If you haven’t heard by now (and there’s a chance you haven’t because at this point, who really cares), Google is shutting down their social media platform, Google Plus. Google Plus was Google’s counter to Facebook, and ultimately created a social media platform that provided a user-friendly experience that provided ease of access to connect with people, brands, and essentially anything online.
Google is claiming the reason for the shutdown is a data security breach, but the breach was really the tipping point that was already leaning on a 180 degree angle.
Google launched the network declaring it to be an eventual superior option to outlets such as Facebook & Twitter off the basis of providing users with a clean layout, advanced features, and a more in-depth experience.
Let’s be fair, most of what Google touches turns to gold, but even the biggest of media giants have setbacks. Sometimes an idea might not pan out as originally envisioned, other cases may see a particular idea never peak enough interest, or the idea’s complexity failed to catch the average user’s attention.
So why did Google Plus never catch on?
While Google is clearly one of the most advanced tech companies on the planet, their indecisiveness, and ignorance in thinking the old cliche, “more is better” applies to everything, are just a few highlights as to why Google Plus was an epic failure.
Google Plus had promise upon launch, it was a unique outlet that did offer a few features that Facebook failed to offer at the time. The problem was lack of clarity as to what Google Plus was actually supposed to accomplish for the user.
As a user, you sort of saw it as a social media network, but it was also an indirect extension of a Google account, and at times it felt more like a personalized web page than an actual social media outlet. Perhaps it’s because the ridiculous lack of users kept engagement & interaction at a minimum.
Google Plus was just never as user-friendly as Google had planned.
The only label on that menu that is easily distinguishable is ‘notifications.’ One could argue ‘profile’ as well, but you also have an avatar in the top right hand corner that takes you to your profile, so while distinguishable, they provided the same option twice.
Why do ‘people’ and ‘communities’ have their own tab? Could that not be inclusive with ‘discover’?
No? Oh, okay…
More recently, they presented users with a ‘collections’ option, and I do commend them for not giving it a separate menu tab, but again, one could argue ‘discover’ could have easily been an acceptable tab to find these so called ‘collections.’ Instead Google decided to add them to the top of the homepage, or wait… Is that the ‘discover’ page?
Anyway, I could sit here, and point out every little flaw with Google Plus, but I’m attempting to take less than two months to write this article. Flaws are clearly evident, and Google Plus was a victim of unclear complexity.
While this article’s focus highlights the demise of Google Plus, this isn’t the first time Google’s been too smart for their own good. Google has tirelessly been trying to counter Apple’s iMessage for android users, quite a tall task.
To accomplish such a task, a product must be defined clearly as Google’s counter sms app.
Hmmm… Here we are a decade later, and there really is no consistent counter to iMessage on android.
For those unaware, the past decade has seen Google launches of:
- Android Messages
- Google Duo
- Google Voice
Many of these sms messaging apps offer the same features, with a few slightly modified variables.
So the evident gameplan has been to throw six different styles of messaging apps out there, and pray one catches on.
That’s panned out well so far, so you have to at least admire their persistence. We can only hope to see a true iMessage rival introduced by Google within the next ten years, or perhaps we’ll get the six new sms messaging options below:
- Allo 2
- G Message
- Google Trio
- Google Speak
Here’s to praying we don’t see the ladder.