Regular readers of my blog will know of my interest in Social Media. When Google announced to the world that they would be launching a social network it made perfect sense for a number of reasons. Firstly they are one of the best known and trusted brands in the world, secondly, their homepage is the worlds most visited each day and finally they have hundreds of millions of users of their Apps, such as Gmail, Docs and now their Android user base.
I think they underestimated 2 key things however; familiarity and free time of their ‘users’
You see, most people have a Facebook and/or Twitter account. Some of us write a blog. Some of us are on Myspace, LinkedIn, Ning, Bebo etc etc. And over the past 5 or so years of cultivating our social networks, can we really be bothered to a) start a new one, b) get used to another user interface c) have the time to actually maintain it properly.
As we all get busier in the hectic lives we lead, I for sure don’t have time to actively ‘manage’ another social channel. I spend (afford) myself about an hour a day to maintain LinkedIn, my Blog and my Twitter feed. If I add another network, it will dilute my ability to respond and manage my existing ones.
I can’t help but feel that Google have missed the boat… By about 5 years.
The initial uptake was strong. And why wouldn’t it be. Intrigue made me as well as millions of others an early adopter to Google+. They received a staggering 20M visits to Google+ in the 1st 21 days of service. But numbers are declining. The chart below, created by VentureBeat in August shows Facebook’s domination in the social world and just how far behind Google is.
I have to say I like Google+, I like the concept of Circles, Hangouts and Sparks, but the fact is I haven’t logged on for more than 3 weeks now. And I don’t really feel I need to anytime soon. My ‘familiar’, existing social environments that have taken a lot of time to get feeling just right, are serving me fine thank you…
UPDATE: This post has been featured on Social Media Today – View it here
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