Okay. There are a couple of things that I really dislike about Google+, and these are reasons why I think it’s taking so long to work out.
- I was supposed to have early adopter access way back when it just appeared to the public.
- Nobody else uses it.
- Google+ is actually really cool.
Back when it was just announced, everyone was so excited about this new social network system Google was putting out. The microblogging industry was being heavily dominated by Facebook and Twitter. So when Google Plus was revealed, everyone wanted access.
I managed to scavenge an early adopter invitation thanks to some of my friends in university. However, the first problem arose: it told me I was too young.
Well that’s just great. I’m too young to go for Google Plus. So I search and find out that US regulations prohibit collecting information from minors until security precautions are in place. Fine.
Later on, everyone can get a place. And yet I’m still told I’m underage. This started to get on my nerves, because all my friends… of age or not, had Google +. I wanted to try it out. But I stuck with the law and I didn’t fake my age.
Finally, today, I found out that Google has reduced their age limit for Google+ and it’s now available for all users aged 13 or older. So I signed up, did everything it asked, created new circles and added friends… this is the result.
So after all that bother, I find out that no one uses Google+. Well then, that completely defeats the purpose. Why create such a vast social networking system when nobody uses it?
And this is the basis of social networking sites. The reason sites like Facebook and Twitter dominate the market is because they have a massive amount of users. They have a large user base. So it’s more likely that users will be active on these sites because all their friends are. I certainly won’t be posting on Google+ if I know that nobody follows what I say. It’s pointless typing out all those letters only to post them into a black hole of nothingness.
I think the problem with Google+ is a lack of integration. If it provided tools to link Google+ with Facebook and Twitter, I wouldn’t be facing an empty Stream. Even better, it could offer tools to move from Facebook to Google+. Copy all my friends over. Automatically split them into Circles. Things like that would really make a difference, since Google would be borrowing Facebook’s user base.
But there we have it. Facebook probably won’t let this happen, because it relies heavily on its users for advertising revenue. If Google+ had a way of copying everything over and making it easy for Facebook users to switch to Google+, it would lose out on all this money to Google. So it’s not likely that anything such as this would happen.
I suppose the only way that Google+ will thrive is over time, when more and more users begin to use it instead of existing services such as Facebook. If it really wants to develop, however, Google is going to need to come up with some new ideas for Google+; something to entice a large chunk of Facebook users to switch. A new feature. Maybe it’s the ability to add a friend through a photo, or QR code. Maybe the next generation of business cards will have QR codes printed that link to the person’s Google+ page. Who knows?