Google’s Black Sheep

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Posted At: March 19, 2012 2:15 PM
by Anna Ellis

Is there anything Google can’t do? Think about it. Nowadays we use the website for everything — and we’d be crazy not to!

It’s a one stop place you can go to search for something as major as the presidential election to something as insignificant as who sings a certain song. It’s where you go to find images, maps and even use email.

I have barely begun to scratch the surface of Google’s possibilities. If you take time to think about it, Google has become a way of life. Even the phrase “Google it” has made its way into everyday conversation.

Though we are all grateful for and impressed with Google’s capabilities, it does seem to be falling short in one area— social media. That’s right, social media. What could possibly be the most powerful platform in the world today can’t seem to find its niche in Google.

Google’s creation of a social networking extension, Google+, is actually a brilliant idea. People use social media about as often as they use Google, so why not do it all in one place?

Launched in June 2011, the idea behind Google+ was an all-inclusive social networking site that allows you to put followers into specific “circles” and follow companies from which you wish to receive updates. Another hope was to combine the best of the social media giants: Facebook and Twitter. The home page, or “stream” of Google+, is comparable to Twitter’s timeline. Users of Google+ have the ability to share multiple photos and write on each other’s wall like Facebook.

One of the most appealing aspects of the main Google site is its simplicity. All areas of the site are easy to maneuver; however, Google+ gets a little bit complicated. Fault number one? Perhaps.

In the early stages of Google+, as a test run, only those who had a Google account were invited to join. Fault number two? Maybe. Because non-Google users could not access Google+, those who were invited to join were unable to gain friends as followers or follow their friends who did not have a Google account.

Another downfall (and possibly the biggest) is that most social media users are already too involved with Facebook and Twitter. There is simply no reason to commit to another social networking site if everything one could want is already established in another site.

All of this is not to say Google+ is a big fat failure. According to an article on Forbes.com, “Google’s social network is skyrocketing in membership and usage.”

Google+ is a great site with an uncertain future. The features offered have potential, and a large number of people have an account. The problem seems to be that people don’t check their accounts. I was invited to join Google+ in July 2011. Since then I have checked my account only a handful of times.

The success of Google+ lies in the hands of those who already hold accounts. If the site proves to be a failure, at least Google is one of the most successful companies ever — a title that won’t be disappearing anytime soon.

One Comment

  1. Tony

    When my friends were reluctant to join google+, I decided to make new friends and follow new people who shared my interests from craft beer to android to sports. Facebook is now obsolete in my opinion and I only keep it bc my best friend and some family members are there. Otherwise I would’ve ditched facebook a long time ago. Google+ has taken over my social media timeshare. I even use twitter a lot less now.

    Reply

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