The Rise and Fall of Google+

Back in September 2014, we wrote about how Google+ has always seemed to have been an underdog in the social media world since its launch in 2011, from both a consumer and marketer’s approach.

At the time, the Social Media Marketing Industry Report from Social Media Today pointed out that while 54% of marketers were using the channel, 65% wanted to learn more about it, with 61% planning on increasing activities on the platform.

This came about as Google+ announced it would allow YouTube users the ability to import videos from their account in a move to make it easier for users to backup videos, as part of its mission to be the “social spine” for other Google products. All fine and dandy then.

A SHORT-LIVED ROMANCE

…Well, up until now. It seems there has been trouble in social media paradise as Google announced that it will no longer treat Google+ as its digital glue.

“People have told us that accessing all of their Google stuff with one account makes life a whole lot easier. But we’ve also heard that it doesn’t make sense for your Google+ profile to be your identity in all the other Google products you use.

“So in the coming months, a Google Account will be all you’ll need to share content, communicate with contacts, create a YouTube channel and more, all across Google. YouTube will be one of the first products to make this change.” – Bradley Horowitz, Google’s VP of Streams, Photos & Sharing.

For those who were against the integration of YouTube comments with Google+, this news will be welcomed with open arms after the initial backlash when this feature was revealed.

THE FUTURE: ROSY OR BLEAK?

From a marketer’s perspective, it seems that even with the backing of the giant that is Google, this doesn’t guarantee the success of a social channel. Within such a fast changing environment and the likes of more instant apps like SnapChat, WhatsApp and Instagram leading the way, it’s been a tough time for Google+ in terms of keeping up and winning users over.

Should Google have known from the start that it is pretty much impossible to compete with the likes of Facebook? Perhaps, but this move raises the question: is this the end of Google+ as a channel, or could it now survive and grow in its own right? It depends on whether Google lets go of Google+ and keeps or loses the data that comes with it…

At TMO we have been active on our Google+ account for quite some time, and will continue to use it as a means of sharing content and engaging in communities. It will be interesting to see what happens over the next few months in this ever changing social media world.

What are your thoughts, from both a user and marketer point of view? We’d love to know – tweet us @TheMediaOctopus or comment on the post below.