So what is Google+?
When Google+ came along a couple of years ago we all thought we knew what it was. We’d done MySpace, then Facebook, then Twitter, LinkedIn… It’s easy, this social networking lark.
I leapt on it, eager to see how Google could possibly hope to compete with the likes of Facebook. It had some pretty clever features and integrations for existing Google users – and especially for Android users – but pretty soon plenty of articles were cropping up talking about how Google were losing the fight against the established social networking channels.
But it’s still here, and here’s why (from www.guardian.co.uk):
Pretty much everyone (myself included) has been reading Google+ wrongly. Because it bears many superficial resemblances to social networks such as Facebook or Twitter – you can “befriend” people, you can “follow” people without their following you back – we’ve thought that it is a social network, and judged it on that basis. By which metric, it does pretty poorly – little visible engagement, pretty much no impact on the outside world.
If Google+ were a social network, you’d have to say that for one with more than 500 million members – that’s about half the size of Facebook, which is colossal – it’s having next to no wider impact. You don’t hear about outrage over hate speech on Google+, or violent videos not getting banned, or men posing as 14-year-old girls in order to befriend real 14-year-old girls. Do people send Google+ links all over the place, in the way that people do from LinkedIn, or Twitter, or Facebook? Not really, no.
There’s a simple reason for this. Google+ isn’t a social network. It’s The Matrix.”