5 Reasons Google + Will Fail

By   |  July 26, 2011

Google+, the newest player in the social networking revolution, was released three weeks ago and is still technically in beta (meaning you need an invite to register and use the service).  Despite all that, it’s estimated that there are 20 million G+ users, and the official iPhone App has been at the top of the Free Apps section of iTunes since it’s release.

It’s too early to tell how this will end up effecting Facebook.  Right now I’d just like to see G+ not fall flat on it’s face, because there are plenty of reasons why it’s formulae for social networking won’t succeed. So before you delete your Facebook account, take a look at the top five things that could destroy Google+.

5.  Facebook: No other social network can hold a candle to volume of users that Facebook boasts; a staggering 750 million registered users visit the site every day. This has created a perception with the consumer that there is no need to switch services, because the chance to connect with others is greater on Facebook than anywhere else. Even though Facebook’s core user market value has peaked and is steadily falling, it’s still top dog right now, and right now is when G+ needs users.  As long as one social network has the greatest share of registered users, competitor sites like G+ will be at a disadvantage.

4. Market Over-Saturation: Facebook may be king of the hill, but at the bottom of that hill is a ocean of competitors each vying for a piece of market share. Add to that the fact that many sites which don’t have anything to do with social networking are starting to adopt social networking-like services, and the problem becomes clear; there are too many social networking sites! Before it can really win over Facebook users Google first needs to make G+ stand out from all the other fish in the sea…and right now it doesn’t.

3. New users turned away: When Google rolled out with Orkut in 2004 everyone loved it up until the point when the servers crashed due to the amount of heavy traffic. Orkut never really recovered from this, which is why G+ is still in limited beta. In order for G+ keep growing it needs more registered users. It might have made 20 million in it’s first three weeks, but much of that number comes from Google fans and Google employees, not unique users.  In these early stages, limited registration may be necessary, but it’s also telling people just to stick with Facebook.

2. G+ Farmville: I see a lot of people posting on my G+ feed about how much they love not having to deal with Farmville updates and Mafia Wars promotions. “How long,” I want to say to these people, “do you think that will last?”  Google is a shareholder of  Zynga, who already has plans to bring it’s terrible product line of shitty, pointless games to G+.  Considering the number of people who are using G+ because they hate all Facebook has become, turning it into something that reminds people of Facebook is definitely not a step in the right direction.

1. Google: G+ is, rather unfortunately, not Google’s first foray into the realm of social networking. It’s first attempt was with Orkut, which failed due to Google not dealing with server issues fast enough, which drove US users away. It’s second attempt was with Google Buzz, and it is widely regarded as the biggest flop in the company’s entire history, and it landed Google several privacy infringement lawsuits. Hopefully Google has learned from it’s mistakes, but the margin for failure here is really tight.  G+ dosen’t have to just be better than Orkut and Buzz, it needs to be better than the competition.

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