What’s happening with Google+
Google may be about to announce a huge makeover of its social media plans that include Google+. This is due to the fact that the executive in charge of the project, Vic Gundotra has left the company and 1200 employees ave been shifted onto other projects. It is rumoured that Google+ will become more of a platform than a full-blownFacebook competitor. They may also stop mandating that all new products contain social integration. This has previously been an issue, and hasn’t helped Google+’s reputation at all in the past.
Google has responded to many of the rumours, and they said that the news of Gundotra’s departure doesn’t change the company’s plans. This is slightly blurred as Google could have been noted of the departure a long time ago, allowing them to change their strategy in order to answer such rumours, and if so it is a clever tactic by the social media firm.
If changes to Google+ are coming, people will not be disappointed at all. The project has been a bit of a mess from day one with conflicting strategies, and the site has suffered due to many pointless features that do not add enough creative weight to the project. Any good features on the site seemed to be replaced by sub-standard versions, an example of this being the well-received Latitude app, which was replaced in favour of similar features in Google+ proper.
Google’s next move is crucial, as the current trend in social media is to make things simplistic, and taking away clutter. This has led to people using more platforms to split up their tasks. Facebook clocked this and made the move to purchase Instagram and WhatsApp. If they cant keep people on their own site and apps, then at least they have the spending power to own the popular apps that people use.
Whilst Facebook was taking these big risks, Google was still moving in the direction of creating bloated Google+ features. Again this was not well received, and the main issue users took was with the Google+ integration in Google Reader and YouTube, both of which had massive communities already. Google were changing good recipes with ingredients that didn’t make sense, whilst taking no risks at all in the fight for social media supremacy.
With all the above considered, it is the right time for Google to change its approach to Google+. There are signs of this happening already, withGoogle last week letting Gmail users share photos that they have automatically backed up from their phones. This liberates the photos you have taken, and maybe Google are now taking note of other companies who have experienced success in the social media world.
Google+ has been under question for a long time so maybe it is right for the company to start fresh now that the leader of Google+ has departed. It will be interesting to see what they pull out of the bag as a firm the size of Google cannot afford to fail a second time around.
Blog written by Alex Smith of Social Media Frontiers
Alex Smith is an English Literature and Sociology undergraduate whose love for written word has led him to write about some obscure topics in his time. Currently an intern at Social Media Frontiers, be sure to follow him @AlexSatSMF