Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Online Loneliness At Google+

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the like-second-life-with-fewer-graphics dept.

Google 456

An anonymous reader writes "Google+ is a lonely place. At least according to a new study that paints the social networking site as a virtual tumbleweed town. Using information culled from the public timelines of 40,000 randomly selected members, data analysis firm RJMetrics found that the Google+ population, which currently numbers 170 million, is largely disengaged, with user activity rapidly decaying—at least when it comes to public posts. According to RJMetrics, 30 percent of first-time Google+ public posters don't post again. Of those who make five public posts, only 15 percent post again. The average time lapse between posts is 12 days, and RJMetrics cites a cohort analysis showing that members tend to make fewer public posts with each successive month. And the response to public posts on Google+ is extremely weak. The average post receives fewer than one reply, fewer than one '+1' (the equivalent to Facebook's 'Like'), and fewer than one re-share — basically most posts in the study did not garner any response."

cancel ×


Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

No one gives a shit about Google+, more news at 11 (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40028299)

Yeah. We know. We can browse the site too.

Re:No one gives a shit about Google+, more news at (5, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028673)

Google Plus+ the Zune of Social Media.

There is a really popular product out there, the big company comes in much to late in the game, offers a product that isn't that much better, and not much cheaper. In hopes that you big name will oust the already well known name.

Restore Google Reader! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40028317)

Please bring back the "share" feature internal to Google Reader

Re:Restore Google Reader! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40028355)

Eh, I seem to have it in my Reader.

Re:Restore Google Reader! (3, Interesting)

Clarious (1177725) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028703)

A G+ acc is required to use that 'sharing' feature, and it will post the story on your G+ page. I did not realise that Google Reader community was that big. Back then the Recommended section had many interesting stories, now it is plagued with life hacker posts. I started to hate google after that.

google+ has some privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40028323)

why should I share my obsession with drugs with my potential employer?
privacy is the thing

Re:google+ has some privacy (3, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028747)

Rule #1. Never post anything about yourself, that you don't want your employer or future to know.

Even if it has good privacy issues, and you only share with your friends. It could happen that your Friend becomes a future employer. And he may have changed in the last 10 years but you haven't.

Google doesn't want participation... (1)

BMOC (2478408) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028327)

Participation means bandwidth. They just want your information, they could care less how often you post.

Re:Google doesn't want participation... (3, Informative)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028395)

they could care less how often you post.

So they do care a bit? But not much?

Re:Google doesn't want participation... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028499)

Posting is information. Why do you think Facebook is so hot on wallstreet?

Re:Google doesn't want participation... (4, Insightful)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028689)

Posting is information. Why do you think Facebook is so hot on wallstreet?

Because no one really knows what their books look like? Because they spent $1B on a shitty company like Instagram just to see if anyone would flinch, and when no one did, they knew they could basically write a blank check and investors would sign it? Or maybe (the simplest explanation) it's been like 5 years since there has been an interesting IPO and institutional investors are desperate to make mutual funds look appealing again?

Re:Google doesn't want participation... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40028569)

No, you really have no idea.

They want participation. Participation is what gives them information, and it also gives them eyes on ads. People change their preferences, change their hobbies and interests, change who they are talking to and what they are searching for constantly. Just uploading a few scant details once is not really enough -- they can pretty easily narrow down your demographics (sex, race, country, age range) after a few searches. It's the deeper information they want.

They also want to try to keep facebook from running away with that market. Facebook's market cap seems to be about half of Google's. That's massive. More Google+ time = less facebook time.

Bandwidth is nothing, compared to search and other services.

Re:Google doesn't want participation... (4, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028597)

Bullshit. Their primary business is information collection, with their primary revenue being advertising. If they don't have relevant information to offer to their users, their core business is withering on the vine. If the users decide that they're better off looking for info elsewhere, their advertising revenue dries up.

Google needs an active G+. They're just fighting a losing battle against the network effect.

Re:Google doesn't want participation... (5, Insightful)

SilverMans (2641737) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028683)

It's funny that the summary and article quote 170 million users too. This is not the actual Google+ user count, it's just the user count of Google accounts that have been tricked to join it along using other Google services. And by active, they mean active if you use any Google products like search, youtube, etc.

Re:Google doesn't want participation... (-1, Troll)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028601)

Well, of course they want participation. Participation means more information.

Google should focus on making their search engine better while thinking up the next big thing. Unfortunately, Google is so engineering-driven that it has a hard time understanding people. Even the use of "+1" comes off as mathematical and robotic. Grandma doesn't want to "+1 something".

Engineers often have trouble seeing their own work objectively, and they're afraid to apply human intuition in place of sampling data (e.g., the infamous 41 shades of blue [] ). Google needs to change its culture so that it places greater emphasis on design and human interaction rather than technical impressiveness.

Re:Google doesn't want participation... (0)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028661)

I thought that was Bing...

Wow (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40028329)

I use google + daily, always open in a tab.
And each time i go look at the tab, there's something new up on my stream.

So I guess some people do post. If you're not following anyone, no wonder it seems barren.

Re:Wow (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40028387)

I'm following over 30 people and not one has posted in over two months (March 5th, to be exact), yet the same people continue to post on facebook.

Re:Wow (5, Insightful)

Fastolfe (1470) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028631)

Maybe you're following the wrong people? If your goal is just to read idle ramblings from your friends and family members, those people are probably unlikely to switch over to G+ or even cross-post. If your goal is to consume interesting content, you can't just add your family members to your circles and expect interesting content to start appearing. I see a lot of people (and organizations) producing interesting content, and while some cross-post between FB and G+, many have different content on each platform, or only post on G+.

Re:Wow (2, Insightful)

SilverMans (2641737) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028743)

Why the hell would I join a social network to follow people that post things that, for either my hobbies or work, interest me? I can already do that with internet forums, reddit, slashdot etc... Social networks are for keeping in touch with your family or friends, not some random people.

Re:Wow (3, Interesting)

quippe (767072) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028639)

I'm following 30 people and i get 15-20 posts per month; and that rate of messages, is exactly the metric I used to choose who to put in my circles. I couldn't care less of how much user accounts are on google plus or how many post per month each account generates in average. I don't hope either that facebook explode or people from facebook move to google+; actually I hope that people remain confined in facebook forever. G+ is a good looking mailing list, for me, in which my friends and some smartasses i would like meet one day contribute.

Re:Wow (3, Insightful)

TheGift73 (2427520) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028587)

Agreed. I have used it every day since the private Beta in June 2011. For me, I like it mainly due to my obsession with photography and geeky subjects of which there is a constant abundance of information. As the poster above stated, "If you're not following anyone, no wonder it seems barren." To be honest, compared to the useless crap and continuous flow of drivel that I used to find on Facebook on a daily basis, Google+ has been a life saver for people wanting to find a place where they can easily communicate with like minded people via Hangouts or just messaging. The noise filters are also great. Also, the ability to chat to the Google devs behind the system directly to get things fixed is a great sign that the development is ongoing and something important to them. There are also constant improvements to the site and how people use it, that I never saw on Facebook. Yes, I know that FB would have GUI and back end updates, but they were always annoying at best, and fairly useless in usability. Remember, Google+ is still less than a year old. Take a look at what Facebook was like when it was a year old.

Real name policy to blame? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40028331)

I think it might be the reason that critical mass wasn't achieved. I was really hoping that this would trump facebook.

Re:Real name policy to blame? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40028399)

It's more likely about the censorship. Quite a few users in my circles opted out after complaining about censorship. I'll probably join the ex-Google users soon.

What sort of censorship? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40028777)

Porn? Political censorship? What?

Re:Real name policy to blame? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40028801)

Never heard of G+ being censored, ironically. Always figured it was the real-name fiasco.

Duh. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40028335)

Google + was seen as a "Facebook that isn't Facebook", so sure, I made an account and looked around.
But then I remembered something, it's still a pointlessly boring social media site, and abandoned it.

Re:Duh. (5, Funny)

Kirrilian (613868) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028763)

it's still a pointlessly boring social media site

Unlike Facebook, which is immensely captivating and relevant.

Re:Duh. (1)

Laebshade (643478) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028803)

You missed the part where he inplied that _all_ social media sites are boring.

Quality? (0)

DogDude (805747) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028339)

I don't use any of these social media products, but isn't it possible that the QUALITY of Google + posts are better? If I were reading stuff like this, I'd much rather have a few interesting things to read, than a lot of garbage.

Re:Quality? (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028439)

The quality of the posts depends entirely on the quality of your friends. Although sometimes Google+ will put something in your newsfeed that is completely unrelated to you, anyone you know, and is often unrelated to anything you are interested in. Which is kind of weird. I think they are trying to get you involved in a bigger community or something.

Re:Quality? (2)

Mr. Hamburger (2641281) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028553)

Although sometimes Google+ will put something in your newsfeed that is completely unrelated to you, anyone you know, and is often unrelated to anything you are interested in. Which is kind of weird. I think they are trying to get you involved in a bigger community or something.

Nah, they only do that show it would look like there's at least something going on. But who are we kidding here, the place is a ghost town, killed, finished. Even Google themselves haven't made any updates to it in a long time. They were supposed to roll out applications and games for all third party developers.. six months ago.

They failed.

Re:Quality? (1)

hendridm (302246) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028649)

If they would choose to hold out a bit longer, I think it's only a matter of (short) time before Facebook implodes due to suckiness and the masses look for the next social media fad.

Re:Quality? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40028629)

"The average post receives fewer than one reply, fewer than one '+1' (the equivalent to Facebook's 'Like'), and fewer than one re-share"
Sounds like they're not worth commenting on, people don't like them, and people don't pass them on . . . or if they are high quality, nobody reads them.

Google+ sucks! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40028351)

I was very active at G+, but stopped using it after they started to censor everything like a moral police or something. I haven't used it since 2 months and don't plan to return.

Re:Google+ sucks! (1)

dfcamara (1268174) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028465)

I've only been censored in Facebook

Re:Google+ sucks! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40028729)

That's why I post on Slashdot. I know I can talk about XXXXXXX, XXX XXXXXX and XXXXX without any worry of censorship.

Re:Google+ sucks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40028475)

Indeed, I stopped using Google+ after they censored Pioneer plaques.

Re:Google+ sucks! (2)

knuthin (2255242) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028489)

I did not know they did that. Can you give example posts that were censored?

Re:Google+ sucks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40028611)

Just search "Google+ censored" on Google+. I'm against any censorship, therefore I refuse to use Google+.

Re:Google+ sucks! (4, Insightful)

Isaac Remuant (1891806) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028669)

second AC I read that says this. I'd be cool if you provided examples so as to validate your anonymous claims a bit better.

Re:Google+ sucks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40028719)

Sounds like you've never been using Google+

Re:Google+ sucks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40028733)

Ha, I can't believe they censor bare breasts. What else do they censor?

There must be some self righteous religious nut at the helm of that sinking ship.

The problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40028353)

The main problem, in my opinion, is that it looks inactive no matter what.

The ability to use circles means the ability to not hear every single one of your friends every single minute. Especially those annoying ones that say something every minute. But by not having those, it looks like there are less people using it.

That said, I don't have a facebook account and I only have a G+ one because I tested it at the start and couldn't be bothered deleting it.
On the other hand, being on 4chan sometimes, some of the boards would really look a lot more empty if you removed the bothersome reoccuring replies (like rolls). Thus maybe making them look abandoned.

hopefully facebook dies a similar death (0)

cod3r_ (2031620) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028357)


Public posts? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40028365)

Most people don't post publicly, if that is your only gauge of success, it will show up as not being that active. That's the wonderful this about circles

Why (-1, Troll)

generic (14144) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028371)

cause it sux.

Re:Why (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028517)

It doesn't suck. I fond it to be far cleaner, easier to use and easier to organize.

Re:Why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40028619)

I really hate the idea that people can add me to their circles without me approving it and the only way to avoid it is by blocking that person. Why would I want to block a person just because I don't want them to be "connected" on G+?

And the lack of better photo organizing turns me off too.

That said (5, Funny)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028385)

It's probably still got more users than Diaspora*


Re:That said (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40028541)

I hate* footnote indicators without a corresponding footnote.

Even the early adopters aren't using it heavily. (5, Interesting)

MsWhich (2640815) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028391)

My local circle of friends went in heavily for Google+ as soon as it opened. Two of them actually cancelled their Facebook accounts in favor of having only Google+, although tellingly, one of those has since reopened his FB account and started using it on a regular basis again; the other one is still a Google+ diehard, but did reopen an "events-only" FB account because he was tired of getting left out of event invitations.

I started a thread on G+ recently asking my circles if they were still getting value from G+, and the general consensus was that people want it to work, like the features, but just aren't seeing the social interaction that would make it viable. A lot of people reported that they use it primarily as a blog aggregator. This has been my experience as well, and I'm probably a heavier G+ user than most.

I think that the invite-only rollout was probably a misstep, as was not allowing business accounts for the first several months. Lack of event integration is also a problem.

Re:Even the early adopters aren't using it heavily (1)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028461)

I haven't signed up yet. Why should I when, if I want that sort of interaction, I use facebook (I don't, my account is not deleted, but it's disabled, and all my cookies deleted). How many more users are there on facebook - and all constantly using and posting, I don't get why anyone thinks they'd all suddenly just jump ship to G+ when facebook is doing what they want. It doesn't even matter if G+ is better... facebook is good enough (apparently) and everyone is already there.

Re:Even the early adopters aren't using it heavily (1)

SilverMans (2641737) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028609)

Exactly, and Google+ isn't even up to Facebook. It's worse than that and has much less features. It seems like they just tried to copy Facebook and did a half-assed job at it. Who the hell at Google thought this was a good idea? Oh I know. They thought they could leverage their search engine and gmail to force users to the service, with things like automatic signups pushing all that crap to the search. Google is really going downhill.

Re:Even the early adopters aren't using it heavily (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40028557)

I've managed to establish "circles" on Google+ featuring people who post frequently - I have a "science" circle (not one I created but one adopted from someone else) that is very busy. The difference with facebook is that I don't know any of these people personally. The people I do know personally who I've connected with, as the study suggests, simply don't use it other that opening an account and posting a couple of times. So I'm using it more like twitter right now (where I also don't personally know the vast majority of my followers/followees), which isn't a bad thing.

So I'm not convinced it's a complete failure yet - my own use is slowly increasing. But it's certainly true that it is no real threat to facebook at the moment. Too much critical mass over there to get most people to switch.

Re:Even the early adopters aren't using it heavily (2)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028573)

In other words, the network effect was re-discovered. I'd love to use G+, but everyone I know is on Facebook. And since I'm too lazy to post things twice and visit two different sites for the same purpose, I stick to Facebook.

Here's what would spur the adoption of G+: Google needs to develop a social network aggregator, where G+ is just one of the networks. Have it pull posts from all your networks, and allow you to cross-post to every network you want. Google needs to realize that it lost this battle, and is staring at the possibility of losing the war. Which means that it cannot simply push G+ accounts to everyone who signs up with any Google service, but it needs to position itself as the complete newcomer who has to play nice with the existing networks. The main trouble could be the TOS for using APIs, but I'm sure that the basic 24 hours storage rule should allow Google to at least have it pull relevant data and display it at the time of request.

There is something that kinda works like it, but doesn't really have the interface I would look for (full disclosure - the people working on it are good friends): [] .

Re:Even the early adopters aren't using it heavily (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40028581)

I agree,
I've completely ditched facebook, but keep it active just in case.. I've checked it maybe 4 times in the last year.
Through Google+ whats hot, I see all kinds of awesome content which my facebook friends usually see a few days later through the grapevine.
Hangouts are simply awesome (although Google should merge the Google Chat and hangouts.. why have 2 tools that are the same but different)
Integrating Docs into it, Amazing.
Auto upload of Photos, and Photo editing tools, Also Amazing.

Its got everything I want out of a Social Network.. except the Social part of it.. which kinda sucks.
I just want everyone to jump ship to G+ becuase then it really would be better than facebook.
As pointed out above the event integration needs to happen (which is strange because google calendar exists)

But unfortunately the people are sticking to facebook. I tried to see if by me stopping using facebook whether my friends would at least try Google plus to see what im up to.. but alas.. all I succeeded in doing was making my friends think I dont like them anymore because I dont reply to their messages or posts.


Newsflash! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40028393)

Google+ hasn't caught on and it won't. Click back to your minimized window and resume masturbating.

Poor social media integration (4, Interesting)

FadedTimes (581715) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028401)

Google+ has poor integration with other social mediaapps. Foursquare, Yelp, Twitter, instagram, Pinterest, Flipboard. All these share with each other or at least twitter and facebook. Google+ isn't even an option, and you have to manually copy or create updates on it, which is annoying.

Every time I mention to my social network of 200 that Google+ is dead or dying, I get the same 5 people who say it isn't and also happen to be the only 5 people in my circles who share anything.

"Average" (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028413)

The key here is the word "average." Sure, most users who heard about it will login once, make a post, then go back to Facebook for Farmville to feed their cattle. I'm more interested if there are small groups of people who make posts, because if so Google has a core group of users that they can grow from. And, of course, as TFA points out, the whole point of G+ was the privacy aspect, which they cannot see (I, for one, would almost never post outside some circle: I would use Facebook if I was interested in that kind of thing).

Note: I don't really use G+ or Facebook, although I have accounts on both. I do, however, occassionally see people posting interesting stuff (mainly pictures) on G+, since it ties into my email, and I don't mind it. I had to disable Facebook from sending me emails, since there was so much crap. And it still won't stop. Every email notification option I can find is turned off, and some still get sent. That is why I hate Facebook, more than anything else. They don't respect the users settings, obviously (so I don't expect them to respect privacy settings, either).

Re:"Average" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40028731)

My impression of it (certainly subjective, but...) is that it's primarily been adopted by "new media" / "web-famous" / "geek-famous" types to use as another method of connecting to fans (examples: Felicia Day; Wil Wheaton; Ze Frank;). It strikes me as vaguely "advertisey" because of that - and I enjoy my fair share of the output of these people, but they all already have Blogs, twitter, facebook, etc. - I can follow them there, where's the killer app that would mean G+ is a must-have to follow them? I just don't see it.

I have a few "famous" people in circles who basically post "Hey, I have a new video on Youtube," and a couple dozen friends who tried G+ when it started. The only activity anymore seems to be coming from those web celebrity types, the regular folks aren't posting much, if at all. And those same "regular folks" are posting regularly on Facebook.

FadedTimes mentioned integration above - which is certainly a contributing factor. On Facebook, I see lots of "posted from instagram/yelp/twitter/pinterest/foursquare" posts, but I don't see the same stuff on G+. In that sense, it still seems Facebook is functioning as a hub for that activity, more so than G+. I wanted to love G+ when it started, but for most "average" users, there's just no compelling reason to switch. Vague "privacy" assurances (while Google mines your data furiously to deliver more and better ads) aren't going to prompt a whole lot of new users to move.

Re:"Average" (1)

Isaac Remuant (1891806) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028753)

Hey! You have more friends than you know! Add more random people!

X just added Y. Don't you know Y? Add Y!

Come on, man! Catch up with your friends! Right now! Log in!

What people learned from Facebook: (4, Insightful)

Picass0 (147474) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028415)

1) You can put your whole life online and it still doesn't mean you're famous.
2) People you know will post snarky crap on your page and shrug their shoulder when you meet them face to face.
3) Everything you've ever been told to safegaurd your privacy is out the window at Facebook. If you don't post it, someone you know already posted about you.
4) A website is automatically uncool the moment your parents join.
5) Facebook is just an ugly background away from being Myspace.

Re:What people learned from Facebook: (4, Interesting)

AdrianKemp (1988748) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028725)

Largely off-topic but I like that you mentioned #3.

I think that's what Facebook did so very, very well. I find shit posted about me constantly despite the fact that I would never post it myself. It wouldn't even matter if I didn't have an account and although that pisses me off there's nothing I can do about it. I've tried convincing my friends and family that posting everything online is a really bad idea but they don't get it and I like human interaction so I'm stuck.

Incidentally, it seems to be something that Google+ inherently avoids, which makes it so very much nicer but simultaneously destined to failure.

Maybe public posts aren't important? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40028423)

I haven't made a single public post IIRC on G+. Public posts don't interest me, posts to people I know and with whom I share common interests do. It takes a while to get the hang of it but it works quite well. And... No, I have never had a facebook account.

Facebook (3, Insightful)

sanosuke001 (640243) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028425)

Google+ just didn't make it out of the gate fast enough to get the support from those already attached to Facebook. Because of that, people who did sign up with Google+ didn't have the same support from those they wanted to communicate with so (probably) stuck with Facebook for its user base. Unless Google does something to get users to switch en masse, there's not much they can do about it. You can't expect users to post on both sites and, I'm assuming, anyone that is gung-ho about social networking has been Facebook-whoring for quite a while now and has no intention of starting over.

This is all aside from social networking being a complete waste of time (my opinion, anyway...).

Re:Facebook (5, Insightful)

kiite (1700846) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028701)

They had a decent enough buzz. They had a decent enough product. They utterly failed on the delivery.

Let's look at how Facebook (inadvertently!) succeeded with its introduction:
- release the product to a small number of people who all know each other and feel exclusive
- release the product to another small number of people who all know each other and feel exclusive
- release the product to still more people who all know each other and feel exclusive
- open it up to the world and let it grow organically

Now, here's what Google did:
- generate a lot of buzz about a promising new product
- allow a limited number of invites, but allow anyone to be invited, so new people who join know only the person who invited them, and can't even invite new people yet. But they do feel exclusive, and can't wait until they know someone.
- feed the anticipation of all the people who are clamoring to get an account
- open up invitations to anyone
- reject new sign-ups from people who were invited once they hit an unspecified threshold, so that only a small number of new people actually signed up, and the only person each knows is the one who invited him
- open up invitations to anyone
- reject new sign-ups from people who were invited once they hit an unspecified threshold, so that only a small number of new people actually signed up, and the only person each knows is the one who invited him
- open up invitations to anyone
- reject new sign-ups from people who were invited once they hit an unspecified threshold, so that only a small number of new people actually signed up, and the only person each knows is the one who invited him
- eventually, people got tired of being rejected and didn't sign up, or left because they didn't know many people when they first joined.
- open it up to the world.

Did Google really expect people to just "try again later" after receiving an invitation and being rejected? Twice? Three times?

Major introduction fail.

Good! (4, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028441)

There's a reason those of us that switched did so. If they turned Google+ into another facebook I'd leave. I don't want to be part of a virtual hen-hizzy where everyone is telling me the size of their poop every morning. When I have an update on Google+ I know it's work looking at... where-as with facebook I was so flooded with nonsense I couldn't stand it anymore and deleted my account.

Re:Good! (1)

orange_account (904027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028643)

Yep, that's it exactly. It's great to have a nice place to share things and have meaningful conversation with specific groups of people and not broadcast crap all over the place. That said, I suspect a lot of people prefer the broadcasting-crap system because it lets them feel like other people are reading their stuff and then everyon gets to feel good. So, I'd consider g+ a fantastic success for that it is. The unfortunate reality of the situation is that the majority of people don't use social networks for that purpose. Hopefully they keep it around for those of us that do though.

The world doesn't need another facebook (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40028447)

What we need is a protocol for truly distributed social network, where each one can run his own server and have complete control of his/her data.

Listen to that google and work towards that. We don't need another facebook.

personal info (2)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028451)

Sometimes I feel like the reason Google built Google+ is so they could harvest everyone's personal information. They don't actually care if people use it or not, they now know who I am, and can sell that to advertisers.

Re:personal info (2)

Zaldarr (2469168) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028539)

And this *isn't* Facebook's business model?

Re:personal info (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40028545)

They knew that anyway... take a look at the amount of data they have on you even before you sign in :P

What I find (5, Interesting)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028453)

I find that Google posters are more technically incline. Most of the people I circle are tech types or something else I find cool. I've also noticed that most people post to circles and not public. I will see people commenting on posts, but when I click their profile, they are sharing nothing.

My guess this has to do with them being more technical. Companies and everyone else are searching the Internet to see what you do online. If you don't share your post with them, they can't see it.

As for G+ being dead. I don't see it. G+ only allows 500 comments per post and I see maxed out post comments quite often. (very annoying Google, fix it!)

I suppose if you are an outsider looking in, it could look like a ghost town. Especially if you are choosing random people to follow. A lot of random G+ers don't want you seeing what they are posting.

Re:What I find (2)

nanosmurf (609905) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028785)

Exactly. The two are barely comparable from a content perspective:

On G+ I have a groomed list of about a hundred people scattered through various circles. I try and post something interesting or original every day: a link or one of my own photos. And what I typically see posted in return is great original content with a smattering of the most interesting links from people who's opinions and ideas I actually value.

On Facebook I'm peppered with the typical (and already thoroughly discussed) inane saccharine mommy-updates, zinga updates, and other random drivel on an account I only keep active because of there are a small handful of people so glued to the platform they no longer reply to regular email, but whom I need to be in contact every so often for various family or volunteering reasons.

The thing is that new users need some kind of G+ buddy system these days, a well-connected user to say: join, and circle these fifty people.

Public vs. Private posts? (5, Informative)

Fastolfe (1470) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028477)

The study says they could only look at public posts. I rarely post publicly and instead use circles to limit who can see what I post. While many of the people I follow on G+ are silent (or at least they don't publish to me), so are most of the people on Facebook. I follow a comparable number of people on G+ and Facebook and my G+ feed is just as busy. I don't see how a study like this can draw any meaningful conclusions from their methodology.

Re:Public vs. Private posts? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40028779)

I don't see how a study like this can draw any meaningful conclusions from their methodology.

Google's silence on the matter is telling, though. If there was a significant success story to be spun from G+, they'd be spinning it furiously.

They're not.

Is it as bad as this article makes it sound? Probably not. Is it still pretty bad? Probably.

Who cares... The companies are there. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40028483)

I use it to follow companies and not get marketed to death like Facebook. It does what I need in that I can get quick information from various vendors. No need to google+ something or anything else.

Facebook has more longevity than I expected. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40028491)

Maybe I'm getting old but I didn't see anything particularly special about Facebook. I'd expected them to go the way of myspace a while ago. As twisted as the company is, they do continue to innovate and respond. They may not be wholesome changes, but they're damn good at catering to the vapid and trivial BS that drives the interests of people that would otherwise be watching reality TV.

They're also pretty good at connecting families. My grandparents fricking LOVE facebook. Lets them find their old friends that are still alive, and laugh smugly and gossip about the ones that they outlived.

See, that's the problem with Google+. It's too good, and promotes good activities. Unfortunately that audience is too small to compete. Facebook is cesspool of human drama and vice, which is why it's so popular.

Public posts? Some of us don't give a shit. (5, Insightful)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028493)

The large majority of the people in my circles with whom I keep active contact with, post almost exclusively Limited, as do I.

Frankly, those who post exclusively Public seem a bit like show-offs and/or "social media consultants" (or "experts"), and who wants to stay in touch with such people?

Facebook IPO may change that (4, Interesting)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028497)

If you think FB has privacy issues now.... Google+ may have a lot of new accounts after the FB IPO* hits. Not that Google is any better privacy-wise, but people wanting to share their entire life online may have to choose the lesser of two evils.

* []

Re:Facebook IPO may change that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40028749)

Google+ may have a lot of new accounts after the FB IPO* hits

I agree. Facebook will start to loose its user base once it too has to change to meet the demands of the shareholders. Facebook is looking to be the one who controls what company will topple its success in this area. Google will get its chance once FB start pissing off enough users.

All G+ is empty discussion is meaningless (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40028505)

Every single one of these articles is completely without merit. They all poll Google+ for public information. Guess what, the majority of users on G+ do not post publicly, that is why they choose to be there instead of Facebook. I know personally I moved over to G+ with an already formed circle of Twitter friends. The vast majority of us only end up sharing among the 500 or so members of that loose community. But within that group, the discussion is constant. There are tons of these loosely affiliated circles on the service.

The type of user attracted to Google+ generally is someone looking to discuss things, not necessarily vapidly post about what they had for dinner. It is a different dynamic, and as such needs a different metric to determine participation. Then again at the end of the day I am completely happy with Quality over Quantity.

but for working groups (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40028521)

it kicks the shit out of anything else I know of right now.

picture an event that takes 5 months of work by teams scattered over 4 cities. Google+ is a giant help. the hangouts allow face to face meeting combined with screen sharing. the information being built by google earth I can turn around and drop into the circle that is doing the work.

it's actually a great group solution. something that facebook sucks at.


I think the real news here is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40028547)

Apparently there are now enough Google Plus posts (somewhere, I guess) that you can start doing statistical analysis on them.

photographers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40028575)

Guess the study did not take the photographers into consideration.

It is a scary place (4, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028577)

There are two reasons I use google services. One is to create an alias for a particular focus of online activity. The other is to set up services I need for work, also under a specific alias. Niether of these depend on my real identity since both function better with an outward facing identity that topic related. I am not dependent on Google services, but my life would me much harder if I did not have access to them.

So imagine my surprise when Google started suspending account that were not related to a real person. Though I did set up a Google+ account, I have been too worried about losing my Google Docs accounts to actually do anything on Google+. It seems from online posting that one Google gets on your case you are screwed.

Sixth Sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40028613)

Google+ is like Bruce Willis in The Sixth Sense; it doesn't know it's dead yet.

(hat tip to whoever said it here not long after it launched)

If Google wasn't evil . . . (0)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028625)

If Google weren't acting so evil lately, I'd probably be there. I don't see that they are any better than Facebook--especially since they are reading all my emails.

I'm hoping to shift to Diaspora someday.

A hollow imitation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40028627)

It's like using Facebook lite, and while I think many people enjoy that concept in itself it does render the purpose of G+ redundant as the "original" is a swirling suckhole of egos, people saying stupid stuff and games your mom plays (y'know the people who actually use Facebook every waking moment).

Other things that kinda sorta make it worse:
-User Interface: Google used to have decent GUI but last couple years have shown some serious ineptitude. G+ isn't just barren, it LOOKS barren too.
-Lack of Anonymity, Google wants to tie you into all their services through G+, if I want one of my GMail accounts to connect to G+ I will go out of my way to do it, but they seem insistent on shoving a giant button everywhere they can to try to connect accounts.

So, in short, G+ has been mostly useless, pushy and ugly, everything I want in a piece of software.

what a bullshit (2, Interesting)

Valpis (6866) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028633)

Compared to other social networks sites I have been using I have never seen this amount of interactions between users.
The difference here is that you start to talk to people you don't know. Whn I started on G+ none of my friends there on G+, but instead I started to talk with people I never seen or met before.
Today I have these stats from G+:

Posts 631
Comments 5777
+1's 1623
Reshares 193

Compared to FB there the same type of posts didn't generate anything at all.

Re:what a bullshit (1)

dominious (1077089) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028761)

You do understand that you are just one single data point and they are talking about average results amongst thousands of users?

G+ has its place (2)

voxner (1217902) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028663)

Google+ is a good place if you know what you are looking for. I like to follow nerds and it just about seems like the "right medium" for that. Family, friends tend to hang around in FB. I see G+ & FB as orthogonal entities catering to different social ecosystems.

Google+ was never going to work (1)

doston (2372830) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028671)

I remember back in the olden days (2006 ish) when there was a mad rush from MySpace to Facebook. It almost felt dirty to stay on MySpace. I didn't really know why it was happening, since MySpace was a lot more customizeable, which should have been great for all the narcissists who live for "social networking". Well, that was back when social networking was less entrenched and still a mere toy. We were still using evite for parties and myspace for social. Facebook has dug in a lot deeper now; people can't just all of a sudden decide to use another network. They have (usually hundreds) huge numbers of contacts, that's where they get their party invitations, all their family info, trade photos, etc. Most aren't tech savvy, so learning a new site is daunting. It's going to take a lot more than just a similar website to pull them off en masse to another service. It's going to take a huge game changer and google+ was never that game changer. My puny brain can't think of what could replace Facebook, but I don't think it exists yet.

*PUBLIC* posts (4, Insightful)

elecmahm (1194167) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028687)

The whole premise of G+ is that it's built around private sharing with your circles. There's a lot of public sharing, sure -- but it's INTENDED to be private. That was the whole selling point for why people chose to use it over Facebook. My G+ feed is constantly being updated in a very lively manner with both public and limited posts by a variety of people.

The study is based on a flawed premise. They should find some other metric aside from "public posts" for determining how engaged the userbase is.

Too little, too late - or too early (2)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028693)

In social networking, as with many things, there can be only one premier service. Sure, there can be products which cater to a special niche, or as an alternate, but few people are going to keep two Facebook like sites going at once. Google+ offers no real compelling reason to leave the #1 player, Facebook, for the majority of users (hint: if you're reading slashdot, you're not one of those people).

Until everyone moves, nobody will. Google was jerking off with Wave and Buzz while Facebook was getting everybody and their brother on. Most people just want a social site, and Google tried to make it "more" and didn't realize that my mother, and the 13 year old kid down the street don't want "more."

Google is too late to the party, and there's too much momentum right now. In 3-4 years, if facebook starts to decline (as MySpace did), then there will be an opportunity again. Right now, though, I think it's Facebook's market to keep or screw up and it's going be difficult and take a long time to make enough people switch so that it gains momentum.

Cue the... (1)

Reasonable Facsimile (2478544) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028711)


One more step I'm unwilling to take (1, Insightful)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028727)

I was already annoyed with Google's obvious profiling tricks; apparently harvesting my gmail to display advertising. When I got duped into associating my YouTube account with my Google account (*now* I understand), I was seeing people in my gmail senders lists showing up as recommended movies. I'm trying to walk back my Google dependence, not add a new data mining node on my TIA profile.

Bailing out (1)

jones_supa (887896) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028789)

How can I nuke my G+ account? I searched for the option some days ago but couldn't really find it.

The only time I check... (1)

Certhas (2310124) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028807)

The only time I check Google+ is when I read a story how nobody uses it. Then again, the only time I check facebook is if I've been told I've been invited to something and should check the details on facebook.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>