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Google+ Might Not Be Doing So Well After All

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Google+ Might Not Be Doing So Well After All
[ Social Media]

Google+ has been a huge investment for Google over the past few years. This year saw some of the biggest investment so far with Google buying up talent like Meebo and Milk to help support Google+. The company also showed off many new features for Google+ at I/O to get the hype going. If rumors circulating today are true, all that investment may have been for naught.

Recent rumors coming out of the tech world suggest that Google+ may not be getting any major investment from Google for the rest of the year. Sources speaking to TechCruch have revealed that Google has put a freeze on any more acquisitions related to Google+. Even more interesting, Google may not be putting any money into growing the Google+ team for the rest of the year.

This about face seems odd as Google bragged about massive Google+ growth during I/O. Most of that growth was related to mobile, but it was still a sign of good things to come for the platform. Those claims were confirmed last week with a report from Compete showing that Google+, at least the desktop version, has reached 31 million unique monthly visitors.

Of course, that’s only unique monthlies. What really matters is if the social network can retain those users and turn them into active users. I sign into my Google+ account everyday to check a few things, but I’m in no way actively engaged in the community. Google needs those active users to prove that Google+ is something worth investing in. The lack thereof may be what’s behind their rumored decision to keep funding to a minimum for the rest of the year.

At least there is a silver lining to all this depressing news. Google will still take the 450 Google+ employees on their annual trip to Hawaii.It’s best to keep up the employees’ spirits instead of letting them know the awful truth.

Google+ Might Not Be Doing So Well After All
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  • Marc

    This is hilarious. When they buy social companies we hear “Google is desperate!” When they don’t its “Google is giving up!”. Give me a break. For starters, they just acquired Wildfire yesterday which is a HUGE social acquisition. Secondly, if you check the source of this story you will discover it comes from Technews who is the same source that reported G+ dead when they had 10 million users, 40 million users, 90 million users, 170 million users, and now at 250 million users.

    I know you all need to write something, but have a little sense.

  • http://placebee.com burak

    google is doing perfect bozo. before trying to write and article about google plus, first try to understand whats google plus for!

    Its a product that connects all of their services with 1 interface. Everybody is using it, and its doing great. If people do not share much on google+ nor spend too much time to read whats shared, that doesnt mean that its not doing good.

  • James Madison

    Ugly bozo making ugly remarks about Google+. Go figure. I wonder if he’s ever had a girl.

  • Advice

    The writer is likely spot on, and the comment-ers are surprisingly inarticulate. Google has enough cache to capture the initial registration. I haven’t followed their tactics closely, but I’d suspect they enjoy similar pseudo-growth from savvy tactics like they do with gmail log-ins and all of their android base. These tactics are great to capture the initial activation, but aren’t enough to merit actual engagement.

    The bar for engagement, as it’s always been, is how this product/solution improves the user’s life or makes their life more efficient. Google+ has always had a very unclear value proposition. Slightly improving upon FB weaknesses wasn’t enough to shift the world’s population away from activity within that social graph. The potential integration with local is an interesting application, but they’ve yet to figure that out either…

    • Marc

      Its interesting that you’d blame Google for using tactics to grow their own network, as though using all the success they have had with all their other products to spur the growth of G+ was somehow a negative. The very reason many are confident G+ will succeed in the long run is BECAUSE Google is so entranced in so many our lives with their other products. Implying these are somehow “tactics” with a negative connotation doesn’t support anything the writer said.

      As far as the bar for engagement (as though you somehow are the final say on what constitutes success), the purpose of G+, as defined by Google, is to tie all their existing products together with a social content. There is a lot more to G+ than “slight improving upon FB” and your apparent lack of understanding in that area doesn’t change that realty. Many of those who use Gmail, Youtube, Blogger, Doc, Android, Chrome, etc, experience a large value-add with the integration G+ offers that FB has no answer for.

      None of us know what the future holds, but to write off G+ as it as though Google was losing interest right as it finally seems to be taking hold is ludicrous.

      For a network to be a year old and get this much attention in the press already is telling. Most people cannot name a single person who was signed on to FB prior to 2007 when it was three years old.

      Continue judging G+ based on a standard of age well beyond a year at your own peril because at its current pace comments like yours will look just as ridiculous as the early Android doubters did back in 2010.

  • https://plus.google.com/114124708527697564422/about Shiverme Timbers

    Out of curiosity, who typed the text of this article for you? I am assuming at this point that you suffer from some sort of disorder.

    Worst article this month. -1000

  • Matt

    Considering Google forces everyone who uses a Google service to create a Google + account it is safe to assume the numbers are inflated. There’s nothing wrong with Google using their other assets to grow new products, but this strategy has led to a huge gap between registered accounts and active users.

    • Marc

      Yes, quite similar to being forced to have a Facebook account in order to comment on a number of media articles. You raise a fair point, but I think that is par for the course in the social industry. No one is suggesting any of the networks doesn’t have inactive members. But again, this does nothing to support the articles notion that G+ is somehow suddenly failing.

      And really, complaining that signing up for Google services forces you to sign up for G+ is like complaining that buying a smart phone forces you to own a camera.

      • Matt

        Marc, I’m not complaining about Google forcing us to create a Google + account if we want to use one of their other services. I clearly stated that there is nothing wrong with that. I am just pointing out that Google, like Facebook, references registered users to indicate the success of Google +. That metric is less accurate for Google because there are many Google + accounts being created by people who want to use Gmail, Google docs, or any of their other services, but have no intention of being an active Google + user. When someone signs up for Facebook they are signing up with the intention of being an active user on Facebook since that is their only real product. Registered users is a more meaningful measure of success for Facebook than Google +. Google didn’t make a massive investment in developing Google + to have a nicer interface for managing all of their products. They made the investment to have a social network that rivaled Faceook. I think when you look at the number of active users of the actual social network of Google + the numbers aren’t that encouraging for Google.

        • Marc

          Matt – I respectfully disagree. Using Gmail or Docs should and will ultimately count toward G+ usage (according to Google) because they are integrating all their services into a single service. Consider if someone suggested measuring Facebook game use separate from Facebook messaging or posting to a Wall. Many of their uses are just as separate as Gmail and G+ are for Google, the only difference is that Google doesn’t yet have them under a single banner, but they are working on it. If Google completes what they have been telling us they plan to do, there will be a point in the not too distance future where you won’t even be able to measure G+ usage separate from Gmail, Docs, Youtube, etc, because they will be inseparable. Thus if you sign up for Gmail with no intention of using G+, you are not just signing up for Gmail, you are signing up for Google services, much in the same way if you sign up for Facebook just to play games, you are still signing up for Facebook and all its uses.

    • Marc

      Yes, Google has failed before, the difference is G+ is showing no signs of that failure is already has ten times more market penetration.

      Some of you really view the glass as half empty. Google also has a n incredible history of succeeding when entering a market. Google crushed Yahoo. Gmail crushed Hotmail. Android is crushing Iphone. Maps crushed Mapquest. Chrome just surpassed Explorer.

      This of course guarantees nothing, but they are as committed to G+ as any of those prior successes. Yet some of you are so bent on trying to find ways to convince everyone G+ is failing that you latch on to nothing (aka, this story) as evidence. Meanwhile, G+ has shows steady signs of growth in every metric since it began.

  • http://www.greyolltwit.com/ Grey Olltwit

    Wave, Buzz et al immediately spring to mind. Another Google product down the toilet?

    • Marc

      Yes, Google has failed before, the difference is G+ is showing no signs of that failure is already has ten times more market penetration.

      Some of you really view the glass as half empty. Google also has a n incredible history of succeeding when entering a market. Google crushed Yahoo. Gmail crushed Hotmail. Android is crushing Iphone. Maps crushed Mapquest. Chrome just surpassed Explorer.

      This of course guarantees nothing, but they are as committed to G+ as any of those prior successes. Yet some of you are so bent on trying to find ways to convince everyone G+ is failing that you latch on to nothing (aka, this story) as evidence. Meanwhile, G+ has shows steady signs of growth in every metric since it began.

  • http://www.techeditz.com ellen

    Maybe if they didn’t make it so hard to find connections for businesses who offer sales to end users who come on the site and talk to others it would be more enticing. And, if I hadn’t tried to sync my account and now need a code every 20 seconds….

  • John Wayne

    I finally found a link to click on that got rid of the Google+ thing from my account and profile. It reverted my profile and all back to teh way it was before, thank god. I was so tired of logging in everytime and being taken to some google+ site. I know lots of people and not a single one of them ever mention use of google+.

    It’s seems more hype than substance. Not to mention it was confusing as heck.