Google recently announced it will be shutting down Google+, the tech giant’s internet-based social network, during the next 10 months. The platform was launched in 2011.
I have 39 followers, and I follow 134 people/entities. In contrast, I have more than 1,300 Facebook friends. The two are different platforms, of course, but I’ve actually made an effort to build up my Facebook network whereas I've done little with Google+. Then again, Google+ has exponentially fewer users than Facebook – 111 million to 2.2 billion – so the numbers aren’t necessarily there even if I was interested in more engagement.
I’m not sure why I joined. Curiosity? I admire the brand – Google has long been my primary search engine, I use Gmail, and I store my files on Google Drive. Like their other products, I found Google+ had the same engaging interface – simple, clean, sparse. That ease of navigation is one of the main reasons why I gave up Yahoo mail for Gmail. However, Google+ always seemed to be an inferior version of Facebook. Mr. Zuckerberg offers several options to explore when I log in – I can scroll through my news feed, check my event invites, explore Marketplace, etc. With Google+, there was never enough there to interest me. Sometimes less is more, but in this instance less is just... less.
Google reported 90 percent of user sessions are less than five seconds – I’m not sure they’re helping their case by releasing such grim statistics – and that’s about how much time I would spend on Google+ before I clicked over to Facebook. I’ve been a member for more than a decade and it’s become my social media of choice. There's a certain comfort and familiarity to Facebook that I never felt with Google+.
We can add Google+ to the company’s list of discontinued products and services – Google Reader, iGoogle, Google Talk, Google Health, etc. I appreciate that they continue to innovate and introduce new resources, but like many I didn't embrace this particular one. I will, however, be on board for the next iteration of Google Glass – providing it costs less than a new washer and dryer.
I'm Eli Natinsky and I'm a communication specialist. This blog explores my work and professional interests. I also delve into other topics, including media, marketing, pop culture, and technology.