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The “Ghost Town” that is Google+ is coming!!

Article originally posted here

by Brian Booher of Modern Day Computers


Let me get it out first…..I LOVE GOOGLE+!!!!

I think Google+ is the best social network on the planet!  I have met so many different people through Google+ in the 1.5 years I have been on it.  I find it so much more stimulating in being able to reach out to people of the world than I could with Facebook and Twitter.  I have more followers on Google+ than I do on Facebook and Twitter COMBINED!!  The introduction of the Google+ Hangouts is totally awesome as I can video chat with people from all over the world.  I see no reason why I should go to another social network, even though I am on Facebook and Twitter already even before joining Google+.

Hangouts and “Hangouts on Air” (HOA), are what makes Google+ better than Facebook as Facebook only allows for 1 to 1 conversations.  HOAs are really great as I can make recordings that will then be sent automatically to my Youtube account.  I don’t have to record it locally and spend the next 2 days uploading the video to Youtube with the way my Internet speed is.  Regular Hangouts are fun because I can get together with some friends and just chill out, talk about current events, discuss about tech, etc.  This is what blows Facebook out of the water, though it’s not much of a big bang as I would hope.


Even the President of the United States, Barack Obama, has used Hangouts on Air to meet with people and get a message out.  Whether you like him or not, it’s great to see a leader of a country taking advantage of this technology.

There is a problem I do see with Google+.  That problem is the amount of exposure that Google is promoting it.  As compared to Facebook and Twitter, Google+ pales in comparison when it comes to advertising.  Google’s cash cow for revenue is web search, so I don’t think they take Google+ very seriously.  That is kind of sad as Facebook has been growing so much over the years that eventually they may overtake Google as the search king.  In about 10 years, I would not be surprised if the mindset of society changes so dramatically that when people want to do a search on the web, they will facebook it, instead of google for it.

It has only been a couple of weeks since this writing that Google launched Google+ sign-in capability for apps.  This is the ability to use your Google+ credentials for a login for new apps that allow it, much like what Facebook and Twitter have allowed to do for years.  it took Google almost 2 years to create this?  Get with the times Google!

I also believe that Google is dragging their heals when it comes to promoting Google+ because of Facebook’s “Like” button.  Sure Google+ has the “+1” button, but it is not as well as promoted by companies.  Facebook gets TONS of advertising reach with companies who make commercials and say stuff like “Follow us on Facebook” or “Like us on Facebook”.  I can’t remember the last time I saw a commercial where a company said “Follow us on Google+”.  Can anyone name a commercial that did something to promote Google+ in a commercial?  Anyone?   Beuller?  Beuller?

Google is also extremely hesitant to allow app developers to create third party apps with Google+ integration.  Take Tweetdeck for instance.  As of this writing, Tweetdeck is an app that allows you to post to Facebook and Twitter at the same time, though in a few months Twitter will kill off most of that ability since competition has become fierce.  I would love to have an app that would allow me to post to Google+, Facebook, and Twitter at the same time.  The closest thing I can do is using “Friends+me” which scans my Google+ profile for new public posts and sends them to my Facebook and Twitter accounts.  This is nice, but still a cumbersome process to setup.  If Google wants to be like Apple and control the whole user experience of Google+, that is a losing war.  They are in NO position to be that controlling, considering that Google+ is not the number 1 social network.  Facebook can and is doing just that because they are the number 1 social network.

Google+ on mobile is also a disaster.  When it comes to being able to do hangouts with a mobile device, I can understand that Google will favor Android devices to be able to enter Hangouts on Air, but to restrict iOS users from being able to do that is unacceptable.  Unless Apple’s strict requirements are in play, Google is seen by many iOS user as being uncaring towards them.  Google should explain why iOS users are not allowed in Hangouts on Air, regardless of who is at fault.   If it’s Apple’s fault, then that is understandable considering how much Apple thinks it knows best for its customers.  If it’s Google decision in regards to promoting Android, that is a disaster right there.  As I said before, Google+ is in no position to determine where it can work if it wants to become a world leader.

The Google+ mobile app is not very consistent either when it comes to Android and iOS.  I present two photos that I took of the same post I made on iOS on the left and Android on the right.

iOS                                                Android

Photo 2013-03-26 02.16.27 AM          Screenshot_2013-03-26-02-09-07

As you can see, they are very similar in most ways.  The big difference between the two are the 4 icons at the bottom.  The differences are that iOS has the “Link” in yellow while Android has “Mood” in yellow.  Why the hell would anyone on Android want to put their mood on a post?  Google actually had to do an update to give Android users the ability to link websites, though it can only be done when tapping on “Write”.  The iOS version had already been able to do that.  I also will grill Google on the length of time it took to make an iPad friendly version of the Google+ app.  Facebook was able to do that sooner with their app.

Wow!  I sure have written a lot now, so I guess I will wrap it up here.

As much bashing on Google+ as I have done, I do it because, as I said before, I love Google+.  I want to see it succeed and be able to become the king of social networks.  Facebook is great, but it’s not very social as for meeting people without first having to friend them.

If Google is serious about making Google+ into a great product, they need to get things rolling faster NOW!  Facebook is growing too fast to stand back and figure out a strategy that could last long term, but there are too many dynamics to be able to understand.  Google needs to promote the hell out of Google+.  Many of my friends that I know personally and have met in real life have no idea what Google+ is, they only know Facebook.

It was once said that Google+ was a “ghost town”.  At the time it was laughed at because of all the people using it, but now about a year later, things have changed and Google+ seems to be slipping away as Facebook gains more popularity.  If Google does not do much in promoting, I may just have to leave and go for greener pastures if I want to get better exposure and access.

Come on Google!  Wake up and smell the bacon!  Mmmm!  Yum!  Now I’m hungry.

Have fun and geek out!

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