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March 7, 2012

The Google+ Upgrade

After a strong start, Google+ could have lost its momentum, at least if we are to believe ComScore's numbers. "According to comScore, Google+ users averaged only three minutes on the site during January, a pittance compared to Facebook's average of 405 minutes per visitor."

That's a really low number, but I'm not sure it's accurate. Google+ is not a separate service like Google Finance or Google Scholar, it's the social fabric from many Google products. Below Google's navigation bar, there's always a share box and a notification button that lets you read comments and post your replies without visiting Google+. Google's search results include pages shared by your Google+ circles, YouTube's homepages shows videos shared by the people you follow in Google+ and many pages have +1 buttons. You're using Google+ even you're not visiting plus.google.com and that's because Google+ is an upgrade, not a new product.

"This is just the next version of Google. Everything is being upgraded. We already have users. We're now upgrading them to what we consider Google 2.0," says Vic Gundotra, Google VP.

Google's bet is so significant that Google+ simply can't fail. Google+ is just a fancy name for a new Google that knows more about you, so that it can offer a more personalized experience. Upgrading to Google+ will offer better search results, better ads, simple ways to share content, collaborate and communicate with the people you care about. It's the same Google made more powerful by a social upgrade.

15 comments:

  1. Great article! Everyone is always talking about G+ like it's just a social network. It's not; it's the new Google.

    If you use any of Google's products other than search it's not a matter of whether you will use Google+ or not, it's a matter of WHEN you will start using it. Google+ can't fail, because Google+ is more than just another Google product.

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  2. Just a tip: the English in your opening sentence is a little confusing. It sounds like you are talking about something which could have happened in the past, but didn't. Better to say "After a strong start, Google+ may have lost its momentum, at least if we are to believe ComScore's numbers."

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  3. I know for a fact that I spend mot of my G+ time in the little notification extension from Chrome. Also, like you said, Google+ has pretty much caught up to Facebook in the area of having their buttons put on websites. It's here to stay.

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  4. Google+ is still pretty dead around here though. Unlike Facebook. Where everyone is.

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    1. You get a better class of visitor on Google+ though in my opinion. They're generally better educated, able to string a sentence together without resorting to text speak and usually share something more interesting than baby pictures.

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    2. Google+ has a "better educated" class of people because they're generally strangers with whom we might share interests. They'll thus always seem more educated or informed about the things we care about. It's acting like an aggregated chat forum for our topics of interest.

      Facebook - is almost everyone we know. It's a reflection of our actual social relationships: if the people on Facebook seem uneducated, it's because one's peer group is uneducated. It's a very powerful and persistant idea.

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  5. Hmmm... I deleted my Google+ account a few weeks ago. Too few users. They destroyed the usefulness of Picasa and too much effort to manage Circles.

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  6. Everyone is on facebook, but the conversation is crap.

    Few people on Google+ but the conversation is far more interesting.

    All the major news channels are moving on there, and I just been offered a several free bets on Google+ through a betting shop, I will save them for the UK Ground National.

    I am finding myself spending more time of there and content is growing.

    Google + is going nowhere.

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    Replies
    1. I agree. Whilst Facebook is about connecting with old friends and schoolmates, some you'd probably rather not hear from, Google+ is about meeting new interesting like minded people and it happens fairly naturally.

      I've recently taken to scanning old photos, mainly for my own benefit as I had a scare in a flood recently. It's amazing how people flock into Google plus when you start tagging. All that is needed is a little bit of interest and effort.

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  7. Google+ will not pick up untill it offers "fancy url's" like facebook ex: facebook.com/bbcnews all that google+ has at the moment is a difficult to use/remember url: plus.google/u/46835683584765, needs a "short/catchy" first.

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  8. i like the design and functionality of google+. and it is just a matter of time when i have enough 'active' friends there for me switch frmo facebook to google+. but i feel like it may happen relatively soon.
    but because i always love google and google products, i will keep using google+

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    Replies
    1. Good on you. Share stuff (photos), and mention people. They'll come.

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    2. Oh... and +1

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