Google Plus Review

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Google+ is a relatively new social platform developed by Google, and was publicly launched in 2011. The service was created to compete against established social media but in my opinion, has not proven to be unique enough to compel people to engage on a regular basis.

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Google Plus Review

  1. 1. Summary Google+ is a relatively new social platform developed by Google, and was publicly launched in 2011. The service was created to compete against established social media but in my opinion, has not proven to be unique enough to compel people to engage on a regular basis. In order to become successful, I think that Google should reassess what it wants Google+ to perform. Google+ should focus on its primarily on its core competencies such as Circles, Hangout and Photos; services that have proven to be used and implemented by users actively. Google+ should not get automatically subscribed to if a person uses any other Google service, as this dilutes the impact of the brand drastically. Links Used I referred to the following links and have incorporated them in my research: http://www.informationweek.com/security/privacy/5-reasons-googles-name-policy-fails/231500512 http://thenextweb.com/google/2012/01/12/google-removes-very-confusing-incoming-stream-from-google/ http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/12/net-us-google-social-idUSBRE94B04W20130512 http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052970204653604577249341403742390 http://searchengineland.com/google-the-good-the-bad-the-ugly-83630 http://socialstrand.com/2013/10/14/google-privacy-update-using-face-ads-unethical-genius/ http://www.ibtimes.com/google-engineer-calls-google-plus-complete-failure-5-reasons-we-agree-323069 http://mashable.com/2011/07/06/google-plus-businesses/ http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052970204653604577249341403742390 http://bgr.com/2013/07/19/google-plus-social-sharing-analysis/ http://bgr.com/2013/05/14/google-plus-analysis-users-brands/ http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/12/net-us-google-social-idUSBRE94B04W20130512 http://searchengineland.com/google-the-good-the-bad-the-ugly-83630 http://www.ibtimes.com/google-traffic-plunges-60-percent-running-out-breath-already-649552 http://www.androidauthority.com/the-latest-social-share-numbers-are-in-and-google-isnt-doing-so-well-246252/ http://www.digitaltrends.com/social-media/google-hands-on-five-major-flaws/2/#ixzz2jj1Vsw00 http://www.itproportal.com/2013/10/30/google-sees-58-surge-in-number-of-active-users/ http://socialtimes.com/google-passes-twitter-to-become-second-largest-social-network-study-finds_b117378 http://mashable.com/2012/06/27/google-plus-one-year-later/ http://www.businessinsider.com/steve-yegge-google-platform-rant-2011-10 http://www.fastcompany.com/1837332/exclusive-new-google-study-reveals-minimal-social-activity-weak-user-engagement http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052970204653604577249341403742390 http://gigaom.com/2012/03/15/google-plus-the-problem-isnt-design-its-a-lack-of-demand/ http://www.bitrebels.com/social/is-google-a-failure-infographic/ http://www.ibtimes.com/google-engineer-calls-google-plus-complete-failure-5-reasons-we-agree-323069 http://jalcommunication.com/google/ http://jonathanbudd.com/why-google-failed/ http://www.browsermedia.co.uk/2012/06/25/is-google-a-failure-destined-for-the-graveyard/ http://marketingland.com/if-googles-really-proud-of-google-it-should-share-some-real-user-figures-9796 Please watch this video by Wall Street Journal titled: Google+ vs Facebook: It's No Contest The video describes Google+ as a ‘Ghost Town’. Even with millions of users being added, most people are not actively engaged in it, as they are on Facebook. It can be seen at: http://on.wsj.com/LC4Km1
  2. 2. DM654: Strategic Technology - Individual Assignment #2 (Failed ST) Project By Ali Akbar Sahiwala Humanity Google+ had come under strong criticism at the time of its launch for prohibiting the use of pseudonyms or nicknames, which caused privacy and confidentiality concerns. The decision has since been reversed. Nonetheless, people are often skeptical of Google’s privacy policies as it tracks user data for its own benefit. Barriers to Entry Created Google+ enhanced products are vast, including YouTube and Gmail (and totally 120 Google+ integrations so far); while signed up with Google+, Google counts any usage of these components as engagement with Google+. No other competitor can match such capabilities or offer such a versatile platform. Economic Metrics Google never articulated how or if it intends to make money off its social network. Analysts describe their goal is to prevent migration of Internet users to Facebook and other social networks, improve its core search advertising business and gain new income streams. To date, it appears that the main financial goal of Google+ is to obtain personal data about users to better target ads to them across all of Google. Commercial Viability While Google+ does not feature any ads now, analysts determine attracting major brands could be the first step to an important, high-margin revenue source. In order to do that, Google+ must entice people to engage with it actively, something it has not yet succeeded in performing. Ethical/Moral Acceptance Google+ focused initially on catering to unhappy Facebook users who held privacy concerns. Privacy concerns are still prevalent however, as Google+ plans to use profile names and photos when a person shares their endorsements/comments. User Relationship RJ Metrics found ‘active’ users on Google+ took an average of 12 days between each post and 30% of people who visit Google+ post once and then never return again. Market Timing During the launch of Google+, businesses tried to make brand pages but Google asked brands to stop creating profiles;.This caused controversy and forced Google to accelerate plans for brands. The fact that Google+ was launched years after Facebook, following several failed attempts to make social media platforms over the years also put it at a big disadvantage. Differentiation While Google+ has some original features including Hangouts, analysts and some consumers say the distinction is not enough to lure Facebook members away and persuade them to build a network of contacts from scratch on Google+. Displacement Factor Google+ is responsible for merely 2% of social shares, e-commerce and media/publishing as of Q2 (April through June) of 2013. These prove the service has had a very low ability to tap into the larger market and displace other competitors and the time spent on other platforms. Brand Identity Google used its various products to merge with Google+, transforming it from a platform into Google’s “identity service”, as described by chairman Eric Schmidt. I believe this dilutes their brand as a social media platform and makes it confusing. Users like myself, consider it as an add-on that we do not necessarily interact with as we use other Google products. Feature Richness Google+ integrates a range of features from across Google to its users in addition to a number of features like Circle, Hangouts, Huddle, Sparks, etc. However, this can be refined as it needs to pull together all of its separate services in a cohesive way, with every service thoroughly interconnected. Fosdick Curve Measurement In my opinion, Google+ appears to be at its’ peak adoption phase as the number of active users grew to 300 million users. Earlier in 2013, Google+ became the second biggest social media platform by surpassing Twitter. There is an urgent need for Google to come up with new technologies to make it further innovative, or else it may end up like a commodity. Competitive Advantage Roland Smart, VP of marketing for Involver, a social media marketing firm, noted that Google has taken a reactive rather than proactive stand; after making strong apps, they have tried to get a social fabric to fit between. Google has a very strong line-up of products, but this will not necessarily make Google+ a more popular platform to use. Intended Application Google announced in Fall 2012 that its social networking site was home to 400 million members with more than 100 million active monthly users. Despite these numbers, many people are apparently continuing to ignore Google+. Google has been unable to win over brands and businesses that have instead turned to connect with customers on competing social media sites. Design Form Some companies complain that Google+ has a highly restrictive canvas. Its profile pages are more limited than on Facebook or Twitter because they don't support iFrame, a Web standard that allows multiple Web pages to be embedded within a main page. Usability The User Interface is quite complicated for average social users; with many options to choose from and different features to simply post up information, the interface is deemed highly unintuitive and needs time and effort to understand and use. Value Proposition Traffic dropped drastically after Google+ was initially launched to the public as it doesn't offer additional services that other social media platforms lack. Google+ began providing some features, which helped it become an alternative but competitors began adding similar features, causing Google+ gradually to lose strong appeal. Innovation Cycle Steve Yegge, a Google engineer had posted in a rant that “Google+ is a knee-jerk reaction, a study in short-term thinking, predicated on the incorrect notion that Facebook is successful because they built a great product”. He explained that the premise of Google+ is flawed as that they are trying to deliver another social media platform which seems like a late move- not one that is original. Engagement & Experience LinkedIn is beating Google+ for shared content with a 3% share, meaning Google+ users share even less than users of a website that is mostly used for business networking. Third party reports indicate public posts on Google+ are very low and weak user engagement. Other findings indicate non-mobile visitors to Google+ spent on average three minutes on the network a month, between Sep ‘12 to Jan ’13. There are a couple more criteria that I omitted, as listed below: Enablement & Pain Resolution, Functional Capability, Capitalization, Environmental Sustainability Hello there! Here is a list of reasons why I think Google+ is a failed service currently on the market:

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