Was Google+ Ever the “Facebook Killer”?

Back at the end of June, Google launched Google+ in beta for users only with an invitation. I remember feeling like I absolutely HAD to get an invitation as soon as humanly possible. I love trying out new social networking sites, so I obviously had to get my hands on this one. I’m already Google crazy, why wouldn’t I want to sign up?

Soon enough, I got my wish and signed up for Google+. Since then, I honestly haven’t done much with it. A post here, a post there. A new profile picture. I even got the iPhone app. But I just don’t use it a lot, it at all. It’s just one more network for me to be on.

When Google+ first came out many people touted it as a “Facebook killer“. After the service opened to the public in September, traffic to the site spiked, which I completely expected. This week, traffic to the site fell 60%. Was Google+ ever really a “Facebook killer“? Here’s what I think.

One more social network, one more thing I gotta deal with
In all honesty, Google+ is just another social network and at this point people are getting burned out. We’re already on over-load. With Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, foursquare, LinkedIn, GetGlue, SCVNGR, Instagram etc, people already have a lot going on. Google+ was something else that we had to deal with, and it was just too much.

Awkward Space
Google+ occupied an awkward space in the world of social networking. At first, this seemed like a main selling point. It was a lot like Facebook in the way you could create a profile, add pictures and communicate with friends. But, it integrated the open-ness of Twitter of being able to follow anyone you want and not being limited to friend request approvals. It seemed like a match made in heaven. Google+ created its own space. However, the place in between Facebook and Twitter was kind of awkward. Personally, I was trying to figure out what I would share on Google+ that was different from Facebook and Twitter. How could I use this new space? Clearly, most people, like me, haven’t been able to figure it out.

Who are you?
I feel like every day I get notified by Google+ telling me that someone added me to one of their Circles. The problem with that is that I have no idea who these people are. It makes me awkward and uncomfortable, especially since most of these people just seem like spam (Does anyone else have this problem?). On Facebook, I only want “friends” to read what I write. On Twitter, I don’t really care who reads it. On Google+ I can’t figure out who my audience is.

Ultimately this brings me to a few questions: are people on social media overload? Is there a limit to the number of social networks we can be on before we get completely burned out?

To be honest, I don’t have the answers to these questions. And as for Google+ time can only tell what will happen to it. Maybe it will make a comeback. Maybe it will be the next Google Wave. What do you think will happen to Google+?

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    • codecrackx15
    • October 14th, 2011

    I have writers circle me all the time and in turn i add them to my writers circle. Looking at their profile usually tells me exactly why that person circled me… writer, sports team, political leaning… I don’t have to circle them back and then the only time they would see a post by me is if I post “public” which most posts on G+ users are not posting public so that person can only see what I put out there.
    Larry Page posted the official numbers yesterday for the Google board of directors and I’m not sure where your 60% drop off came from because G+ is thriving and the numbers are looking spectacular. You get from G+ what you put in. I’ve met so many great writers, publishers, and editors from just circling them in the G+ directory and then commenting on posts. Conversations are made and connections are made. Posts usually become great conversations too unlike the quick little comments in facebook.
    Facebook for me has just become one big passive aggressive advertising stream now and the stream is completely worthless. I’ve deleted down to 40 close family and friends and then just use the email feature to contact them because using anything else in FB just puts all your info out there now.
    The adoption rate has been faster for G+ than any other Social network. I would prefer that Google doesn’t offer business pages in the future just so the marketers and advertisers stay off but those marketers are pushing hard to be added.
    I don’t think there needs to be a FB killer though. It’s all just personal choice. Some people like having others see everything they are doing from listening to a song to liking a product and there is nothing wrong with that.
    For me G+ just works better and feels like a real social network where connections are made. Not to mention the seamless flow of using all of my other Google applications. For writers and photographers nothing else compares to it.
    I think all of these social networks can live together. It’s just a matter of finding your fit.

  1. Google have given it the old college try, but I think Facebook is here to stay.

  2. Anecdotes from an Addict RSS feed request to Before It’s News

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