Sep 24, 2014

Will Google abandon Google+?

I realize that I’m in the minority, but I love Google+. Basically, it gave me a chance to start something like Facebook from scratch, and avoid many of the things that made me abandon Facebook. With Google+, the only people in my circles are people that I actually know well, and who I would consider friends, not just casual acquaintances. It’s improved my social media life considerably. Plus, it's easy to use hangouts for video chats and IM at no cost. 

Google has announced that it is uncoupling the creation of a Gmail account with creation of a Google+ account. This was an easy step for users, and while I could see people resenting signing up for something they didn’t really want. it was a good way to encourage people to give it a try. Combined with the resignation of Vic Gundotra, the “father” of Google+, it seems that the company is pulling away from its social media platform. I hope that it isn’t going to go the way of Google Reader, but what are the chances that it will?

Actually people really like and continuously use Facebook, Facebook users are greater than G+ and twitter.

While it appears that Google is pulling away from Google+, I don’t think the company has any intention of shutting it down just yet. They have decoupled Google Authorship from G+ (or perhaps even eliminated it, I haven’t checked recently), which is not exactly a vote of confidence. Hangouts has also been separated, and I think Hangouts has the possibility to be one of Google more popular offerings. 


I think these are cautionary signs, as Google has demonstrated it is willing to kill off high profile offerings at a moment’s notice. However, they are still adding feature to G+, such as the Stories feature and increased options for business users. I’m not sure even Google knows where they are going with G+ at this point. I like having an alternative to Facebook, and I would be unhappy to see it go away. The “Google+ active users” numbers that Google likes to spit out have always been suspect due to the coupling with other services. With the recent changes, we may at least get a better idea of how many people are actual active users, and not just people who had the social network forced upon them.

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