UPDATE: Still not quite out of the door, I’ve umbuttoned my coat and sat back down to have a cuppa and a slice of cake with the various people who didn’t wish me on my way…so, whatever Google actually does with G+ in the long run, I’ll sit a spell…
I have been on Google+ from week 1, as with all their other services, I hankered after an invitation to get started as soon as they were announced and did my best to make something of each of them. Indeed, I had 16000+ people circling me on G+ as of this morning and more than half a million views. Little engagement though, very few comments and rarely a share over those four years, which suggests to me either that my content is just too boring for people to comment or else they weren’t really there in the first place (I do hope it’s the latter or I’ve been peening in the wind this last quarter century!)
But, I have other evidence beyond my content. I looked at some stats for one of the big outlets and they were seeing thousands of reads/likes on Facebook for each article, a mere dozen or two on Twitter, but just one or two individuals on G+. The outlet is big and I mean big, so one would expect decent stats for all social media and that should include G+ but it simply doesn’t. G+ was meant to be more than Facebook, it was always less, despite “Hangouts”.
It seems to me like G+ is going the way of so many other Google “services” when the company finally realises that its attempts to emulate the success of other sites isn’t working out so well. Remember Google Wave, iGoogle, Orkut, Knol, Google Reader, Google Buzz etc? No? Well I was there when those started and had high hopes for them but they were all ultimately consigned to the web 2.0 scrapheap. Google recently announced that it would no longer oblige users to have a G+ account to use other services as it had before. It’s the first hint from them that things aren’t perhaps going as planned.
Anyway, I duly announced that I was not going to share anything new on G+ from now on and got more comments on that post than I’d had on any other for quite some time, ironically enough. Generally, I’d say passive-aggressive responses effectively saying “so long” and allusions to my being part of the problem for G+ by disconnecting. Hey guys, there was no need to kick me out of the door just because I reached for my coat…couldn’t you have offered me another cuppa and a slice of cake? I am not really having second thoughts though, give it six months and you will remember this conversation with a nod when Google makes the announcement but I’ll just not be there to bother saying, “I told you so!”
As an aside: This from John Brandon in Inc echoes the impression I got from the people who commented on my grabbing my coat: “The popular view on Google+ is that it will soldier on and possibly even rebound. I don’t think so. When Google closes a door, they rarely open a window. The reason they are splitting up these services is because they want to save their investment in them and salvage the code before shuttering Google+ once and for all.”