on Quora too, which surprised me.

          Overall, I agree with your assessment here. Maybe turning Google+ from a social network into a work network would make it better. Google should be targetting LinkedIn, not Facebook.

    • Fergus Conolly
      August 18, 2015 at 1:22 pm

      This was posted here in error - see below - should be in reply to a comment. No editing or deletion options?!

      • Mihir Patkar
        August 18, 2015 at 1:30 pm

        Right now, no, sorry. We're reworking our site and the comments, so it's a work in progress :)

  3. A41202813GMAIL ..
    August 15, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    I Have Accounts On Lots Of Social Sites,

    TWITTER - I Have An Account I Do Not Use,

    FB - I Have An Account Only To Comment On Sites That Demand A Social Account, And Where I Do Not Want To Use Any Serious Social Account,

    G+ - I Use It And Post There Every Single Day.

    Cheers.

    • Mihir Patkar
      August 18, 2015 at 12:48 pm

      Interesting. Why G+? You're a regular commenter here, I'd love to know what one of our regulars likes about G+, there might be something to learn there :)

      • A41202813GMAIL ..
        August 19, 2015 at 9:35 pm

        The GUI Really Attracts Me, Unlike Most Other Social Websites.

        G+ Has Lots Of Communities About All Kinds Of Topics.

        You Can Create New Communities.

        You Can Create Threads Inside A Community.

        You Can Post Pictures And Videos In Threads.

        Every Thread Has A Limit Of 500 Comments.

        Find A Topic You Love And Start Sharing Your Expertise.

        Do You Like F1 ? - That Is 1 Of The Biggest Sports Communities.

        Every Community, You Are Subscribed To, Lets You Choose To Receive ( Or Not ) Notifications By Email For Every Thread And/Or Comment.

        When OnLine, All Notifications Are Aggregated Inside A Top Down Menu.

        In No Particular Order, My Main Interests In G+ Are Photos From:

        A - Old F1 Races,

        B - Food,

        C - Adult Content.

        Cheers.

        • Mihir Patkar
          August 20, 2015 at 3:15 am

          Lovely answer! Thanks A4

        • A41202813GMAIL ..
          August 21, 2015 at 7:01 pm

          Thank YOU, For Replying.

  4. Janice E Haynes
    August 15, 2015 at 2:32 am

    I loved, loved Google+ at the beginning. It was fresh, new. Then they went to columns and I went back to Facebook.

    • Mihir Patkar
      August 18, 2015 at 12:47 pm

      I think that has been most people's experience with G+

  5. T.L. Darby
    August 14, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    I'm okay with it not being the monster that FB or Twitter are. I've closed both those account's as they were ridiculously difficult to control who had access to you; not to mention the gosh-awful amount of ads et al. The security breaches are just unpalatable.

    So far G+ has been a stable, secure productivity tool which I use for both personal and business. It's been so easy to keep those separate where as you really can't with FB or Twitter.

    I'm all for Google keeping G+ active.

  6. Michael Powers
    August 14, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    I continue to use google+, and will continue do to so. At least until they kill it. It does some things more intuitively, and oddly, less intrusively than facebook, which I also use. Google+ fills a niche that Facebook can't, or won't, in a way that's less cumbersome.

    • Mihir Patkar
      August 18, 2015 at 12:51 pm

      The "less intrusively" part intrigues me. What do you mean by that? I mean, what makes G+ less intrusive than FB?

  7. Fergus Conolly
    August 14, 2015 at 9:00 am

    I'm seeing some really interesting applications of Google+ in higher education and as an Enterprise Social Network. G+ communities in particular are a great way of informally collaborating with an interest group.

    If you're an organisation that has 'gone Google' the integration with the GAFE suite (Calendar, Docs, Gmail et al) is great. I hope that Google realise G+ has a great future as an ESN.

    In many respects it works as a better communication tool than email. But the biggest thing at the moment working against it seems to be the constant fear, uncertainty and doubt being constantly regurgitated by the tech press.

    It had huge potential as it emulated the functionality of many other services all rolled into one. Social stream (Facebook), Twitter like messaging, blogging, email. Great versatility...

    I grudgingly use Facebook socailly only because that's where people are at... but it's a horrible, unintuitive, ad-ridden mess with terrible and opaque privacy rules. Really not suited to a work environment...

    Oh... I've used a G+ profile to write this comment as well :)

    • Mihir Patkar
      August 18, 2015 at 12:53 pm

      Hmmm Let me see if I get what you're saying in this pithy summary: G+ is a good tool when not used as a social network, but instead as a group communication tool with the ability to expand to public when needed?

      • Fergus Conolly
        August 18, 2015 at 1:16 pm

        Right on latter part of your statement – we DO however use it as a social network within a large education organisation with thousands of employees. It’s handy to formulate social networks amongst focused interest groups – e.g. technicians, learning technologists, student societies.

        For entities that use Google Apps for Business or Education it’s a very short jump to get people onto G+. In effect everyone already has an account.

        G+ has the inbuilt ability to limit posts so that they can only be viewed within an organisation

        It also has the segregation required – I don’t want to use Facebook at work. I see that as a social network for my old school mates and friends.

        I was positing that G+ would definitely have a future in this context :-)

  8. Phil Nolan
    August 14, 2015 at 2:15 am

    Why do moronic bloggers constantly claim Google+ is dead, they've been saying that since it started and yet here it is, strong as ever and still growing. The second most used social network doesn't just disappear. Why wold they add new features to soemthign they were killing? Not to mention one of Google's higher ups JUST said in a quote "Of course we still love Google+!".

    • Mihir Patkar
      August 18, 2015 at 12:54 pm

      I don't know what makes you say it's still strong and growing.

      • Phil Nolan
        August 18, 2015 at 6:34 pm

        Common sense and facts.

  9. Jeremy Holton
    August 14, 2015 at 12:39 am

    The tech press is always trying to talk down Google+ I am not sure why. Its actually in their interest for Google+ to succeed as the alternative is for Facebook to take over the web completely.

    I am a professional artist and follow thousands of other artists who are actively posting to Google+. Its a very vibrant and dynamic community.

    Most of these are not living in the USA which may be one of the reasons why Americans think Google + is dead..

    If Google+ is dying why did Google just make Bradley Horowitz VP Streams, Photos and Sharing?

    I think you will find that the Stream of Google+ keeps going and expands but not in a walled garden like Facebook but as an open forum for sharing you can already see the beginnings of this in Google Photos which is designed to share

    • Mihir Patkar
      August 18, 2015 at 12:55 pm

      I'm not American and I think Google+ is dead :D

  10. Gary Prentice
    August 14, 2015 at 12:24 am

    As Google made Google+ changes it became more confusing each step. I use Facebook, gmail, Google Messenger. Don't have any idea what will happen to my photos.
    Will probably change to iPhone soon and leave Android.

    • Mihir Patkar
      August 18, 2015 at 12:56 pm

      Wow, so wait, are you saying the fall of Google+ is affecting the Google brand for you in a way where you might switch to iPhone?

  11. Rick Romig
    August 13, 2015 at 11:14 pm

    I never figured out how to use Google+ or what to do with it.Guess I couldn't find a purpose for it.

    • Mihir Patkar
      August 18, 2015 at 12:58 pm

      That was my issue too. I mean, I didn't know where it was supposed to fit into my online life.

  12. JM “Hassayampa Slim” Oemler
    August 13, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    Google+ is not a Google Facebook... can't the opposition get that through their heads....
    Google+ allows me to stay up with groups and individuals that I am interested in... not those who happen to also be following that individual. I tried Facebook... I hate it. Google+ I love. No I don't get an email interruption, or a photo update in my timeline every time a friend of a cousin, of a person I'm following has a bad date... and that's the way I want it. Can't you people understand that just because you seem to be deeply in love with Facebook, it isn't what some people want.. which is what Google+ is.

    • Mihir Patkar
      August 18, 2015 at 12:58 pm

      Hahahaha I love that you said "the opposition" like we're in a presidential debate. Can I be Trump?

  13. pacocap
    August 13, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    So what's all the fuss about? Google+ is far more invasive and intrusive than facebook could ever hope to be. First you have to give a phone number to create an account. I had to get a fake one so I could remain anonymous. It's none of their damn business! Then you need to log into G+ for anything, including uploading a video to Youtube. As if that isn't invasive enough, if you neglect to log out, your searches are tracked not only by your IP address, but also by your account. What isn't evil about that? Google is like the real-life embodiment of the book 'The Circle'.

    • Phil Nolan
      August 14, 2015 at 2:17 am

      How could that possibly be? They are totally open about everything they do, let you opt out of everything, and let you download your data. facecrap on the other hand, tracks you everywhere you go on the web, even if you're not logged into their site!

      • Mihir Patkar
        August 18, 2015 at 12:59 pm

        Phil, I think you might be surprised by how much Google tracks you.

        • Phil Nolan
          August 18, 2015 at 6:35 pm

          Of course they do, but we give them permission to. We can also revoke that permission.

  14. Saikat Basu
    August 13, 2015 at 11:03 am

    Google Plus maybe an also-ran, but it was a good enough network for photography. In fact, lots of photographers migrated here after Flickr botched it up (and later, improved). That should have told Google something. I learnt a lot from the work that is shared there.

    And today, photos are its best feature!

    • Mihir Patkar
      August 13, 2015 at 6:39 pm

      Maybe that's why they turned Google Photos into its own app?

  15. Ben Stutts
    August 12, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    Googles HUGE mistake with Google+ was in changing the original concept to try to be like facebook - HEY dummy, if I wanted FB I would get FB instead of G+ DOH!

    I loved the original circles - but it wasn't just like FB so it had to be changed.

    Their second mistake was the limited roll out. literally no one who would have liked to try it was allowed to have an account at first without having to beg google to get it. It was limited to a bunch of geeks who actually liked it. Then before the majority of the public was allowed to play in Google's walled garden, changes had already started to make it more like what Google thought the kiddies that were already using FB wanted.

    • Mihir Patkar
      August 13, 2015 at 6:41 pm

      I think you have something there, Ben. Google had a vision with Google+, and they buckled to someone else's vision (in this case, Facebook's). To emulate someone else who is already established in the market, you need to also do stuff that the other guy isn't doing.

    • Phil Nolan
      August 14, 2015 at 2:19 am

      When did they try to make it like facebook? Everything they do gets copied by facebook a week later. as for the roll out, as soon as it started they gave everyone a ton of invites to hand out and instantly all of my Twitter friends were on there.

  16. Daniel Escasa
    August 4, 2015 at 1:27 am

    http://www.eweek.com/cloud/google-is-alive-and-well-despite-persistent-media-reports.html

    Choice quote:

    <
    A chorus of tech journalists this week is saying that Google is phasing out its social network, Google+.

    Where did they get this juicy nugget of information? Well, they made it up.
    >

    • Mihir Patkar
      August 6, 2015 at 7:49 am

      Let's meet back here in a year or two and see which one of us was right :D

      • Daniel Escasa
        August 8, 2015 at 4:04 am

        Sent MUO's comment notification to Snooze till 7th Aug 2016 :)

        On a more serious note, and with all due respect, Mike Elgan's been a tech journalist for almost 18 years and has written for such prestigious titles as ComputerWorld, InfoWorld, ITWorld, and others. Not to take anything away from Make Use Of, but the International Data Group, which publishes those books, has been around for about 30 years, maybe more.

        Bottom line is, I would place my bets on him, sorry

        • Mihir Patkar
          August 8, 2015 at 5:59 am

          That's fair enough, and no offense taken. I know I'm no Elgan :)

          That said, several other established journalists are saying G+ is dying a slow death.

          Like I said in another comment, till it actually dies or flourishes, this argument is going to hit a road block every time :)

      • Phil Nolan
        August 14, 2015 at 2:21 am

        I'm sure Google+ will still be here. Every few months the blogger proclaim "Google+ is dying! It's a ghost town! Nobody uses it!" And yet here we are every time they say that, wondering why millions of people are being called ghosts.

      • Daniel Escasa
        August 8, 2016 at 9:16 am

        Ahem... :)

        Might just snooze my MUO comment notification another year.

  17. Antonio Gil
    August 1, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    Well, as I certainly don't feel that I can make an contribution to this discussion more that the others who already did (there are a good ones!).

    Nonetheless, I've been using G+ almost since the very beginning, and as Andrew Mckay said, it is more a place for engagement with people that share common interests, and for that I must say that I have meet very interesting people there!

    I'll continue to use G+ until the very end, it doesn't matter if is tomorrow, or if its in many years from now.

    • Mihir Patkar
      August 3, 2015 at 9:13 am

      That's fair enough, Antonio, I mainly wanted to know why people use and want to continue using G+ when alternatives like FB and Twitter exist. You answered that politely and explained it well, I thank you for that :)

    • Mark Anthony Henderson
      August 13, 2015 at 9:59 pm

      I also will continue to use Google+ until the end. I have always enjoyed the easy clean interface. I use Facebook as well.

    • Phil Nolan
      August 14, 2015 at 2:25 am

      I'll be using it too. It's a far better network than facebook, very much like Twitter but x10. Everything I love about Twitter done bigger and better.

  18. Stupid Madeupname
    July 30, 2015 at 8:26 pm

    So Google making a change to address an issue with YouTube means G+ is dead?

    G+ is a failure because it only has about the same number of regular users as Twitter, Skype, Instagram and not too far behind LinkedIn?

    G+ is inevitably going to fail because Google have killed some other projects in the past?
    Is there not an arguement for learning from failures and next time round doing something better?

    Active users of G+ spend less time there than active users of some other social networks. That is sometimes presented as a negative whereas in fact it's a positive, indicative of better focus, less garbage to deal with and for busy people time is money.

    Just get the message - G+ isn't supposed to be Facebook, it's intended to be better - and its 250 million (ish) regular users know why. I expect many like me are refugees from Facebook having given FB a try reached the conclusion "not fit for puropose" and believe we have found not an alternative but a better fit to our needs. That doesn't mean FB doesn't have a place, obviously it suits some users (seems to be mainly relative youngsters and middle-aged women), maybe they've even tried G+ but haven't understood that it isn't supposed to mimic FB or maybe it's just because their peer group is on FB so they have no real choice.

    The way I use G+ is "low profile" keeping most things private, something G+ is better at than other social media. I can share with just a few friends and family and anyone looking at my G+ page would probably conclude I'm not an active user. When I make a fool of myself I prefer it to be to a small circle of undertsanding acquaintances, not for the world at large to misinterpret perhaps years later because it's on more public media.

    In summary this article is not the quality of journalism I have come to expect on Makeuseof, I'm expecting the usual standards of balance, intelligent insight and worthwhile commentary not a poorly crafted hatchet job. Perhaps that is what characterises the differences between G+ and FB afficianados.

    • Mihir Patkar
      August 3, 2015 at 9:12 am
    • Phil Nolan
      August 14, 2015 at 2:28 am

      The funny thing is that it's stupid to compare it to facebook since A. facebook falsifies their numbers and proudly admit it. And B. The only reason people seem to spend more time on facebook is that they leave it open in their browser all day.

  19. Andrew Mckay
    July 30, 2015 at 6:43 pm

    Facebook for Friends

    Google + for strangers who share common interests

    I enjoy it and hope it grows

    I find the anti google+ sentiment strange , it often sounds like people want it to fail and go out of there way to write posts with the words dead or dying

    very strange

    • Mihir Patkar
      July 30, 2015 at 6:50 pm

      I won't speak for others, but I don't *want* it to fail. I think it's inevitable. Maybe because I have to track this industry and can see some patterns which I'm unable to express in writing a strong case for why I think it'll fail.

      That said, someone in the comments suggested something along the lines of using Google+ as an aggregator for other social networks. If Google were to use that as a strategy, I think G+ might actually be awesome.

      • Phil Nolan
        August 14, 2015 at 2:31 am

        Why is it inevitable? Because Google made it and everything Google makes fails? It's inevitable that facebook will go down too, just like Twitter or YouTube or MakeUseOf. What does that even mean?

        G+ is easily the best social network around, the only thing it needs is for bloggers to stop trash talking it. Why don't you talk about all the horrible things facebook does?

  20. Joe Poniatowski (CruzeControl)
    July 30, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    I use Google+ to share ideas, news, and developments with like-minded individuals on a variety of topics. I can do that with blogs and forums (mine or belonging to other people) dedicated to those topics. Yes, my blogging has come to a stand-still because we're using circles, communities, and collections at the moment.

    Your next question might be, why not move to Facebook and/or Twitter if G+ dies? Mainly, the content I see on those platforms. G+ seems to have less "fluff." Maybe that's just my perception from what I've seen, having never used either service. G+ has niche user bases, and perhaps that's what I like the most, and why niche blogs would be the direction I'd take.

    • Mihir Patkar
      July 30, 2015 at 7:04 pm

      Fair enough, Joe. I can see where you're coming from, it's a respectable perspective :) I'm pessimistic about Google+'s chances, so if it does shut down, I'm glad to see you already have a backup plan in place--back to blogging!

  21. Peter Fitzsimmons
    July 30, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    Google plus is not a flop.

    It's changing, as all things should, to better suit the needs of it's many users.

    For me, G+ is more important than Facebook or Twitter (the two platforms it is usually pitted against) in that I am able to join and learn from varied communities and converse in many different subjects.

    Nobody is going to get it right all the time. But I am glad to see a social media platform change to suit the needs of it's users rather than to accommodate more space for its advertisers (looking at you Twitter - I want my background back!)

    Facebook constantly comes under fire for it's alterations but has not yet dies a death, or nor will it. The same will be said for G+.

    It is different from it's competitors and it's users, for the most part, understand this.

    It is most certainly NOT a flop, as the title of this article claims.

    Just because a site changes the way it works and looks, does not mean it has failed.

    MUO has gone under many changes in the past few years, from how it looks, to the points system and many others, but still continues to write great articles.

    I doubt I will ever understand the logic of people who throw a hissy fit and spout "doom and gloom" when something on the internet is updated or differs from how it used to be.

    The internet is continually evolving. 10 years ago we didn't have smartphones, of Facebook or Twitter. The idea of streaming films was a pipe dream. But now we take these things fro granted.

    They will change and so to will the way we use social media.

    I am happy for changes to come, if they make life easier for all.

    If things stay the same, they become stagnant and then die.

    Bring it on, I say!

    A little bit more positivity and a little less pessimism goes a long way..... (god, I sound like a hippy) hahaha.

  22. Michel de Bruin
    July 30, 2015 at 7:34 am

    What I usually like about 'makeuseof' is that the articles are about 'useful' things. This is an opinion piece of the kind of quality that would be more suitable for TechCrunch. Now I can almost hear you think, whoohoo TechCrunch! Great site. But for me that site is fun of Apple fanboys. They have been attacking Google+ from the day it launched. They and a bunch of other media outlets. The arguments they and you use may be valid for some users. But for millions of other users they are not true. You are probably more suited for Facebook. So enjoy that! Your response to Knox Siwash made it quite clear that you are quite clueless about the things that make Google great.

    • Mihir Patkar
      July 30, 2015 at 8:38 am

      Exactly, they may be valid for "some" users. Those "some" can be millions, just like the millions of other users they are not true for. So far, the response we have seen to this article indicates a lot of people agree with what is posted here.

      Knowing a company's history of failures in launching a social product is important in choosing whether their new social product is something you want to use or not. If you believe their failures are an indication of doom for the new product, don't use it. If you believe their failures indicate they have learnt from mistakes and the new product is finally the good one, then use it.

      • Michel de Bruin
        July 30, 2015 at 9:20 am

        I would like to see some objectivity, and that requires arguments. How a product is performing now seems a much better argument than not trying it at all because of past performances.

        Put the functions of the different products next to eachother and compare. Then give people good advice on which one is best. One of the arguments could be that most people are using another product so most interaction on certain topics is more likely there. But is should be just one of the arguments.

        • Mihir Patkar
          July 30, 2015 at 9:27 am

          We've already done that, Michel, and that article has been linked above. In case you didn't find it, here it is again: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/google-plus-vs-facebook-which-one-offers-more-features-and-a-better-experience-si-x2/

          Right now, the current news is that Google+ is delinking itself from YouTube. I've presented Google's reasons for doing so, I've presented recent other moves with regards to Google+, I've presented the history of Google with regards to social networking, I've presented expert opinions on what this new move means, and I've presented user reactions. What sort of objectivity were you looking for?

        • Michel de Bruin
          July 30, 2015 at 9:39 am

          Mihir, your whole post is drenched in words like dying, dead, failed etc. And you speak in absolutes, The title "Is google+ dying, it seems so." and the first paragraph following it are a very good example. "The “Googleplusification” of all its products was annoying, and we’re glad to see this requirement going away." WE sounds like everybody, but in fact many people liked it as well.

          You state that creating the best product doesn't mean it will be a success. Unfortunately that is true, and I believe these kind of biased articles contribute to that strongly.

          I would ask you to let the viewers draw their own conclusions, preferably after trying the product because you wrote an article that did not give them the feeling that they should better run from it that try it.

        • Mihir Patkar
          July 30, 2015 at 9:56 am

          "It seems so" is an absolute? Maybe we disagree on English itself.

          "We" is a pronoun that several authors at MakeUseOf (and other publications) prefer to use, instead of "I". In the above example of Googleplusification being annoying, it links to an article written by my colleague, Justin, and I share his opinion about this. Hence, "We". In general, I also prefer to use the term "we" as a pronoun instead of "I", because I'm a proponent of collective editorial voices instead of individual voices. I do understand the confusion about that though, so your point about not using "We" is something I'll take into consideration for articles in the future. My job is to write with as much clarity as possible, so if a reader is getting confused by the word I used, that's completely my fault and your feedback is appreciated.

          As for your emphasis that a reader should draw that conclusion after trying a product, I disagree there. I believe part of my job is to save a reader time/energy. Sometimes, that means dissuading someone from trying a product that I believe isn't in their best long-term interests.

          We do agree on one thing: readers should draw their own conclusions. Like I said in my previous comment, I did put across several perspectives about this situation. After that, a reader is free to think what they will.

          Here's the thing. No matter what I say, a reader will always draw their own conclusions. And your responses are proof enough that readers will read what I say, think about it themselves, and form their own conclusions.

          Trust the readers more. They're intelligent people, capable of seeing through hyperboles for effect, capable of surmising whether they should try a product or not based on an article, and more than capable of putting me in my place if I was overwhelmingly wrong here :)

        • Michel de Bruin
          July 30, 2015 at 11:22 am

          Okee Mihir, I am happy to hear you trust the readers to form their own opinion, now stop trying to influence they in a certain way. I realise that we don't agree on the last point. Have a nice day :-)

        • Mihir Patkar
          July 30, 2015 at 11:26 am

          You too! And thanks for speaking up about your dissent in a polite discussion, always nice to have a non-vitriolic argument on the internet :)

        • fcd76218
          July 30, 2015 at 8:00 pm

          " now stop trying to influence they in a certain way"
          Michel, you should also stop trying to influence the posters in a certain way. Without mentioning the G word you are trying very hard to convince the readers that G+ is is as good as FB, if not better.

          "Put the functions of the different products next to eachother and compare. Then give people good advice on which one is best."
          Giving advice IS trying to influence others. Please make up your mind what you want Mihir to do. In one post you want him to recommend a product, in another you castigate him for doing exactly that.

          I agree with you that the different products should be presented side by side BUT it should be the reader that ultimately determines what is best for him or her. "Best" is not an absolute term. What is "best" for you, may be totally unsuitable for me, and vice versa.

  23. Knox Siwash
    July 29, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    I use Google+ because I find that it has a higher percentage of interesting posters than the larger networks. In general, more people just means more garbage, and I prefer quality. So for me not having Facebook-like numbers doesn't at all make it unsuccessful.

    • Mihir Patkar
      July 30, 2015 at 5:37 am

      I disagree about that. Social media is a numbers game, mostly. If you're using Google+ as a feed for people you like to follow, then what you're saying makes sense, but I think you'll also be able to find similar posters on other networks.

      More than that, Google+ isn't part of an everyday conversation, people say, "Hey, add me on Facebook" or "Did you see what tweeted?" Social media is about conversations and Google+ is not part of conversations.

    • Phil Nolan
      August 14, 2015 at 2:34 am

      Totally agree, it's highly successful, and who knows what facebook's numbers really are anyway, since they fake them all.

  24. fcd76218
    July 29, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    I am not a Google+ user, nor will I ever be.

    Google ought to stick to their core competency (search engine) and not try to get its tentacles into everybody else's pie. Google seems like 4 or 5 year old who cannot/will not concentrate on anything for more than a short period of time. They deep-six products and projects without rhyme or reason. I can understand axing non- or under-performing products but Google has dumped quite a few popular and successful products/services.

    "(I still) do not understand why Google continues to blatantly ignore what its users are telling them."
    What's to understand? Google, like all big companies, arrogantly believes that "they know better" what users want/need. These companies, Google among them, figure their size allows them to dictate to the users, instead of listening. They are convinced that users need them more than they need the users.

    • Mihir Patkar
      July 30, 2015 at 5:38 am

      As a business, I can understand why they feel the need to get into social. The social space is growing more rapidly than search or others; and as an internet company, they need to figure out how to get into a rapidly growing market. I do agree with your larger point though: With social, Google thinks users need them more than they need users. Sad, really.

  25. Joe Poniatowski (CruzeControl)
    July 29, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    Absolutely. If it dies, I'll say goodbye to social networks and go back to just blogging. I've avoided Facebook completely so far, and this won't send me running to it.

    • Mihir Patkar
      July 30, 2015 at 5:39 am

      Interesting, Joe. Do you use Google+ as an alternative to blogging right now?

  26. Matthew Hughes
    July 29, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    Man, I miss Google Buzz. Back in the day, I used to run a podcast. We used Buzz for our shownotes. Brilliant app.

    • Mihir Patkar
      July 30, 2015 at 5:39 am

      You weirdo.

      • Phil Nolan
        August 14, 2015 at 2:35 am

        So professional!

  27. Yodi Collins
    July 29, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    Google Plus is my

    -- Tumblr
    -- Instagram
    -- Twitter
    -- Pinterest

    All in one. It is one of the reasons I do not have accounts on any of those other sites. I like it, use it routinely, and plan to use it until Google shuts it down for good.

    • Mihir Patkar
      July 30, 2015 at 5:40 am

      Hmmm Google+ as an aggregator. That's a good angle, actually. Maybe that's what Google+ should be in the future: a place where all of your social networks come together.

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