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Google+ Is A Triumph, Not A Failure

Posted on the 29 April 2014 by Techdrink @techdrink1
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When it was announced that Google+ boss Vic Gundotra was leaving Google it was taken as a death knell for G+ and the inevitable epitaphs were written for his product.

Despite Google’s rather well spun usage figures, it’s pretty well known that Google+ does not enjoy the user base of Facebook or even Twitter in any meaningful way. But that really doesn’t tell the whole story.

Hold any social network up to Facebook and it pales in comparison. But that doesn’t stop people coming up with them.

Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram…they’re all social networks in their own way and they all thrive on smaller, but equally if not more passionate users. And nobody knocks them for it. Yet when it comes to Google+ things are very different. Why?

Google+ is used by a a significant number of people, each of them passionate about the product and what they use it for. There are growing, flourishing communities on Google+ (and they are NOT all marketers). From technology evangelists through chefs and cooks to designers and photographers, they all communicate and learn from one another via Google+, using the product to its fullest advantage.

And speaking of the “product”…let’s just ignore the fact there are other social networks out there for a minute. In fact, let’s ignore the term ‘social network’.

What Google have done with G+ is build a really, really impressive tool. It’s beautiful to look at, it works extremely well, it puts YOU in control of the “noise”, it has amazing features like Hangouts and even Circles (which once you get the hang of them are very useful and powerful), it handles photos brilliantly…whichever way you look at it, Google+ is a fantastically constructed tool.

Now let’s bring the others back into play. What works as well as Google+? Facebook? Most definitely not. Twitter? Yes, but way more limited. The others? Nope.

Tool or Network?

Those who describe Google+ as a social network just aren’t getting it, I don’t think. Google may well have intended it to rival Facebook but even they must know by now it never will. Think of Google+ as a collaboration tool with storage and broadcast capabilities, however, and it beats everything else hands down.

For those old enough or geeky enough to remember Google Wave, that God awful collaboration tool Google created a few years back, you’ll recognize a few of the features remain. While Google were toying with that, though, the world went social and G+ is their response to that.

And, of course, if you really want to, you can use Google+ as your alternative to Facebook no problem whatsoever. If you can convince your friends and family to join you on there then you’ll not miss Facebook one bit.

The Negatives

Nothing is perfect. Not Google and certainly not Google+.

Many don’t like the fact you are ‘forced’ to have a Google+ presence if you intend to use any other Google product. To me that’s no problem, just don’t use it, who cares? But to many, it’s an issue and I can understand that.

The lack of an API so you can build onto Google+ is still a major negative. Imagine if the likes of King, Rovio and, of course, Zynga were able to bring their viral games to G+ like they do for Facebook. Google might find it has a social network after all. Even better for users like me, imagine if there were some actually useful third party apps to choose from. It’s something Google needs to address and I’m pretty sure they will…when they’re ready.

Google remain tight lipped on just how much relevance is given to Google+ when it comes to SEO and search engine rankings but I know from personal experience that I can get onto page one for a targeted search term if I publish to Google+. That pretty much means brands have to have a Google+ page or presence and apply the appropriate authorship mark up. And that only leads to more noise for the individual user. Thank God for noise controls and easy to use Circles.

Google+ Rocks

Despite these negatives though, and the fact that its cheerleader Gundotra is leaving it behind, Google+ rocks. IF you can find a use for it, IF you realize it’s a tool not a network and IF you simply accept it for what it is.

BONUS TIP: If you can’t find the community you want on Google+, start it. It’s ridiculously easy to do. If you’re a scuba diver looking to hook up with other divers but there don’t appear to be any then start a Community or a Circle, publish to Google+, tell the divers you DO know about it and get them on there and involved. You’ll be AMAZED how quickly it’ll grow.

THAT is the power of Google+ – a (near) total success, not a failure.

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Google+ Is A Triumph, Not A Failure

Ben Greenwood

Ben is the founder and editor of TechDrink. A huge fan of technology and social media, he has been blogging on those and many other subjects for well over five years. You can follow him in many places, including Twitter, Facebook and .
Google+ Is A Triumph, Not A Failure

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