Is Google Plus Worth the Effort?
Rumour has it that the Google plus project is slowing, with the big search boys not intending to make any further new acquisitions until at least the end of the year. However, this is at odds with recent figures released by traffic analytics site ComScore, which reckons that G+ has increased visitors by 66% over the last nine months.
However, the techie rumour mill isn’t convinced it seems, especially since Google are reportedly not taking on any new additions to the team any time soon.
Hangouts in Gmail
I wasn’t best pleased personally to see G+ hangouts appear in my Gmail account this afternoon, I don’t use G+ for anything other than publishing what I write and the occasional connection with others (most of whom are on Facebook anyway).
Many people may like this new aspect of forcing social into email, it seems to be coming from all directions anyway, what with the new version of Hotmail (Outlook.com) integrating social into email. Personally, I just want to email people, perhaps if G+ incorporated the other social sites too, I might find it more interesting.
No doubt the addition of hangouts will lead to further integration between all of Google’s social products, both existing and upcoming, making G+ more of an all-singing-all-dancing product eventually. Since most people use Gmail, this could in theory lead to Google’s answer to social working becoming the success they are looking for.
Stats at odds with rumours
Not only do ComScore cite the above rise in users of G+, it also reveals that the search giant’s social now has 110.7m visitors worldwide, and an increase in traffic in the US which rose from 15.2m to 27.7m in nine months.
However, these figures aren’t official and whilst I’m not saying they can’t be trusted, it really does seem to be the complete opposite of the whisperings of ‘those in the know’, always cited as an ‘unnamed source’ close to the project (of course).
This could be because the “the unique visitor numbers don’t take into account how long users spend on the site, or return visits” on Facebook (whose users have dropped slightly), according to PR consultant Morten Myrstad.
Despite the heavy speculation surrounding the longevity of Facebook, alongside the whole stocks and shares issues, many remain doubtful about how much of a real threat G+ represents to the world’s largest social network.
Of course, the best thing about rumours is that they tend to produce endless amounts of speculation; perhaps the G+ team are slowing it down to hit us again with it big time next year. Since it’s reported that they are not providing any “additional resources” to the project until January 2013, who knows?
It will be interesting to see how it pans out – I for one doubt that Google have nothing up their sleeve, perhaps they just have better projects to work on for now, such as doubling their efforts to ensure they stay ahead of the game with regard to search, since Bing has stepped up its efforts.
Whatever the case, we’d be interested to know what you use G+ for … if you do of course, and if you think it’s the best thing since sliced bread or more of a stale roll.
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