back to article Google+ dying on its arse – shock new poll

Google has bet the company on Google+, but it’s dying on its arse. A study by traffic analysts RJ Metrics suggests that public engagement with the social network is weak, and failing to gather momentum. "The decay rate here is very concerning," says the report, summarised here. "Users are less and less likely to make additional …

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Well...

It doesn't need to disentangle itself from Google+. Everyone will have it and no one will use it. Much like pretty much everyone has a Windows Live Profile with their Hotmail account but no one uses it.

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Re: Well...

I certainly fit that pattern - I have a Windows Live profile (or two) that I only ever use when forced to and a Google+ account that I largely ignore.

I also have Twitter and Facebook accounts that barely get any attention and there's a MySpace account somewhere too. Come to that there's Yahoo!, Geocities and goodness knows what else that I've signed up to and then ignored.

Google doesn't need to actively disengage from G+, users are doing that themselves.

If they wanted to get people using it more they could start by encouraging app developers to include it in the combined social media apps for smartphones so that a single status update went to G+ as well as Twitter and Facebook and G+ posts made by friends got inserted into the time line.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Well...

Everyone will have it but no one will use it?

What a profound statement and I can only concur.

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FAIL

Re: Well...

FB 20,000 likes, Google plus 57 on said article. Who says scale matters (hate both for the record)?

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Anonymous Coward

"GOOGLE IS NOT YOUR FRIEND"

Bumper sticker reads "GOOGLE IS NOT YOUR FRIEND".

Maybe we'll see "GOOGLE IS NOT EVEN ITS OWN FRIEND" stickers soon ?

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Anonymous Coward

I'm not sure the report is seeing the whole picture.

I suspect there are others, like me, that use Google+, even sparingly, but never use Facebook and don't have a Facebook account. The fact that Google's default privacy settings are private compared to Facebook defaulting to open will attract a different crowd.

Also, betting the company on it? I doubt it somehow, they are an advertising agency, Google+ is just one of many outlets for those adverts,

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JDX
Gold badge

Google+ is just one of many outlets for those adverts

Yes but they have revamped even the main google.com page around your personal profile and + account. + failing won't bring Google down (which technically is what betting the company on it would mean) but it is an awful lot of work wasted, which has also brought lots of criticism from unhappy users.

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Product forced on people in flopping shock.

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Product not forced on people in "product forced on people in flopping shock" shock.

Wesley doesn't understand youtube or G+. Before the change you needed to log in to youtube in order to rate a video. Now that youtube and its ratings are being incorporated into G+, you...need to log in to youtube in order to rate a video. Youtube users are now part of G+ but they are not forced to visit plus.google.com EVER and Youtube handles are kept separate from G+ profiles. It's like how on facebook you might be "forced" to log in in order to rate a video. But facebook would count you as a user. Youtube's hundreds of millions of user accounts don't appear in the G+ user stats.

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I seriously doubt whether anyone has ever created a facebook account just so they can rate a video.

I also seriously doubt that YouTube has hundreds of millions of user accounts - users, yes, but accounts, no.

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Seriously

I created a Facebook account just to enter contests and get free shit.

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Pirate

Wasn't it meant to attract people with things to say?

Interesting people and social networks are a bit of an oxymoron - in my opinion.

I believe it's a bit like trying to market slimming pills to serial marathon runners...

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JDX
Gold badge

Re: Wasn't it meant to attract people with things to say?

Most of the interesting people I know are on FB. However they were interesting before they joined.

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Re: Wasn't it meant to attract people with things to say?

When talking about Facebook, the interesting thing is that you *knew* them before they joined.

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Re: Wasn't it meant to attract people with things to say?

Disagree with this. Hanging out on Plus is like going to a party filled full of chesty white male tech bloggers talking at you. It's the LEAST engaging experience I've had on the net, easily. In contrast on Facebook I know poltical activists, journalists, union reps, artists and many other people that I have a real relationship with.

Good riddance to it. I don't like being coerced into using services that are substandard.

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WTF?

Re: Wasn't it meant to attract people with things to say?

It's fortunate that you weren't coerced then.

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Anonymous Coward

Where's the problem?

It's not like Google is losing money...

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FAIL

3 years late

If they'd done it a few years earlier it might have stood a better chance.

I have an account. I used it once. Nuff said?

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Anonymous Coward

Personality Datastructure

If social media persona was stored in a standardised data structure and exportable to a new service then swapping hosting companies would be more viable. Ideally you should be able to share access to it across multiple social media hosts.

Sadly, it's not in the interests of monopoly holder Facebook to open up the market. But it happened with document formats and is a driving factor concern in cloud storage, so maybe given a big enough anti trust case it could be implemented.

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Re: Personality Datastructure

I think this is gonna take an antitrust suite. Shame the appropriate eyes are too busy watching microsoft.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Personality Datastructure

Sam 16, in my mind, Google is an "antitrust suite". I don't trust any of their applications.

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Headmaster

Re: Personality Datastructure

Why should an unsuccessful product require anti-trust action?

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Unhappy

Re: Personality Datastructure

that's why 'cough' 'cough' Google spends an inordinate amount on Capitol Hil lobbyists....

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Re: Personality Datastructure

Sure, monopoly holder Facebook haven't implemented an open standard for social networking. It's a good job Google came along, with their "do no evil" mantra, and implemented a full open solution to the problem. That's why everyone flocked to the more open G+, right?

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Re: Personality Datastructure

You are right that Facebook is successful because it's awesome. Arguably, windows achieved it's monopoly position by being the best product on the market. However, these products become very hard to compete with due to lockin. Even if G+ has better features, very many of my friends use only facebook. Facebook does arguably have a monopoly, enjoying some 95% of social network usage time in the US.

The value of a social network is in the friends you have on there. That makes them uniquely able to see off competition through pure momentum. This is bad for the consumer because it means no one can win against facebook by inovating. It could be broken by forcing them to open thier APIs in a massive way, so that a post, and a profile, on G+ was also a post on Facebook for instance.

I hope social networks will decentralise, so that we can have a choice of supplier, more like email. I don't think this will happen without intervention. I think this is due to momentum, due to monopoly marketshare. I think facebook is a bundled product (it has many components, you don't get to choose them). I think there is room, and utility, in a slap on the wrist here.

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Anonymous Coward

Personally

I don't give a crap about what some paid-for by Facebook or Microsoft study has spun.

The QUALITY of conversion on G+ is really good, It's quality chatter, quality socialising, not the aimless rambling crap of facebook.

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JDX
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Re: Personally

No you idiot, the 'quality' you see on any social network is directly related to who you connect to on it. So it's your fault for having vacuous friends ;)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Personally

That says a lot about your Facebook friends, or is it that you have no friends on Google+ and are just talking to yourself?!?

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FAIL

Re: Personally

You're not stuck in traffic - you ARE traffic. Get over yourself.

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Re: Personally

This is a product of G+ circles.

You decide which of your circles see a particular update, so my engineer friends will see my code rants, and my family will see my holiday snaps. When you recieve Only the kind of info from your friends that They think You care about, there is a lot less broing Not You stuff. It's a big difference.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Personally

I have plenty of friends, but prefer to socialise with them IN PERSON rather than via Facebook. For the rest, G+ is a far better service.

This weekend is a prime example, the Williams fire at their F1 pit, all the Twitter stuff was taking about it in 140 characters, the #f1 tag in G+ had live video streams of the fire, inline pictures of Sennas car remains etc... The information was just as relevant and upto date as the #f1 tag in Twitter, but infinitely more useful.

The video hangouts are unparalleled, and something most people are missing out on.

People are (slowly) seeing that G+ is the best bits of Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, and that the privacy is easier to comprehend.

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Stop

It was a great point...

...until 'People are (slowly) seeing that G+ is the best bits of Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, and that the privacy is easier to comprehend.'...

...because it seems apparent that people are seeing anything of the sort...and are reacting to Google's ram-it-down-your-throat approach with a 'f**k-you' response.

People and PCs have come on a ways since the days Google bamboozled everyone into installing it's invasive, chunky and really f**king annoying toolbar...which was their first real attempt to shove their product down everyones' throats - which unfortunately worked...

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FAIL

" ram-it-down-your-throat approach with a 'f**k-you' response"

Want to expand on that? As clearly if Google were forcing everyone into G+, the userbase would be huge.

Surely the point here, is they AREN'T forcing people into it.

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Re: " ram-it-down-your-throat approach with a 'f**k-you' response"

@Mr. Shitpeas - no, the point is that they are TRYING to force people into using it, and people are ignoring them. Just like I have to ignore the in-your-face "use Google Chrome" ad that's foisted on me every time I visit google.com these days.

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HCV

Re: Personally

But it completely removes the serendipity factor. It's why I hate tailored news sites: "Oh, you looked at this article once -- here's 200 like it! And we're starting to filter out anything you've never looked at before!"

Great. I ate applesauce once, and now it's applesauce dinner time.

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Joke

Re: Personally

I know, right? You buy JUST ONE book on furry BDSM from Amazon and it's like you're marked for life...

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Re: Personally

The problem is that Facebook is so popular it now has its own social ethics.

I can't add my interesting friend, for instance, without either a) adding my interesting friend's neurotic partner who posts crap about kittens sixty three times a day or b) mortally offending said interesting friend. I'm a hell of a lot more choosy about Facebook friends than many people seem to be but I _still_ wind up with three or four who just spam incredibly dull crap all day.

Hell, it's hard enough to refuse friend requests from (former, even) coworkers without offending anyone.

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Re: Personally

@ AdamWill - just add them, then block them so you don't see their posts and they don't see yours. No offence caused, no inconvenience suffered.

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Re: Personally

Hum, hadn't thought of that. still, they might get a bit suspicious if they never see me post. probably too busy taking pictures of kittens to notice, though...

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Linux

Well, let's hope they ditch they service and stop trying to coerce all it's existing users to join it.

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WTF?

Disentangle from plus?

I really hope that google ignores these propaganda pieces and keeps going ahead with google plus. The noise/signal ratio is way lower than on facebook, and the private groups are really a great way to discuss private issues.

You might probably see less activity than on facebook, but that only means that nobody is interested in sharing with you, not that nobody is sharing...

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Facepalm

Re: Disentangle from plus?

Yeah, the service is really successful for private sharing but Google are just keeping quiet about that because it's private.... You know how much Google respect people's privacy!

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Re: Disentangle from plus?

Am I the only one who is really surprised that anyone uses anything googlish for anything remotely private?

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Re: Disentangle from plus?

"You might probably see less activity than on facebook, but that only means that nobody is interested in sharing with you, not that nobody is sharing"

So, this "Social network" actually isn't very social then?

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Bronze badge

"Google has bet the company on Google+"

Are you seriously saying that, if Google+ fails, Google goes tits up?

Seriously?

I mean, you really mean that?

It was a joke, right?

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Re: "Google has bet the company on Google+"

Exactly what I thought. Presumably he's expecting to be searching the interwebs using only Bing soon?

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Silver badge

Not entirely a joke, I think.

Search is not Google's business. Advertising is.

Facebook has sneaked up on Google and now has more of the internet users' attention than they do -- and unlike Google, Facebook can say to advertisers: "How about we run your ad to 18-25 year-old-females living in these six urban areas who like sushi restaurants and have a birthday coming up in the next three weeks".

This is why Google needed to do well in Social Networking: their current advert targeting cannot match what Facebook can offer, and Facebook's user base is now so large it is becoming a serious competitor to Google as an online ad platform, and to reiterate: online advertising is Google's only revenue generator. Nothing else, from all of the company's myriad products, produces one red cent of profit for Google.

Sure, G+ turning out to be a flop isn't going to shut them down next week, but this is yet another project from Google that has not delivered for the company, and is the third "social" product to fail. That kind of record risky for their long term survival.

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Re: Not entirely a joke, I think.

Yes, but Google is even better placed than Facebook on mobile. Facebook isn't really doing very well at monetising all that personal data and it isn't doing it at all on mobile. Google Plus is a reasonable extension for Google to its existing services by providing a single sign-on. I noticed the other day that my Google Plus pictures are visible to my Android device.

The default of not posting publicly and actively advising against it is not only smart towards savvy users and the data protection crowd it also means that only Google really knows what people are doing.

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Rob

Re: Not entirely a joke, I think.

I know what your saying, but no matter how many users a particular company has unless Facebook get good conversion rates on those Ads they won't be pulling in as much revenue as Google who could have better conversion rates on the Ads they run.

If you want to pay for internet advertising you go with the company that's going to get you the click throughs.

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Re: Not entirely a joke, I think.

For your average user, Facebook is wherever Google says it is - remember this?

http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/facebook_wants_to_be_your_one_true_login.php

I know several people like the folk commenting to the linked article, whose approach to Internet use is to start their browser, type the name of what they want and take the first link offered by Google's search. It works for Facebook and it works for widgets, so widget sellers understand the importance of being high in Google's search results. If Google screw that up, then they may go the way of webcrawler, excite, etc.

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