Google+, a social networking site launched in 2011 by search engine giant Google, is now in the final stages of its sad existence. Google has been dismantling the platform for quite some time now by splitting up services like streams and photos. Now, with these drastic changes, Google+ will no longer be required for all Google related activities.
Perhaps YouTube users are the happiest of the bunch for this announcement as they disapproved of comments being shared on their Google+ page. Google now says that in the coming months, you’ll only need to create a Google account to do things such as creating a YouTube channel, communicating with contacts and other key functionalities.
The slow death of Google+ also diminishes the hopes of the company that the Facebook inspired platform will ever rival Facebook.
What does this mean for marketers?
Google practically forced its users to create a Google+ account in order to use the company’s other products (which is why it’s the second most used social site after Facebook in India). This technique certainly created a large following for the platform with 300 monthly active users in late 2013.
Still, Google+ was no match for the king of social media, Facebook. “For our part, the biggest issue with Google’s social network is that it just wasn’t social enough – the layout of the site wasn’t as inviting or friendly as Facebook’s traditional layout and we still haven’t seen any indication that Google really gets how the social web works,” Google admits on its official blog.
So was Google+ a complete failure? Perhaps, if its only goal was to be the nemesis of Facebook. Not at all, however, if Google’s goal was to gather data about its users across various platforms and use that to attract marketers.
The lesson here is that social platforms’ success does not lie in the success of the company they are owned by. Snapchat, which entered the social space a year after Google+ dominated the space in a much more permanent way than Google+, which had a strong initial buzz but then eventually faded.
Perhaps aesthetics, unfamiliarity or lack of timely marketing strategy has led to Google+’s unfathomed exit.