When Google+ first launched in June 2011 as a social media platform, it literally blazed its way and within just two weeks, hit 10 million users and within six months that figure became 9 times more. Did Facebook have a serious competitor in Google+? It did look that way because Facebook took almost three and half years to reach the same figure while Twitter took a little less.
Google+ as a useful platform
Google+ came with a bundle of goodies, it became the best platform for storing photos, had great editing and sharing tools, gave users the option to build albums with friends and the versatile communication tool—Google hangouts. It supports so many ways of how people communicate on different platforms and supports voice, photo, text-name it and you had it.
Experts note that it was the first to include streaming video, the first to include in-stream GIFs, post formatting and even varied image sizes.
Sadly all that hasn't helped much—the euphoria has melted down and today Google+ stands a little alone, a little lost and has been killed and rejuvenated many times over. Obviously, the fact that it was considered as the most evolved of all social networks did nothing to help it, and is far from dead.
The evolution and learning from mistakes
It's evolving into another form and has started listening to its users—for starters it will no longer compel users to use a Google+ account to log in to other Google services. That's a big step forward considering the fact that YouTube users were rather disgruntled about having to use a Google+ account to access YouTube. Google Plus’s location-sharing features are about to be moved into Google Hangout. There is talk about merging AdSense data with G+ to give companies a platform to advertise and spread brand awareness across Google+.
In short, things are changing. Although the nomenclature will probably remain the same, the product as such is about to be re-organised. The one-stop-shop that Google+ wanted to be, will no longer be.
Google+ may not have turned out to be the competitor to Facebook and Twitter but does provide an alternative in a social media-dominated space. The fact that so many users have a Google+ account (though they don't use it) does indicate that they think it's a useful thing to have around.
However, if Google+ is to regain some of its lost ground, people need to use it more, but that's going to happen only if it becomes more attractive to users. If they can look forward to using and enjoying the new platform, there's no reason why we shouldn't see a turnaround. Like Facebook and Twitter did, Google+ has got to make the platform more popular by making it over to become user-friendly and making it a better place to visit.
Too much work has gone into Google+, and it would be a pity to see it die. Turning it around will take some time and effort, but it remains to be seen whether the end result is worth it.
Do you still believe Google+ will up catch with other social media platforms? What are your thoughts on Google+? Do share your views in comments.