Regardless of the evidence I’m compelled to look at the glass as half full and can’t help but to have empathy for Google+, that awkward new kid on the block who despite his continued efforts of trying to fit it in is still having trouble winning people over. After approximately 9 months in the public eye, is it time to call Google+ out for what it really is or is the verdict still up for debate?
After reading through two separate commentaries today, Jon Mitchell had some words of advice on how Google can step up its game, while on the flip side Michael Gray wasn’t hesitant to categorize the company’s biggest push into social as a quote “Epic Failure”, I’m still not convinced that Google+ has reached its peak in terms of adoption or usability. Unlike Google Wave and Buzz (remember those?), Google+ has stood confident, as if hinting to the naysayers that it’s not afraid to hang around for the long haul. If the large television ad campaign, live broadcasting of an Obama Hangout, or massive integration with almost all of the company’s other prominent services wasn’t enough to grab your attention, Google’s ongoing commitment of merging G+ into search (dubbed Search Plus Your World) should do the trick if you’re someone who cares in the slightest about internet market or SEO.
Although I respectfully disagree with those who want to call it the second generation of social media, the odds of G+ gaining market share comparable to that of what Facebook has earned is out right laughable, standing on it’s own Google+ deserves credit. Look past the fact that your non tech obsessed friends aren’t using it and you’ll see a clean, user friendly, intuitive social network. Delegating contacts into circles makes sense and is easy enough, albeit time consuming, to do and Hangouts can be quite useful for those who like to use video chat or want a trustworthy alternative to Skype. Take a step back and it’s reasonable to conclude that Google has built a fine service, one that’s worthy of attention. The real reason Google+ hasn’t reached household name fame yet is twofold: #1 being that in all likelihood Google is late to the party and should have released something just like this several years ago and #2 that this is actually a long term play and needs time to develop. It’s going to take years, not months to gain significant traction.
Regardless if it ultimately sinks or floats, right now isn’t the time to ignore or write off Google+. In this case patience really is a virtue.