| February 13, 2013
I have to admit that I am a Google+ doubter. Like many, I signed up soon after Google+ launched and then forgot about it. But according to a post on globalwebindex, Google+ is the second most popular social network in the world (thanks to Rob Valsler for the link). Who knew?
The reason that Rob highlighted the status of Google+ is that when I asked for examples of brand extensions that went badly wrong on The Greenhouse (Millward Brown’s own social network), Andrew Jerina proposed Google’s Wave and Buzz as failures and seemed to imply Google+ was destined to join them on the Google Graveyard.
Rob countered by suggesting that Google+ was not a failure and said:
I don't think these failures are an issue at all but rather an inevitable consequence of a company with a phenomenal commitment to R&D… Their strike rate is pretty good: maps, chrome, android, news, Gmail are all huge.
And it seems Rob is right, Google+ is alive and well. A fact that seems to elude many people, including those who ought to know better, according to Dave Llorens writing in Fast Company. Llorens describes Google+ as:
…the Borg-like hive-queen that connects all the other Google products like YouTube, Google Maps, Images, Offers, Books, and more. And Google is starting to roll these products all up into a big ball of awesome user experience by way of Google Plus, and that snowball is starting to pick up speed and mass.
Reading this, a thought occurred to me. Because Picasa has been integrated into it, I do use Google+ on a semi-regular basis after all. I don’t like the fact that what used to be a stand-alone service has been bundled up with a social network, but habit makes me default to posting photos there. Maybe, like me, a lot of those people are not really using Google+ as a social network, but instead are using legacy applications that have been bundled into it?
In order to investigate I did what any self-respecting researcher does, I went to Google+ and posted my question (I also emailed my circles). The only replies I received stated:
Really interesting, Nigel. I am still trying to figure out why I'm using Google+.
The second states:
I find the figures difficult to believe.
So what do you think? Is Google+ a success? And who is using it and why? Please share your thoughts.