I’m calling it: Google+ is a flop.

Does anyone else not care about Google plus? Hitwise released a report that says Google+ traffic had declined by 3% for the week ending July 23. Google are of course in damage control mode and claiming that Hitwise ignores Android, iPhone and traffic to the web app and only takes into account traffic to the site itself.

Shouldn’t they all be growing virally? Google claims they’re in limited field trials, it’s invite only, etc, but I can get in and so can you I’m sure.

What worries me is that a social app that is truly engaging and social should have a very strong viral loop. New users invite new users.

If you’re Google, you’re starting with an audience of over a billion people. That’s a pretty good seed for your viral loop. They should be having to fight the traffic off with a sharp stick.

I think their strategy of softly-softly when launching new products hurts them in the long run. They’re so worried about down-time they’re sacrificing valuable PR buzz and new product momentum to avoid it. Twitter still goes down regularly and that hasn’t hurt them yet.

But the real problem I have with Google Plus is it’s fugly.

I don’t mean purely on design. The language they use to describe each product feature is like something out of The Boo Hoo Bird: “Circles”, “Hangouts”, “Sparks”.

I also think the designers are still suffering from PTSD from the Google Buzz debacle:

[box]Circles let you share with just the right audience.[/box]

i.e. We didn’t screw up this time. Pinkie promise!