Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Why Google + is doomed


This analysis is so good it's worth quoting from not just retweeting.

But a social network isn’t a product; it’s a place. Like a bar or a club, a social network needs a critical mass of people to be successful—the more people it attracts, the more people it attracts. Google couldn’t have possibly built every one of Facebook’s features into its new service when it launched, but to make up for its deficits, it ought to have let users experiment more freely with the site. That freewheeling attitude is precisely how Twitter—the only other social network to successfully take on Facebook in the last few years—got so big. When Twitter users invented ways to reply to one another or echo other people’s tweets, the service didn’t stop them—it embraced and extended their creativity. This attitude marked Twitter as a place whose hosts appreciated its users, and that attitude—and all the fun people were having—pushed people to stick with the site despite its many flaws (Twitter’s frequent downtime, for example). Google+, by contrast, never managed to translate its initial surge into lasting enthusiasm. And for that reason, it’s surely doomed.

3 comments:

tregenza said...

I think it is worth putting a note in your diary for a year or two's time so you know when to come back an laugh at this article. It completely misunderstands the products.

GMail was not a competitor to Outlook, it was a competitor to Hotmail. Twitter was not a competitor to Facebook, its competitors were other micro-messaging services that have sunk without trace.

Many people have signed up to G+ and not really used it but this is inevitable. Google cannot launch a new product without everyone rushing to sign up. However, unlike Buzz and Wave, G+ has attracted a solid body of users who have kept using it and this are the core userbase that G+ will grow out of. A userbase who will put with Google's crap (e.g. name policy) in the same way that early Twitter users put up with downtime.

pangloss said...

@tregenza G+ may survive as a niche product but I agree with the article that as a rival to FB it has failed and the piece gives some good reasons why that be. I'm a bit tired of the general polarisation on this, just as I am with there-is-no-go-but-applePR : G + clearly hits some buttons with certain tribes eg privacy advocates, but it is a tough job to overhaul the market leader in a field dominated not by quality but by network effect. Google were the one outfit that could have transferred overa netwk effect to match FB but it hasn't hapened in terms of activiy as opposed to initial placeholderism and I think that was indeed a onetime window of opportunity.

Gona said...

GMail was not a competitor to Outlook, it was a competitor to Hotmail. Twitter was not a competitor to Facebook, its competitors were other micro-messaging services that have sunk without trace.
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