When Google+ launched in late June, and racked up 25 million users in little over a month, techies were titillated by the thriving new social network. Now it seems Google+ may have already fizzled out. New data from web app firm 89n notes a recent 41 percent decline in the number of posts per day on Google+. Is the social network shaping up to be a bomb, after all?
Let's not give this report too much credit: 89n "isn't exactly a research firm," says Robin Wauters at TechCrunch. And the company offers "little insight into their methodology for gathering and interpreting the data." From the start, I've believed Google+ "would make a great challenger to the likes of Facebook and Twitter." Like others, my enthusiasm has waned. But that hardly means Google+ is dead.
"Raise your hand if you're still using Google+"
There's more evidence beyond this one report: The 89n data isn't the only sign of Google+'s decline, says Catharine Smith at The Huffington Post. Judging from Google Insights, the number of people searching for information about the new social network has taken a "nosedive" over the past 90 days. When you compare those search numbers to the army of people hunting for Facebook, or even for Google Maps, "Google+ is barely a blip."
"Google+ interest appears to be waning"
And Google doesn't have the best track record: Let's not forget that "Google's previous efforts at social networking ended in early failures," says Gary Cassady in the San Francisco Chronicle. Google+ has sought to distinguish itself by putting an emphasis on privacy and security, something that initially attracted users. Now, users are losing interest, and it's clear that "transparent privacy policies are not the only issue in the market." It seems Google may once again strike out of the social networking game.
"Will Google strike out of the social networking market?"
Don't be fooled. Google+ will thrive: Sure, Google's past attempts at social networking failed, but Google+ is a different beast, says Canada's Financial Post. "It is designed to integrate with virtually every service Google offers, from Gmail and Google Maps to Google News and Google Finance." And it "isn't merely a defensive move on the part of the Silicon Valley titan, although it bears similarities to Twitter and Facebook." It stands apart from those offerings, so much so that Facebook has already introduced a number of new features that mimic Google+.
"Google: Socially awkward no more"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- The uncomfortable truth in The Giving Tree
- The simple trick to making better decisions in every aspect of life
- The U.S. government is actually trouncing Ebola. When will it get credit?
- Why America needs more billionaires
- 6 simple steps for making millions on a crappy horror movie
- Why 2014 may be as good as it gets for the Republican Party
- Syrian women know how to defeat ISIS
- The real story behind Deliver Us From Evil
Subscribe to the Week