Is Google+ a Fit for You and Your Time?

Cat and Computer

How do you feel about Google+ today?

Here’s an admission.

Google+ and I have never really hit it off.

Here at The Time Finder we were originally intrigued with the idea of Google+ and it certainly didn’t hurt that it was part of the powerful array of apps, tools and  extensions offered by the giant that is Google!

But as time has gone on, that feeling has waned.

How about you? Are you active on Google+ or does it get less of your social networking attention than Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest?

Google+ by the Numbers

On paper, Google+ looks like it has lots and lots of users. But that’s because it’s the access point for Google’s other products and tools.

When you dig deeper, as Steve Denning did in two articles that were published in Forbes, you find that the number of active users is very significantly smaller than what you’d expect based on the raw user data.  He cites and study by Eric Enge in his article titled Has Google+ Really Died? and writes:

Enge analyzed more than 500,000 randomly selected Google+ profiles. Since a Google profile is created automatically when people sign up with Google, it was no surprise to find that 90% of the people with profiles on Google+ had never posted publicly there at all. Enge extrapolated this analysis across the 2.2 billion users on Google and concluded that while the “active profiles” on Google+ amount to 111 million users, only 6.7 million users have 50 or more posts ever, and only 3.5 million have 50 or more posts in the last 30 days.

This is a huge discrepancy! And a further question I might ask is, of those 3.5 million with 50 or more posts on Google+ in the last 30 days, how many of those posts are automatically added via a client like Hootsuite or Buffer?

For an insider’s look at Google+ from within Google, I found an interesting piece on the Business Insider site that was published in April and is titled Why Google+ failed, according to Google insiders. There the author (Lisa Eadicicco) offers some insights about what may have gone wrong, as well as providing a glimpse of what comes next.    She writes:

Last month, Google announced that it’s changing up its strategy with Google+.

In a sense, it’s giving up on pitching Google+ as a social network aimed at competing with Facebook. Instead, Google+ will become two separate pieces: Photos and Streams.

To my mind, Google+ has been an overly complex venue that Google has made the gateway for its other products and services, further complicating things for users. It will be interesting to see what happens as it is pushed less, and perhaps de-coupled from Google’s tools and apps.

What do you think?  Is Google+ an important part of your social networking strategy?  Would you be just as happy to see it retired?

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