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Rob Gould

Rob works as a digital marketing & public relations consultant to agencies, brands, and individuals. He has 20 years of marketing experience. He also currently serves in a volunteer capacity as director of pr/communications for TEDxDirigo. From 2005-2011, Rob served as director of social media & agency communications at The VIA Agency (Portland). Prior to VIA, Rob worked with several PR & advertising agencies in London & Boston. He is a graduate of The University of Vermont (UVM) and a Maine transplant (2002). Follow Rob on Twitter at @bobbbyg His real-life interests include art, travel, writing, design, psychology, the beach, & exercise (grudgingly at times).

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Posted: March 9, 2015

Google+ is a failure | It’s going to pieces

Written by: Rob Gould


Yes, Google+ is a failure. There, I’ve said it. Whatever the bullies at Google and their fans may claim, the fact is that Google+ has failed. Google+ set out to be a rival to Facebook and its effort, measured by this ridiculous goal, was definitely a face plant. Don’t just take my word for it: these are also the words of a former Google  developer and designer specializing in user interface, Chris Messina, whose scathing critique of Google+ and its management went viral last December.

With all of this said, Google+ still isn’t going away. It just won’t die. Google has decided to break Google+ into separate Photo- and Stream-based pieces.

As part of the move, David Besbris is stepping down as head of the directionless division, and Google product vice president Bradley Horowitz is taking his place. Besbris helmed Google+ for less than a year. Last April, he took over following the departure of Vic Gundotra.

Adding to the enigma that is Google’s social strategy, Horowitz didn’t even mention “Google+” by name in his confirmation blog post, on Sunday. Rather, he said: “I’m excited to be running Google’s Photos and Streams products!” Social Media & Marketing Daily

Now, Photos will operate independently from Stream. Similarly, Hangouts — Google’s multi-person video chat feature — is expected to exist as its own specialized service.

“It’s important to me that these changes are properly understood to be positive improvements to both our products and how they reach users,” Horowitz stated.

Bradley obviously faces quite a challenge. To say the least. Good luck Bradley.

These moves aren’t all that surprising. Over its four years of struggle, Google+ hasn’t been nearly as popular as platforms like Facebook. I don’t think Zuck has been losing any sleep.

Shockingly, the photo platform of Google+ has shown to have an actual purpose for those use it. Apparently, these people actually exist. Anyway, this means it just might succeed as an independent offering. Surprise, surprise. In case you didn’t know, Google+ can store all of your photos in virtual albums that are automatically organized and edited by Google’s algorithms, as Business Insider’s Steve Kovach pointed out.

Personally, I find the thought of trusting Google’s algorithms to organize and edit my photos frightening. There are some photos I just don’t need accidentally showing up in my Stream. Not that I’m taking photos of anything scandalous. Never.

So, Google+ is officially a flop. Is anyone surprised? It will be interesting to see what comes of its bits and pieces. I mean, I’ve actually grown quite fond of my Google+ Stream. And, Hangouts are pretty cool. So, hopefully the bullies can get it together. As we all know, breaking up is hard to do.


For more on this story check out this post from Business Insider.


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