Google+ Ghost town.

29 Feb

Sooo…

You have an account.

I have an account.

I’ve read at least 10 articles about why I should be marketing or how to market a brand/company on Google+.

But, can we be honest with each other here for a moment?

Do you *ever* use your Google+ account? I mean, beyond the first week you had it when you created circles and stared at a few posts? Because, I know I certainly don’t. And admittedly, I’ve been waiting for some sort of massive shift or something really crazy (awesome or horrible) that either Google or Facebook does to shift the social scales.

And yet, perhaps what we have all (or maybe just me?) speculated about Google+ was actually confirmed by The Wall Street Journal yesterday:

It turns out Google+ is a virtual ghost town compared with the site of rival Facebook Inc… New data from research firm comScore Inc. shows that Google+ users are signing up—but then not doing much there.

Ooooh snap!

Okay okay, but really, are you surprised? Google+ launched in June, and the only thing I’ve heard about the social network is Google plugging their exploding membership numbers, and my friends occasionally complaining that some random creeper has added them to their circles.

Take a look at this pretty picture to the left from the comScore report WSJ sites in their recent article. This shows the average minutes per visitor on popular social media sites in January.

My very, er, technical explanation: As you can see we all spend way too much time stalking on Facebook, Pinterest picture hoarding is *exploding*, everyone loves a good tumblr-meme (thank you Ryan Gosling), most folks I know are on Linkedin when job searching, some people love and hate Twitter (but once they really understand how useful it is they love it), annnnnnd I have no comment on myspace.

But, Google…this is telling. We all get that Google+ may have video conferencing ability and circles, but the reality is no one really wants another social network. Or at least not another social network that does basically the same thing as the other ones that exist.

And, as freaked out as people might be about Facebook using their data to make money, Google+ almost seems a little ickier to me with the data stuff for some reason. Maybe it’s because Google’s core competency isn’t social networking, it’s being awesome at search and categorizing the world. So, Google+ just adds more information for Google to gather and do stuff with. Or maybe none of that matters and the icky feeling come from what appears to be Google trying to gobble up any part of the online market. I dunno. I guess what I’m trying to say here is beyond Google+ being fail-y it’s a little creepy.

But, I digress.

In short: I just don’t get why Google keeps trying to differentiate with products that don’t really align with what they’re good at. I’m all for innovation, and I get that businesses exists to make money, but it just seems silly.

Perhaps Google+ will soon join the ranks of their fallen product comrades Wave and Buzz which similarly enjoyed their share of ghost town tumbleweeds. That or perhaps we’ll hear that Google is trying to purchase Pinterest in 6 months. Wouldn’t surprise me.

***

For more nerdy awesome data on social networking, digital advertising, and the like check out comScore’s 2012 US Digital Future in Focus report.

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