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 …

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  1. Tom 15

    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.

    1. Anomynous Coward

      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.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well...

      Everyone will have it but no one will use it?

      What a profound statement and I can only concur.

    3. asdf Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Well...

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

    4. Anonymous Coward
      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 ?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    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,

    1. 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.

  3. Jeebus

    Product forced on people in flopping shock.

    1. Craigness

      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.

      1. n4blue

        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.

        1. Get the puck outa here

          Seriously

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

  4. DAN*tastik
    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...

    1. 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.

      1. Dan 10

        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.

    2. marcyd

      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.

      1. Craigness
        WTF?

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

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

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where's the problem?

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

  6. Anonymous Coward
    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?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. sam 16

      Re: Personality Datastructure

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

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Personality Datastructure

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

      2. Britt Johnston
        Headmaster

        Re: Personality Datastructure

        Why should an unsuccessful product require anti-trust action?

        1. sam 16

          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.

      3. johnnymotel
        Unhappy

        Re: Personality Datastructure

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

    2. Jerome 0

      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?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      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 ;)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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?!?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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.

        1. Atonnis
          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...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            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.

            1. Jerome 0

              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.

    3. Alex King
      FAIL

      Re: Personally

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

      1. AdamWill

        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.

        1. Jerome 0

          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.

          1. AdamWill

            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...

    4. sam 16

      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.

      1. 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.

        1. AdamWill
          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...

  9. Miek
    Linux

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

  10. Anonymous Coward
    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...

    1. sabroni Silver badge
      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!

    2. Martin 47

      Re: Disentangle from plus?

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

    3. Stuart Castle

      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?

  11. fandom

    "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?

    1. lurker

      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?

      1. Kristian Walsh

        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.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          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.

        2. 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.

        3. JohnG

          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.

        4. Demonix

          GM Anyone.

          Re: Not entirely a joke, I think.

          GM have seen through the " we can target your ad" rubbish of Facebook and pulled 10 mill in ad fees. See the post on this site regarding the Facebook ad fail rate.

          1. Kristian Walsh

            Re: GM Anyone.

            True, although the reasons for this lack of success seem to be a reluctance on the part of Facebook to engage in large-scale advertising. Placement of Facebook ads on the right-hand column of their interface also makes them very easy to ignore.

            This doesn't diminish the fact that Facebook has a capability that Google currently lacks: that of tying a user's viewing preferences to real-world demographic information. All that Google knows is that a person or persons who habitually use a particular browser have looked at a particular set of topics.

            It's not what Facebook are doing now that worries Google, it's what Facebook could do. Also, the number of small businesses in my area (hardly the beating heart of the tech industry) who now just say "Find us on Facebook" rather than putting up a website (and thus having something that an AdWords campaign would link to) must be cause for concern for Google.

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not entirely a joke, I think.

          See

          http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/05/16/gm_drops_facebook_ads/

          "FB user base is now so large it is becoming a serious competitor to Google"

          FB reach 50%, Google reach 90%

          "Nothing else, from all of the company's myriad products, produces one red cent of profit for Google."

          They do generate revenue from Google apps but it's low profile - not just the individuals paying a few $ a year for extra storage but, for example, I believe Virgin Media email accounts are outsourced to Google. Whether that's making much profit at present is immaterial, Google's in business for the long term, not the quick win. How many internet wonderkids build up a project for a $BN sale or IPO then we see it drop off the radar when the next big thing arrives, social networking being a prime example. MySpace -sold for half a billion in 2005, overtook Google to be most visited web site then a steep decline until 2011 sold again for $40M. Friends Reunited sold 2005 for $200m, went down the toilet, sold again in 2010 $40m, current valuation $8m.

          The fact is that Google learnt from the mistakes of other social networks and built a great system. It lacks the critical mass of users at present, well coming late to the party that's inevitable but fashions change. FB have something of a track record of making changes their user's seriously don't like - well now there's an alternative. As far as I can see the only advantage of FB is that your friends are already on FB. There's a lot not to like about FB and G+ addresses those disliked aspects.

          As far as I'm concerned I don't regard (online) social networking as a vital part of my existence, I don't value myself by how many online friends I've got (just as well since I never accept FB "friend" requests!)

          I occasionally use FB but in "read-only" mode, I give it as little personal data as I can and lock down everything I can to keep a low profile. I think it was especially dirty to ask for email account login details without making it clear it could rifle through your contacts and that giving any third party any of your passwords is bloody stupid anyway (which is why I didn't).

  12. Khaptain Silver badge
    Devil

    Beware, beware the ides of March

    I wonder if this is a heads up for anyone considering entering into the dark realms of the Facebook IPO.

    PS : ( It's actually May but let's not get all pedantic ...... not that any commentards have that problem........)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Beware, beware the ides of March

      I wouldn't worry too much, we mere mortals won't get a look in on the FB IPO. Don't you need something daft like $250k captial to hand and done at least 50 trades already this year?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Stop

      Re: Beware, beware the ides of March

      This "news" has everything about the Facbook IPO. It's all about making investors feel happy that Google won't overtake Facebook in the same way Facebook killed MySpace.

      I wil bet money that Google (and G+) will be around long after Facebook is a baren MySpace-like wasteland...

  13. Spearchucker Jones

    "Any suggestions for how Google can disentangle itself from Plus?"

    Yes.

    Leave it to die. Focus on Gmail(1) and Android(2).

    (1). Gmail is a great service. The way to exploit that is to use extend it and reposition it and Google+ as an identity service, like Windows Live. Then, other than innovating around email, leave it, and rake in the advertising cash.

    (2). Fix the fragmentation issue so that all devices, like iOS and WP, run the latest version. Add a music service a la iTunes/Zune. Heavily tie it into the Gmail-based identity service. Then, other than innovate on phone UI, leave it, and rake in the advertising cash.

    1. Craigness

      The fragmentation issue is basically a myth and they already have a music service.

      As a G+ user I don't see it dying, or even slowing down. Extending G+ to be a login and commenting system like Discus and Facebook is a natural course for them, which will gather even more social data.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pitch to your strengths

    G+ has become THE platform for online RPGs. Maybe they should go with that.

    1. Dan 10

      Re: Pitch to your strengths

      Given that the majority of those kind of comms are likely to be within private circles, that would appear to align with what an earlier poster said about only public comments being counted for this report.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pitch to your strengths

      How about the pitch "too much going on on FB to keep up with? Come to G+ where f*ck all happens!"

      1. LaeMing Silver badge
        Pint

        @AC 14:08

        That is the first pitch that ever even made me take a modicum of notice!

    3. Craigness
      Thumb Up

      Re: Pitch to your strengths

      It's a big platform for photographers too, and the latest update to the mobile app will only improve that. I've not seen any RPG stuff, so maybe that's in circles as suggested.

  15. T.a.f.T.

    Soul Motive

    >The ad giant has ripped up its privacy policies and redesigned its consumer services around Google+

    A lot of the privacy policies were also re-written so that other Google products could share data. True G+ was sold as the central hub to this but it is not the only reason. Now your gmail can share data with your gdocs, your search results can be even more linked to what you say and so on.

    It never made much sense for 1 company to have dozens of user agreements when most users would happily agree to a single umbrella one that would provide for all the services. True when it started many people would have been miffed if gdocs had access to contact data and gmail was reading all you wrote but now that all the systems are established there is no huge fight back to what many see as a similication.

    I do agree that Google would have liked to provide all the adds to it's very own Facebook and had a little more power to target those adds but "social search" is not yet that critical and I don't expect Google's revinues will die overnight if G+ fades away.

    {I would also say that I see far more non-public posts than public ones from users}

  16. Winkypop Silver badge
    Trollface

    Google+ you say

    Sorry, I spend too much time avoiding Facebork to worry about another one.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Too low key?

    Google have a social network?

    To be serious, if it wasn't for the Register I wouldn't know about GoogleDoublePlusGood - it doesn't feature in my friends and acquaintances conversations

  18. HMB

    Old Addage

    Give people something much better or half the cost.

    Google+ just isn't much better, all this while Facebook continues to push forwards. Google+'s future might have been more interesting had it not insisted on real names, but it might be too late for that now.

    Innovation fail.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Old Addage

      Like the real names thing makes a difference. The vast majority of people want to use their real name because the whole point of a social network is to be you and find your real-life friends. Having to email phone your mate and ask "what's your ID on XYZ" is an immediate lose.

      Sure a minority want fake names but they are not going to tip the balance between a mainstream site succeeding/failing.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Old Addage

        That may have been true originally, but since people are now becoming (very slowly) aware of just how bad Farcebork can be for your privacy and future employment prospects, almost nobody I know uses a real name. Several have multiple accounts for different 'soclial circles' as they don;t trust FB to separate the information.

        So you have to e-mail them once - big deal. With the amount of people on FB it is quicker anyway ("Oi, Dave - which one of the 34,200 Dave Brown's are you?")

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Define 'joining GPlus'

    Every time I try to login to Gmail or upload photos on Picasa via the web interface I have to jump thru hoops to avoid signing up for bloody GPlus... And they ask why user engagement is low...

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Public posts metric?

    The whole value of G+ to me is not vomiting my random thoughts to a bunch of complete strangers as on Twitter and Facebook, it's vomiting my random thoughts to a bunch of close friends I don't get to see often enough in the real world.

    I realise that "privacy" and "Google" are not great conceptual bedfellows, but I really like the controlled privacy that Circles gives.

    I think there might be something like "close friends" on FB, but I don't think it's as well developed.

    1. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Public posts

      > I realise that "privacy" and "Google" are not great conceptual bedfellows...

      Since the whole Net is supposed to be the antithesis of privacy.. Or rather it is non-private by default; people accept the crap safety values of social networks.

      It's just that Google got caught by bad timing over its data retention publicity and that has put off me at least.

      I have an account I only use for e-mail and I am falling out of love with that. Not that I have all that much to worry about unless George Bush and Tony Blair get sorted and the Feds come bungling to me.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Public posts metric?

      Why do you have a "bunch of complete strangers" on Facebook. I only have a bunch of close friends I don't get to see often enough in the real world. Sounds like you're doing Facebook wrong.

      Similar with Twitter - I follow friends and interesting people - not those vomiting random thoughts!

    3. Timmay
      Facepalm

      Re: Public posts metric?

      I'm no Facebook fan, and I'm sorry for picking on your post when many others make the same comments, but it makes me laugh when people post this assumption that Facebook is all "vomit of random thoughts" and Google+ is somehow more high-brow and intellectual.

      You see posts from the people/friends/whatever *you've* added or are following, whether on Facebook or Google+ - the network doesn't determine the content. If you're following fucktards on Facebook, and professors on Google+, that's the reason. If you don't want to see vomit of random thoughts, don't follow or befriend the people posting that crap.

      Rant over.

    4. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge

      Re: Public posts metric?

      Dear friends, I'm in the phone book. If you want me to hear your random thoughts then ring me up.

      <goes off to smash a loom>

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: Public posts metric?

        Post your number and it's a deal.

  21. g e
    WTF?

    Guff

    I have loads of activity on my G+ account and I post something most days, too. Also there's no bullshit 'Come and join me on my farm' or 'What kind of Koala are you?' invites.

    Perhaps they were paid by Farcebork for that 'survey', to make FB look more important, or they just don't know how to use G+

    Let the Farceborkers stay there, tending Koalapeople on their virtual farms. G+ is a much nicer place altogether.

    1. The Fuzzy Wotnot
      Happy

      Re: Guff

      "What kind of Koala are you?", "Come and join me on my farm."?

      Sounds like not joining FB was a wise decision as it appears to be run by 14 year old girls and The Wurzels Fan Club!

  22. kosh

    Wasn't federated

    Needed to be a distributed federation (a la email or xmpp) to kill facebook. But then Google wouldn't control the data, and we can't have google without big data, can we?

    On the bright side, this post prompted my monthly visit to G+.

    On the downside, I find myself actively avoiding posting, since the death spiral means I'll just end up having to rescue the content later.

  23. cs94njw
    FAIL

    Now I'm able to turn off "What's Hot", I'm much happier.

    But the problem is - Google Plus was just too late. Something good enough already existed, and had so much momentum Google Plus can't beat it.

    They need a USP, but good luck on finding one.

    I want it to work, I really do. But with my entire family and friends on Facebook, why would I post on anything else?

    Perhaps the only real way to save Google Plus is have a "Share with Facebook" and "Import from Facebook" option.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Any suggestions for how Google can disentangle itself from Plus?

    G--

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Public Data

    I'm a bit confused. A report purely on public posts would also conclude that email is dead.

    I thought the whole point of G+ was to use private circles in the same way that email only gets sent to chosen people.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Get creative...

    Rather than trying to ape Facebook with Google+ (or any number of Google ventures that simply clone other companies or technologies), how about Google having a go at breaking new ground coming up with something uniquely its own?

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Get creative...

      They tried that with Buzz and Wave. Both flopped. They undoubtedly ARE constantly trying to come up with new ideas but the problem is, that is hugely difficult and you can't inspire a genius idea simply by throwing money.

      You only have to look at Google and MS to see they are always doing R&D into a myriad of different things, most of which never even get reported on let alone put into production. For every gmail and google maps you can bet there are a dozen projects that never made it outside Google's offices.

      1. breakfast

        Re: Get creative...

        For creating documents and workshopping ideas, Wave was actually pretty good. I just suspect that there aren't that many people who actually need to do that.

        1. Craigness

          Re: Get creative...

          Wave was excellent and a lot of the tech they created is now in other products, eg. multiple simultaneous editors in Docs. What I don't understand about Wave is how it gets called a Social product when it was a combination of email, blog, docs, forum, messenger etc. If that's the qualification to be a social product then GMail, Blogger, Youtube and Google Talk would be social products too (and so would the old Reader), but all we hear about are google's social failures and never its successes.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    but it's great

    I use it daily for all manner of things and post regularly.

    naturally a lot of people signed up for it then lost interest. That's the same for any new thing. Now the honeymoon is over of course there's a trend downwards but it's what Google does now that makes/breaks G+.

    I used to use Facebook but it's turned into a cess pit of meaningless drivel. At least now on G+ i get targetted interesting updates about my many hobbies.

    _C

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Coffee/keyboard

    it could have something to do with g+ layout and the usa google way of doing things.

    but it dont work for me or for millions of others

    i have to use facebook,when i see my facebook page i just think damn,wh.at a mess,when i go to g+i just ithink,blah.g+ intergration between diffrrent parts see;i agree wms to have been done by an alien.usualy i can get my head around the mindset of who or why a program looks or works as it does but not with g+ .designed by a commitee of camels i think.

    i agree with folk posting earlier,tie more services direct to gmail.

    1. Thing
      WTF?

      i just think damn,wh.at a mess

      Pot calling a kettle?

  29. DrXym Silver badge

    I think it works okay

    I see a lot of activity for the things I take an interest in and the user interface beats Facebook by a mile. To be honest I don't really see the point of most social networks though and I wouldn't be surprised if lots of people do give it a try, don't think much of it and never go back. Is Facebook really that different? I doubt it? Bet there are lots of dead accounts and people who only post messages privately and therefore aren't measurable.

  30. Paul Shirley

    not helped by Googles piss poor software and UI

    A few of my family signed up specifically for the video Hangout feature but as I've come to expect from the perpetual beta crapware they shovel out, we couldn't get it to work. That wasted hour+ is likely to be the entire lifetime use of G+ for most of them.

    I actually signed up voluntarily before that but remain baffled by the cryptic browser UI in it (and Gmail after decades using real email software). Google really need to hire some user facing programmers and designers. I may be unusual in that ;)

    As far as I can tell there is ZERO content posted by friends and family in my G+, the couple of news and announcement feeds actually work better over Twitter. Till todays post I'd forgotten I even had G+ - probably the only benefit to signing up is all the nagging messages infesting Google pages go away!

    1. multipharious

      Re: not helped by Googles piss poor software and UI

      No, you are not unusual there. The UI is shitty, and you can generally count on Google for that. One major complaint: to see multiple posts in the feed, you have to scroll, a lot. Compare that to the evolution of the facebook feed and how much work they put into it. A company can throw as much money as they want at a product, but without the evolution of the interface where actual users give feedback on things that could be better, it will never be "right" off the line.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: not helped by Googles piss poor software and UI

      I'm seeing an increase in invitations to "Hangout" at the moment. Mainly from tech marketing types at the moment but it'll be interesting to see what happens.

      1. Craigness
        Thumb Up

        Re: not helped by Googles piss poor software and UI

        What if the UI looked more like this?

        http://thenextweb.com/socialmedia/2012/05/07/transform-google-into-the-ultimate-pinterest-clone-with-this-userscript/

  31. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

    Google started reminding me about my Google+ profile. They started spamming me with 'top 3 posts of the week' emails, and bunged them on my home screen, seemingly with no way to get rid.

    It worked. It reminded me to commit G+ suicide.

    It's a shame in some ways. It was a nicer interface, easier to use and allowed easier privacy control. I log into Facebook about once a month, and it's a horrible UI mess. Every month I log in to FB again, and they've changed the UI AGAIN. I'd post a bit on there, if I could wade through the shit.

    In the end my family are on FB. That's where the cute pictures of the kids are. None of them moved to G+, so I had no reason to bother with it.

    It's got some loyal fans though. But that may be worse. They defend it passionately in any discussion. But they'll probably not win many users over, and will be incredibly pissed off (and just as vocally so) when Google close it down in a year or two. Like Buzz, Wave, Orkut etc.

  32. Fuh Quit
    Pint

    Kevin Rose

    I'd say he is important to what Google brings to Social.

    The question is will it be Digg 1.0 or Digg 4.0? I know Kevin was more hands-off towards the end of his time with Digg and mi.lk was well-received but who knows what the future holds.

    I spend more time on G+ but would consider short-selling some FB stock....

  33. Alyas
    Happy

    Get Google+ Out of My Face!

    To answer the actual question on disentanglement: just go back to the old uncluttered search page, that's it.

    I have an Android phone, so I have the requisite Gmail account needed to activate it the phone, but other than that, I only use Google for search, which is where they make their money. I'll keep using Google for search if they quit trying to shove Google+ down my throat. But lately the home page has irritated me enough by hiding the preferences and trying to force me to log in, that I've started at least trying to use Bing.

    I don't trust Google to protect my privacy. I don't mean protect it from the public, I mean protect it from them, from any number of governments, and from anyone willing to pay money for my information. They already know what I search for. I don't want them also knowing the contents of my emails and who my friends are. So I use a paid subscription to Hotmail, with which I'm very satisfied. I have a occasionally used Facebook account with a friends list consisting only of my actual friends, and not including anyone from work. I have a Linked-In account for professional contacts, and to Linked-In's disappointment, I refuse to give them my entire life's history. I keep my work and private lives separate.

    1. Craigness

      Re: Get Google+ Out of My Face!

      You don't need a google account to activate the phone.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn & Facebook

    They are all different, people, and for different things. And if you haven't realised that, then you haven't used them properly.

  35. John70

    Google+

    Rebrand it to Android+, Social Networking on your Phone.

  36. Rob Davis

    Give it time. Facebook going for 8 years. G+ underpins other services.

    Facebook has been going for 8 years.

    G+ is a relative newcomer which is its disadvantage competing against the established.

    People's tastes will change too which may work in the favour of G+

    G+ shouldn't be directly compared to Facebook. G+ binds lots of services good in their own right together (Gmail, Youtube, Blogger), providing convenience of sign on and sharing.

    Too much focus on G+ itself when it is more a underpinning fabric for these services.

    A Facebook weakness I can see is being too time-oriented: it's not easy for example to see all the things you Like as a list, there is no notion of favourites or categorised tagging.

    1. Stuart Castle

      Re: Give it time. Facebook going for 8 years. G+ underpins other services.

      Facebook may have been going for 8 years, but it quickly overtook the already established Myspace..

      In the meantime, a lot of people I know that started using G+ have gone back to facebook.

      You argue that G+ binds a lot of services together for a single sign on. Yes, they are bound together. As they were before G+ was conceived. Bound by a single Google ID.

      I agree, it's too early to count G+ out, but so far, G+ is following the same pattern Wave did. Launched with a lot of hype. A lot of people registering claiming it's a bold new way of sharing documents. Then, usage declined as people realised they could do everything they needed without sending their information to an outside company. Eventually, Google pulled the plug. Google have shown no signs they are doing that with G+, but Wave only lasted a couple of years before they did it. G+ is already a year old, and apparently has a declining membership.

  37. Eguro
    Alert

    People don't like obvious force

    I think the main reason why Google+ is in trouble (but also the main reason it ever got started), is the way they coerced gmail users and others into having a +-profile.

    Obvious coercion is not a good idea in these matters - just ask Facebook.

    In the past FB have changed their general design - spawning outrage and numerous "We demand the old facebook back"

    They've learned from those mistakes. Any new feature is presented not as force, but as an option. "Switch to the new X - it's a whole new experience"

    When enough people have voluntarily switched, they can then slowly prepare the rest for forced switching.

    Instead of making the new thing a forced thing, you make it hip and smart and have people switch on their own accord.

    It might be translateable into G+, but I hope not.

    I don't trust Google as far as I can throw them - and my server-farm throwing skills are quite low.

    Granted Facebook does the same thing, but Google has way more tentacles with which to wring out the remaining info about me.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not doing that badly...

    ...after all, I only use 3 minutes a month less of Google+ compared to 405 minutes less of Facebook.

  39. bailey86

    G Plus is a slow burner but much better than FB

    I don't bother checking FB - it's really just a list of inane drivel.

    On the other hand, G+ posts are interesting because I choose to follow people who make interesting posts about subjects which interest me.

    And the circles option is brilliant. I can post up a picture of lit'lun messily eating a chocolate biscuit to only my family circle - cos it's only of interest to the grandparents and aunties. It means I don't have to inflict the picture to a mass of people who aren't interested.

    The final point is that G+ enables me to share posts/pics etc to people when I only have their email address. For example, I act as the unofficial camp photographer for camping trips involving about twelve families. All I need is to collect their email addresses to be able to share all the photos with them.

    FB is too blunt a tool.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here, I'll explain it...

    Google+ was recommended to me by a friend. So I clicked on it and set-up a G+ account. Before I knew what happened, it had put up a public webpage with every photo or image I had posted to my various (separate) blogs. So all the various blog topics (some slightly sensitive) were suddently linked to my real world identity via the images. If I were a political dissident in certain countries, this would have revealed my true identity and (in the worst case) I would have been taken out and shot. Complete and utter privacy FAIL with potentially life-changing consequences.

    Google+ is one of the worst experiences that I've ever had on the Interweb.

  41. Allonymous Coward
    Mushroom

    Any suggestions for how Google can disentangle itself from Plus?

    Nuke it from orbit. Only way to be sure.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well, duh, tell me something I did not already know.....

    Hah hah hah, loving all the Google fanbois (i.e most of the reg commentards) spluttering about how Google+ is just misunderstood and the figures are wrong and everyone uses it and and and….

    The reality is that it is SHITE. It is an utter, utter fail, along with most of the rest of Google’s ‘projects’ (outside of search).

    This is the beginning of the end for Google. They have one profitable business (search) that is starting to get seriously slayed by Bing (30% share in the US I believe now). Their Android ‘business’ is doing great for Samsung, but, umm, not so good for Google.

    I do not know anyone that still uses G+. It is dead. And I am pleased. Most people have now twigged that Google is an evil, predatory company that is only interested in selling their users data to the highest bidder. About bloody time too.

    1. Stuart Castle

      Re: Well, duh, tell me something I did not already know.....

      One thing Google needs to bear in mind. Samsung, while apparently throwing their full weight behind Android, is also actively supporting Windows Phone.

  43. Greg 16

    How much is each Facebook user worth? $100+?

    The only way to break the Social Network monopoly now, is to pay people. $10 for joining and $2.50 for each invite that joins would soon bump up their numbers and once that kick starts the numbers it would naturally snowball from there. They could even use it to popularise Google checkout, and use that as a validation technique for people joining the network.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's all due to ad-blocking

    Perhaps Google+ can't get past all the ad(d)-blocking that's going on in browsers

    :-)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's all due to ad-blocking

      Blimey - it wasn't the best gag in the word but did it deserve a thumbs down? Apparently yes. :-)

  45. Armando 123

    Wait a second

    How does this affect C-level celebrities? Because that's what "news" is all about these days.

  46. Gulfie
    FAIL

    You can't compare Google+ to Facebook

    Facebook is a bit like reading a tabloid newspaper - full of gossip, tacky pictures and fluff. It is designed to keep you on their property, consuming their content and playing their games, and then coming back for more. They want to to spend as much time as possible on the site and had designed it as such.

    Google+ on the other hand is something akin to an editorially independent broadsheet with a wide breadth and depth of information available and linked. It is designed to allow people to add, link to and discuss the things that interest them. In doing so Google gain two things - information about your interests (to use when targeting adverts) and human validation of information on the web (a huge mechanical turk, if you like) that they can use as another input to their search engine algorithms. Look at a stream of posts in Google+ and you see lots of links to content, almost all of which is not inside Google+ or even hosted by Google. It isn't designed to keep people 'on the premises' on purpose - so a Facebook comparison will always fail no matter how successful Google think they have been.

  47. sisk Silver badge

    It's a shame

    Google+ has some really great features. The hangout could stand on its own and make the whole

    Thing worthwhile if only there were ever anyone on it to hangout with. Like I said when Google started this experiment, they need to convince people to leave Facebook if they're going to be successful. They've failed to do so, despite having several features that should make it a healthy competitor to Facebook.

    Sadly I think they're stuck with it at this point. It's going nowhere in both directions. I don't think it's likely to drag them under though.

  48. Jess

    Perhaps they should allow you to manage facebook etc from G+

    If they could hook into facebook and treat it as a circle and do the same for myspace, and do something similar for twitter, they would have a chance.

  49. awesomeface

    i know why google+ never took off

    The reason I don't use g+ is probably the same others aren't.

    I DONT WANT TO GIVE A SOCIAL NETWORK MY FSCKING CELL PHONE NUMBER!!! WHO THE FSCK THOUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA?

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    i use google +

    i am a fringe lunatic with no friends

    chronic masturbatory behavior

    and general shit disturber

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Are you paid by Facebook and the MPAA and its goons?

    It's fair to say I'm not a fan of your posts!

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Once again hah hah hah

    A couple of people have raised the point that circles and hangouts are good G+ features. That may be true. However, what is more likley I wonder:

    a) Lots of Facebook users will 'find out' about the new G+ features, make a decision to leave Facebook because of them, and move across to G+

    b) Facebook will quietly implement similar features and maintain its dominace over the pathetic me too product that is G+

    Hmmm, I wonder......

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How many solutions to google problems could google solve by googling?

    I think Google are starting to get their business model wrong.

    Ignoring Google+ (and the excellent Google Earth) for a moment:

    Google search seems to think it knows better what i'm searching for than I do

    Google search seems to think I can't spell

    Google search no longer seems to perform boolean

    Google have a service called Google Checkout, this generates revenue for Google.

    Google haven't updated the osCommerce Google Checkout payment module to make it compatible with the 2.3.1 version of osCommerce, even though it has been out for quite a long time now, several people are bothering to search for a solution, Google Search doesn't reveal such a solution (from what I have seen) and yet osCommerce has a sizeable market share, and so they are losing payment custom to competitors such as paypal.

    Linked with the Google Checkout issue, if you have an ecommerce site and don't have Google Checkout as a payment option, your Google Search rating may suffer!

    Google have a social network site, that is anti-social, and anti-networking.

    Google is my default webpage, my mobile runs Android, and i still tend to search with google first, but i'm sorry google, you simply cannot currently compete with facebook.

    Let's face it, most facebook issues can be resolved by spending additional time configuring privacy options on a per-post basis, creating private groups of friends in which to have marginally more private conversations, not adding too many people you barely know, telling those you do know that if they ever add you to groups without permissions YOU WILL remove them from your facebook friends list, and by using advert blocking utilities.

    Google+ on the other hand?

    - it's issue is called facebook.

  54. Seb123

    And in other news...

    "Half of Americans Predict that Facebook is just a Fad"

    http://www.tomsguide.com/us/facebook-poll-ipo,news-15219.html

    At the end of the day, who cares?

    Use the social things or don't use them. It's up to you.

  55. This Side Up
    FAIL

    Google is pissing me off

    for not just monitoring search requests but indirecting all the results as well. I's quicker to copy the address than click on the link. Google is its own worst enemy. If you've got something that works LEAVE IT ALONE!

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