Social Media & Platforms
By Penny Driscoll.
Google + has been a social wasteland since it was created in 2011. And now the 1500 hundred strong team are being broken up. Is this the end?
Google has described Google+ as a “social layer” that enhances its online properties, and that it is not simply a social networking website, but also an authorship tool that associates web-content directly with its owner/author. However, no-one can deny the overt attempt to stem the Facebook tide that was sweeping the web at the end of the last decade.
Now Facebook is slowing down, and Google is re-focussing the Plus platform. The recent departure of Vic Gundotra spawned a lot of press speculation, despite strong denials from Google management. Digital marketers are pretty much the only users of the platform, as they ratify authors, places, organisations and groups via the (quite) rigid verification process.
It many ways, it has brought order to a chaotic world – but largely unseen by the masses.
Where does that leave G+?
A U-turn seems most likely as Google seems to be backing away from the original G+ plan. Removing the forced integration seems to be the first step, so logging into GMail will no longer require a G+ account – long a bugbear that ends up with a million different G+ profiles, and another thousand passwords. Digital agencies hated the endless, pointless loops that had to be jumped through to tidy-up directory entries.
Some elements, such as Hangouts, will move to other development divisions with the main benefactor being Android. The phones/tablet wars have been hotting up and Google feel the need to bolster skills and experience in the mobile space (quite rightly).
No-one really liked G+, most saw it as a pain in the butt, but the change will shift the landscape again. It’s only a year ago that respected crystal-ball gazers were cooing sweetly with the success of G+ in overtaking Twitter.
But it never did, not really. The wasteland that is/was G+ was, in hindsight, populated entirely by automated devices going about meaningless work in a vacuum.