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!



16 thoughts on “I’m calling it: Google+ is a flop.

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  2. here we are, 3 yrs later. every single person i know who has a google+ account has a blank page for their profile. nobody even bothers with it. the only reason why g+ has any users is because you need to sign into it to do certain things. just because someone is downloading a program from through google play doesnt mean they are a real g+ user.

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  11. Had great hopes for this product – been wanting to call it for awhile now – glad you did. It sucks, isn’t pretty, isn’t actually – useful.

    Keep waiting for Diaspora and hoping that will be good – but when they sent out an email recently asking for $$ to support a non-existent product, they lost me too.

    Finally – whatever product takes down FB they have a heck of a challenge. All my coworkers and contacts are on FB. As much as I hate it, I can’t quit it.

  12. Agreed. I think it’s flopping big time. Google doesn’t seem to understand the concept that this isn’t a web mail application and that they need people to join virally.

    What’s worse is that it lacks a lot of basic features that people on facebook use every day such as “Events”. It’s how all of my friends organize get-togethers. Sure, it’s preview, but in this case they should have skipped the crappy preview all together. It’s just a cop out way of saying “Don’t blame us if you don’t like it”.

    As sad as I am to say it, i also think that the lack of games such as farmville is going to actually hurt google+. Though I think people like my self cringe at the idea of these games, the masses play then ad nauseam and gives them something to do on facebook. The more they’re on it, the more they rely on it, and the more they tell their friends about it. Google has no draws to the site.

  13. I’ll second the Google plus flop.

    Considering Google+ is in beta this doesn’t come as a surprise to me. They have some interesting concepts but people are WAY to used to Facebook. Perhaps a secure, very private social network would bring in more people instead of so much openess?

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