I’ve “kind of” liked Google+ since its launch and paid it roughly the same amount of attention I’ve paid Facebook and Twitter. Google+ is, well, nice. Sure, it's a little clunky but there’s something there that, well, “kind of” works. But my summation of Google+ as “kind of” likable and “kind of” works are probably why most people’s attitude to the service seems to be “meh.”
The problem for Google is that Google+ was a key part of the company’s attack on social networking and now, with the departure of Vic Gundotra who was head of Google+, the future of the service has to be in serious doubt.
This is supported byTechCrunch which reported on the day of Gundotra’s departure (the 24th of April) that:
What we’re hearing from multiple sources is that Google+ will no longer be considered a product, but a platform — essentially ending its competition with other social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
TechCrunch went on to say that Google hasn’t declared Google+ “officially” dead instead leaving the service in limbo “more like walking dead” ... or, to put that another way, Google+ has been zombified.
While I have only a minor fondness for Google+ I’m disappointed that the social media world is again apparently being ceded, in the main, to Facebook and Twitter. Even though that may not be the worst thing for the social media world it’s also not the best.
It's not the best because it doesn't foster dynamism. Where’s the competitive push, the innovation? Is Facebook really the best long-form social platform we can come up with? Is Twitter the best short form service we’ve got? Or is the only thing that keeps Twitter and Facebook going the inertia of their users? Change is hard and changing from something you’re used to and that’s free, even when you, the consumer, are the real product, is hard. So, tell me: Are Facebook and Twitter really the best? Are they the de facto backbone of social media and, if so, for how long?