I’m going to break my rule of not linking to The Wall Street Journal because it’s 2013 and I’m in the forgiving mood. Also, because I find this story by Amir Efrati sort of fascinating.
The article really doesn’t say much, but what I find interesting is how far it goes out of its way not to plainly state the obvious: Google+ is a turd.
I’m not sure why everyone seems afraid to admit this. I think it’s similar to the reason why some seem reluctant to call Windows 8 a turd when it’s already abundantly clear: people are scared that such a bold statement could come back to bite them in the ass. But it won’t. Both are clearly turds.
Google continues to try to cram Google+ down people’s throats, but it just won’t stay down. People are gonna keep puking it right back up. The only compelling feature of Google+ is Hangouts; everything else is a carbon copy of some social activity that people can (and already do) do elsewhere. Google simply made a bad call and started chasing the wrong thing (social) far too late.
If you talk to a number of people inside Google and even those formerly inside the Google+ team, you get the same refrain: it’s just not working. I have over 1.5 million followers and actively share the same posts to Google+ that I share on Twitter and Facebook and even though I have a tiny fraction of the following on those networks, the engagement is night and day.
I wonder how long it will take Google to admit defeat here? I’m sure we’ll see a lot more of the shoving of Google+ in our faces first — Chrome, you’re next. But I really wish Google would take all the energy being put behind this dog and use it to blow out their truly interesting and innovative products, like Google Now.