It’s been around a month since Google+ made its debut. Designed to be so much more than just another social networking site (see our rundown of Google+ here), the first month has seen some mixed reviews.
It may surprise the naysayers but Google+ has actually broken records: it’s officially the fastest growing social networking site of all time. In fact, in just four weeks Google+ acquired a whopping 20 million users! Some put this down to glowing reviews, others say it’s simply due to there barely being a sign-up process (it’s almost like an extension of your email address). I would have to side with the latter as I have a Google+ account myself but can’t remember making too much of an effort to set it up – it suddenly, or so it seems, was simply there at the top left of my Gmail account.
The same people also believe that this massive hike in early adopters will not be matched on a long-term basis and that as these early users slowly subside, so will the ‘sign-up’ figures as a whole. It’s definitely a worry for Google who, although deemed as masters of the internet have certainly had some public failings – does anyone remember Google Buzz?
If Google+ wants to avoid the same fate as Buzz and that other one (Google Wave was it?!) then they are going to have to start looking into giving something to business users. When Google+ first launched it actively discouraged businesses from creating profiles, saying that at this stage it’s simply not an option. However, the real problems arose when they shut some business accounts down and left others active – leaving Google open to a huge wave of criticism.
The original plans were for Google+ business to launch at the end of the year but now that Google has seen a slight drop in active users (as the result of the Google hype being over) they have made plans to launch this much sooner.
The truth is that social media plays an active part in the marketing plans of modern day business and if Google+ can’t accommodate for that need then they will not come close to hitting the 750 million mark that facebook now has.
This just goes to show how social media is now less to do with the individual and more a huge global marketing and communication tool. Ignore this and Google+ will have the same fate as Buzz and Wave.