|Google+ The Rising Star, or the Also Ran?|
With the might of Google behind Google+ do we have a winner here?
It's hard to gauge if we have a winner because the stats which have come out, and the release program, have muddied the water a little. Hitwise releases stats showing big increases in sign-ups. I wonder how many of those sign-ups come back and re-use Google+?
I found it interesting to note that a recent article in the LA Times [latimesblogs.latimes.com] seems to ask the same questions I had in my mind.
|One of technology's big unresolved dramas is whether Google can still cut into the giant social networking lead now held by rival Facebook -- or if its Google+ service is already sunk. |
Data on the subject have been sparse, with much of the more recent information coming from traffic measurement firm Experian Hitwise. Hitwise has tended to release its numbers after Google+ has had a good week or two. Last week, for instance, was the site's third-biggest since launch, drawing nearly 7 million visitors, Hitwise said Wednesday.
The part that I struggle with is the need to log in to do everything. I dislike being logged in all the time. If i'm logged in to twitter it's not tracking my search, or the sites I visit. That's not the case with Google+.
I cannot, it appears, make my identity secondary when I want to 'market' a business or service without it being my name at the fore. In many instances, I don't want my name to be the key factor in the message that's going out, I want the business or service to be the leading point.
With circles I can choose who sees the messages. But, really, do I even want my family on Google+, especially when some are already on FB.
Will Google+ end up being just for geeks? Will it end up being too technical for the average user, unlike Facebook, which has been highly annoying at times, but relatively simple to use.
For sure, Google is committed to it, and as they add new services, such as music, more people will have to be logged in.
Are we just at the start of a great new social system, or are we seeing the development of a new techie-only facility?
As an FB occasional user, old time webmaster... and NON google anything, I'm on the outside looking in. Not sure how many like me are out there, though I imagine that is a Very Significant Number, I haven't found any compelling reason to use the +google, or any of google's other services (gmail, etc.) Also have a privacy concern, block all ads (NoScript), etc. And while those with like mind might be a smaller Significant Number, I have no doubt it is still a Very Large Number.
I return to the word used above COMPELLING... and I'm just not seeing it. Not google bashing, merely observations of what's out there on the web and what I find useful or necessary.
|Google+ is struggling to retain interest from users who sign-up to the social network. |
Figures seen by the LA Times suggest that the number of punters using Google's service, which hooks into a person's Gmail profile and functions as a contender to Facebook, is haphazardly dialling up occasionally and down often.
Hitwise told the newspaper that US traffic to Google+ had fallen in 11 of the 21 weeks since the company launched the network in June this year. It has seen regular dips in interest from users by as much as 10 per cent to 20 per cent depending on the week.
Info from a different source...
This all looks like a slow burner to me. It's far too early to call it an also ran as you can be sure that Google has a lot of other attachments to make to bring in the punters.
|With the might of Google behind Google+ do we have a winner here? |
Given Google's track record, I'd be extremely nervous about potential success if it started with 'google's behind it'.
And if I was on the Google+ team right now, I'd be anxiously seeking alternative job prospects. Somebody's @ss is going to get served up over this failure, particularly given how important it is for Google that this succeed.
I don't know of any "real life" friends who use G+, nearly all use Facebook though. I won't be signing up and considering I'm the techie in the family I'm sure no one else in my family will. Which is good.
Now Google has linked its music service, I can see where others may want to share, but is it enough?