According to a writer for Forbes named Paul Tassi, Google’s latest attempt at social networking is still a failure. Mr. Tassi wrote about his dissatisfaction using Google Plus last year and he received some criticism from loyal diehards of the site – although most people would agree with Mr. Tassi’s observation that the site…well, sucks.
The Wall Street Journal a little while ago published an article claiming that the site is a virtual “ghost town” and users only spent like 3 minutes on the site per month. Of course Google denies this and released vague numbers to contradict any negative publicity.
Anyway, Mr. Tassi gave Google Plus some more time and a second chance to prove itself. He published another article today and he says that Google’s social networking site still doesn’t impress him. He wrote:
“…but I thought now was the time to revisit my thoughts on the site, quite a bit down the road. Over half a year has gone by since then. I’ve posted nearly every day to my G+ page, and have engaged others in conversation about many a topic… I still do not believe Google Plus is the social network it needs to be, nor do I believe it will ever pose a significant threat to Facebook in its current form.”
Mr. Tassi says that none of his friends use Google Plus and don’t seem like they ever will. His friends are using several other social media on the Web, including the red-hot Pinterest which I’m hearing a lot about lately. I think I remember reading someplace that Pinterest is credited for giving websites much of their referral traffic – far exceeding Google Plus.
Mr. Tassi believes that Google Plus appeals to a “niche community” of tech geeks and people who are in certain industries that find the site useful in connecting with the general public versus connecting with friends. Google Plus isn’t really a place you go if you want to connect with your close friends. He says that Google Plus is full of strangers who don’t comment much or engage with the site often. So even though he believes Google Plus isn’t necessarily a “ghost town” based on how you look at the numbers, it sure does give off the feeling that it’s empty and cold.
I have posted an article on my blog calling Google Plus “pretentious” once. I actually think Google sells its social networking site as being a high-brow version of Facebook – as if Facebook is that place common folks exchange frivolous things with one another while Google Plus folks share more meaningful material. It’s typical Google arrogance.
Google’s social networking site does not look like it will get any better any time soon or ever. It’s been around for a long time now and the company has huge expectations for the site. Google desperately wants to see its struggling social networking site grow and become a success, there is a lot weighing on it. Yet even with so much invested in the site, Google cannot seem to win.
To read Paul Tassi’s full article, please click here
“The browser wars are pointing toward better days ahead for Microsoft (MSFT).
Netmarketshare shows the company’s Internet Explorer browsers taking back some of the share lost previously to Google (GOOG) Chrome, returning closer to levels it achieved in September. It’s the third straight month of gains.”
A couple of days ago, I wrote about how Google’s latest attempt at social networking with the launch of Google Plus is a massive failure for the company. To catch up on that post, please click here
Okay, so yesterday Google responded to the embarrassing news about Google Plus by denying that it’s a virtual ghost town. Google vice president for engineering, Vic Gundotra, gave an interview with the New York Times. In this interview, Mr. Gundotra doesn’t really say anything new that we haven’t already heard from CEO Larry Page. I guess they haven’t learned from mistakes, so they will continue using the same lies to try to boost up their numbers. When one is desperate, they are willing to say and do anything.
Mr. Gundotra said that he has never seen anything at Google grow so fast as Google Plus. Hmm, perhaps – but has anything plummeted as fast as Google Plus? It’s true that Google Plus sign-up spiked by over a 1000% on the day of its public launch, but it soon almost completely died after a few days. After people satisfied their curiosity and saw that the product is absolutely useless, they hightailed out of there. It burned out so quickly.
Mr. Gundorta refused to give the New York Times any useful data that would indicate good health for Google Plus. He gave nothing to counter the Wall Street Journal’s reporting about the dismal user engagement on the site and said nothing about how people intertwine Google Plus has part of their daily routine. This is what the New York Times wrote,
“About 50 million people who have created a Google Plus account actively use the company’s Google Plus-enhanced products daily, Mr. Gundotra said. Over a 30-day period, he said, that number is 100 million active users”
“Google Plus-enhanced products”? WTF? What this means is that if somebody signs-up for a Google Plus account and that’s the only thing they ever do – it’s fine. As long as they are also still using other Google products and services, then it will still count as engagement on Google Plus. So if you use YouTube, you’re using Google Plus; if you use the search engine, you’re using Google Plus; if you use Gmail, you’re also using Google Plus.
Does Google think the public was born yesterday? Do you think we’re that stupid? Ha-ha. Only a really desperate company would try to boost up their numbers on a failed site by counting activity on a totally different site. Just face it, Google Plus is yet another attempt at social networking that’s failed – and this one is a colossal failure.
Mr. Gundorta made sure to point out what Google is most proud of, which is “ad engagement” on all Google websites. He claims that socially recommended ads have a higher click-through rate, and this has been successful for Google. If a friend recommends a microwave to you, then research shows that you are more likely to click on an ad about that microwave. This is true; you are more likely take something more seriously if a friend recommends it to you. However, this doesn’t mean that Google Plus is successful in the least. All it means is that Google wants you to sign-up for a Google Plus account, give Google your friend contact list, and then start “+1-ing” (Google’s version of the Facebook “Like” button) anything you enjoy anywhere on the Internet. Those +1 buttons are pretty much everywhere. Google will then take that information and use it to serve your contacts advertisements. You basically become like a celebrity endorser of products – except you won’t have a multi-million dollar contract.
It’s so sad that Google cares so much about monetizing our personal information for huge profits and not, first and foremost, creating a great social atmosphere. Look, the reason why Google Plus sucks so much is because it’s a lousy product. Nobody I know uses Google Plus – nobody says “Hey, what’s your name on Google Plus? How can I find you on Google Plus? Let’s chat on Google Plus”. Ha-ha.
Google Plus is indeed a ghost town and nobody cares to ever use it. Even if Google can share your “+1s” with your friends to achieve higher click-through rates for ads – it won’t matter if there aren’t people “+1-ing” in the first place. Nobody is sharing anything on that lonesome site, which is why Google is hiding the real engagement numbers that matter.
Mr. Gundotra said,
“We have started the social engines at Google and we’re about to step on the gas”
Aww, how determined. Take your time stepping on that gas, Google. You already had about 9 months – take another 9 months if you must.
For more information:
New York Times, “Countering the Google Plus Image Problem” – click here
Mashable, “Google+ Enhanced Ads Are Up to 10% More Effective, Says Google” – click here
SFGate, “So THAT’S What Google+ Is Really About: Advertising (GOOG)” – click here
Atlantic Wire, “Google Fails to Convince People That Google+ Is Popular, Again” – click here
That sound…what is it? Oh, right! It’s the sound of crickets chirping.
Last week, The Wall Street Journal exposed embarrassing numbers for Google’s failed attempt at social networking. As a few of you already know, Google launched “Google Plus” last June to rival Facebook. Google Plus is pretty much a copy and paste of Facebook in the look and design of the site. Though, Google lacks many interesting features Facebook has and it lacks the gigantic numbers. While Facebook sits mighty high with over 800 million users from all over the world, Google Plus has a mere 90 million users (and that’s being generous).
You might think that 90 million is still pretty good – but is it really? It turns out that Google Plus may have managed to get 90 million users signed-up, but that’s just about the only thing most users are doing.
The engagement levels on Google Plus is quite pathetic – a dismal. It’s a virtual ghost town. The Wall Street Journal looked at statistics provided by comScore and saw that between September 2011 and January 2012 Google Plus users spent an average of – get this – three minutes per month on the site. In comparison, Facebook users spent an average six to seven hours on the site every month. It’s not even close.
Oh and do you remember Myspace – of course you do – well even their user engagement beats Google Plus by almost three times as much. Keep in mind that Myspace has an audience of about 27 million users smaller than Google Plus.
This embarrassing revelation serves Google right for lying. This is what happens when you try to boost up your sign-up numbers to give off the appearance that you’re successful, when you’re actually not. In the first few days of its public launch, Google Plus spiked by 1,200% – but it quickly plummeted days later by 60%. Google loves to emphasize user count numbers to the media, but they are hesitant to disclose traffic numbers and the number of items people on the site share each day.
The CEO of Google, Larry Page, failed to tell the media the whole truth when he uttered this nonsense in January:
“Google Plus users are very engaged with our products. Over 60% of them engaged daily and 80% engaged weekly”
If journalists didn’t listen closely, they might have been really impressed with those numbers – especially considering that even Facebook doesn’t have over 60% of its users engaging on their site daily. If you noticed, Mr. Page said “our products”. Now, why would he bring up other Google products when the subject of the talk is supposed to be about Google Plus? Oh that’s right, it’s to bump up those numbers!
Google forces people to sign-up for a Google Plus account even when they don’t want it because Google thinks that if you use any one of Google’s products it means you want all of Google’s products. So if a person did a search on their search engine, Google will count that as engagement on Google Plus too –seriously haha. This is why their numbers are so bloated – it’s absolutely artificial and false. This is a great example on how Google misleads the public.
Even though everybody caught Google’s lies and exaggeration, Google still lives in its own little world. The vice president of product management for Google, Bradley Horowitz, said that “we’re growing by every metric we care about”. Ha-ha….okay…whatever dude….if it makes you happy.
However, not all Google employees are excited about Google Plus – at least not to the self-described “lowest leaf workers”. Steve Yegge, a Google engineer, accidently posted a 5,000 word rant ripping apart Google Plus and calling it a “pathetic afterthought” – ouch! Mr. Yegge inadvertently aired his frustration on his Google Plus page to all his followers when it was only meant to be seen by a few co-workers. He later apologized to his bosses – but he was just stating fact.
One of the things that frustrated Mr. Yegge was the fact that Google Plus fails to have good applications running on their site. Much of Facebook’s successful can be attributed to its games and apps – but Google fails big on this. Google doesn’t have nearly has much developed apps and the ones that they do have are showing underwhelming activity among users.
John Schappert, the chief operating officer of games maker Zynga, said Google Plus has “been slow on the uptick with users right now”. The company started offering games on the site since August 2011 and has seen nothing but disappointment. Zynga, however, performs very well on Facebook and they have a solid partnership.
But it isn’t just game companies that feel that users are not engaging with their applications, even companies who set up pages on Google Plus hate the site. Companies love setting up pages on Facebook so that people could “Like” their page and follow the messages the companies post. They love getting instant feedback from their customers and conversing with them. It’s a totally different story on Google Plus, though. For example, Intel Corp. has about 360,000 Google Plus followers who are quitter than a mouse – but the company has about 9 million fans on Facebook and you can’t get them to shut up.
Google is so desperate to make Google Plus a success that they are even warned their employees that 25% of their bonuses would be tied to the success of Google Plus. I guess it’s more sleepless nights for those employees.
Google Plus is not the only failure for the company – Google’s other social networking site named Orkut is also underperforming. Before the launch of Google Plus, the company had Orkut and it used to do quite well in some countries around the world (although the vast majority of Americans never heard of it). Brazil has the fifth largest social networking population in the world and Orkut used to the number one destination for Brazilians – hmm, not anymore. Facebook has had a rapid growth of 192% yearly in Brazil. Facebook is now number one in Brazil, which is an upset for Google because most users of Orkut come from Brazil.
Other failures for Google so far include: Google TV, Google Music, and even its Chrome web browser has fallen recently.
Ah, karma – the beauty of it. Google has truly fallen in the hearts and minds of its users. Its days might truly be numbered.
For more information:
The Wall Street Journal, “The Mounting Minuses at Google+” – click here
MarketWatch, “Google’s arrogance exposed in Google+” – click here
BBC, “Facebook overtakes Google’s Orkut in Brazil – Comscore” – click here
Mashable, “Google Engineer Accidentally Posts Rant About Google+” – click here
PCMag, “Will The Real Google+ Engagement Figures Please Stand Up?” – click here
The Guardian, “Time spent on Google+ dwindles while Pinterest draws growing user interest” – click here