Analysing What Google Did Right and Wrong With Google Plus

Google Plus hasn’t been a complete success, but then nor has it been a complete failure. On the one hand it has a lot of users in the US, especially among webmasters and the ‘+’ button is reportedly being served millions of time a day.

However on the negative side Google Plus hasn’t had nearly the success in Europe and the UK where it only has around 3% membership. Furthermore, even if you have a lot of circles and people following you it somehow feels a little dead and empty like a ghost town. Here we will look at what they did wrong and what they did right, and hopefully there will be some useful lessons here we can apply to out own online businesses.

Image Upload

One thing that Google Plus has done recently which is a very smart move is to allow owners of Android phones to automatically upload all of their pictures to Google+ from their phones while they can continue doing other things. I’m not a huge fan of the way they went about it – in fact the new improved Google+ app came in a firmware update forcing it on me (which I had hoped was the next version of Android) leaving me a little upset, and there was very little warning. Before I knew it I had my personal photos on Google Plus, though reportedly they weren’t shared with anyone.

So that was bad form, and it’s things like this that have been turning people a little against Google lately. However that said it has the considerable plus of making photos very easy to upload – and this is very important when you bear in mind how many photos people already have on Facebook. This way people can quickly and easily upload their lies onto the network making it easier to make the switch.

And actually, Google Plus already does have a much better photo uploading system that allows you to much more quickly and easily upload pictures without that annoying ‘Sorry, something went wrong’ message you get from Facebook (which has ensured I have a backlog of about 50 pictures to upload).

Community and Elitism

However one of the big things that Google got very wrong is the fact that it all feels so empty. This is no doubt in part due to the fact that the ‘home feed’ doesn’t work nearly as well. And when you post something like a message it’s hard to know who that’s going to be shared with. What it needs is a much more effective community feel to it. Oh and e-mail notifications when someone eventually does see and comment on one of your posts. As it is there’s not really any reason for anyone to look at what you’ve been doing.

Meanwhile Google+ also missed a trick when it launched. Facebook got this exactly right by initially only making itself available to those people who had Harvard e-mail addresses, and then subsequently to those from other select universities. In other words, people wanted to be on it because they couldn’t be, and at the same time it was able to quickly appear ubiquitous because it was aiming at a smaller market.

Google+ did this at first by only letting people join who had bee invited, but that quickly got left by the wayside. Too soon I would argue.


Jim Hanson is freelance writer and believes easiest possible way to access data online anywhere is to signup with Free Cloud Storage Providers.

Image Credit: quapanniallkennedy

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