Today Google announced that it has decided to “move some features that aren’t essential to an interest-based social experience out of Google+.”
With the rapid technology advances and rate in which platforms, networks and innovation hit the market, there is a fine line between jumping on a bandwagon and being motivated from a competitive standpoint.
Trying to take down Facebook with a product that is so similar assumed a degree of hubris by Google that users would abandon the familiar for the sake of an alternative by offering nothing unique. The success of Facebook comes from the simple user experience – and it was this simplicity that became Google+’s missing link.
Instead, Google focused on consolidating and pushing the agenda of its product offerings rather than creating a social network function and appealing to what drives human sharing and interaction.
There was the assumption that Google+ users would enjoy spending time organizing their information. This tedious process was seemingly counter-intuitive and it was this lack of clarity and the force factor that became a big deterrent for users. One user explains: “I refuse to be forced to join G+ by the Google dictatorship” – a strong viewpoint and sentiment echoed in many blog posts.
While the network will not be lost, it is a venture that will need to take on a new form and really hone in on fulfilling its mission statement to “help people discover, share and connect across Google like they do in real life” to prove it still has utility.