Piers Fawkes: Google+ Has Failed To Reach Mainstream Adoption

Service is looking like the Betamax to Facebook’s VHS? Is it time for Google to pivot?

The social statistics around this month’s most popular article on PSFK suggests that Google’s new web-service is failing to gain usage-traction. The article ‘Share A Coke’ Campaign Puts Names On Coca-Cola Bottles And Cans‘ is by far our most popular article in terms of traffic and it has been distributed across the web with over 1,200 Stumbles, 750 Facebook likes and 220 Tweets. In comparison the article has been shared by only 8 people on Google+.

A report recently suggested that the social service from the Palo Alto tech company had reached 50 million users and so I feel that it’s ironic that while most of the traffic to this article has been through Google searches (using phrases like ‘Share A Coke With Names’ and ‘Coke Name Bottles‘), none of those users actually used Google+ to share the content. Just because 50 million people in a database have ‘signed up’ with a single click from their Google accounts, doesn’t really mean they have 50 million users. It doesn’t appear that anyone is using the service to share content like the Big Three (StumbleUpon, Facebook and Twitter).

Right now it feels like it’s in a limbo place just where ‘Google Buzz‘ was about 6 months before it was pulled. Google has got to pivot to keep the service alive. Sure, the service is young and folks are saying that people don’t yet understand it and how it fits with the greater Google concept, but this sentiment forces me to have a “Seth Godin” moment and respond by saying that if after 50 million ‘tries’ people don’t get the service, then it’s a major product problem not a people problem. Google+ may think that it’s a superior social network — but the stats we have suggest that right now it’s the Betamax to Facebook‘s VHS.

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