Remember when Google+ made its debut and the marketing world got bent out of shape? Like a new car smell everyone was gawking over the social media platform and anxious to dive right in. Limited invites were stretching around the block and down the street for early adopters willing to lay their hands on it. Google had entered the social media game with intent of taking on its Facebook rival. On March 1, 2015 the long-time product VP of Google+ Bradley Horowitz made a shocking announcement regarding the future of the search giant’s social media platform.
“Just wanted to confirm that the rumors are true — I’m excited to be running Google’s Photos and Streams products! It’s important to me that these changes are properly understood to be positive improvements to both our products and how they reach users” said Horowitz.
According to online sources, the Facebook rival seems to be getting an overhaul. Horowitz’s statement was a direct result of his recent appointment as the new VP of product development for the soon to come Google Photos and Google Streams as reported by The Verge. His newly inherited role came about due to the recent departure of David Besbris who formerly headed social product and identity for the network. Something tells me the recent regroup of Google and Twitter that will result in tweets being indexed within the SERPs played a significant part in the soon to be Google+ demise.
Where does this shift put Google+ brand pages, Google+ Local, and Google My Business? Perhaps another fiasco Google users will have to battle relentlessly. Wait, didn’t Google recently tie up loose ends on Google+ integrations with other business products? Ah, who knows. Anticipate another headache on the horizon to rectify.
Background History on Google+
It all started around June 2011 when the Facebook rival launched as an invitation-only program. Considering the hype unfortunately it tumbled in gaining momentum and therefore later Google forced Gmail users to sign up for its new product. An all too familiar approach by any new product Google rolls out. A plethora of privacy concerns rolled in creating discomfort and insecurity in the eyes of early adopters. Not exactly an enticing proposition for the average only user. Then, in April 2014 the long-time gatekeeper of Google+ for several years and employee of eight years Vic Gundotra decided to depart the company. Yup, another blow to Google+ that did not exactly infuse confidence.
Usage statistic weren’t exactly peach either. Around October 2013 Google reported that some 300 million active users were looting around its social platform. That accounted for approximately 22% of Americans utilizing the social platform on monthly basis. Not too shabby but simply not enough for such hyped platform. Around that time frame Google determined it was time to take more extreme measures and enforce integration with its entire arsenal of products including YouTube and as mentioned above Gmail by default for new users.
I’m not sure that “circling” people was an enticing way to build a following or a community for that matter. Majority of the features seemed like replicas from its Facebook long-time rival. Oh Google, we know you try and fail but let’s keep the headaches to a minimum if possible.