The History and Current State of Google Plus

Jasmine C Dobbins

Google Plus, which was introduced to the world in June of 2011, was a concept that was difficult for users to understand when first released. Google+ is the company’s fourth attempt into social networking following, Google  Buzz, Google Friend Connect, and Orkut. All of which were quickly retired after a few short years due to the plummeting numbers in users.

However, this new concept was intended to be more personable for users, allowing them to pick and choose their interest, relationships, and conversations.

Some features include, the ability to post photos and status updates to the stream or interest based communities, create different types of relationships into “Circles,” text and video chatting with friends through “Hangout,” the ability to edit and upload photos to a private cloud-based albums, etc.

And by the end of its first year, Google Plus had reached more than 90 million users throughout the entire world, and by October of 2013, approximately 540 million users interacted with it through an abundance of different online outlets. However, these numbers still did not compare to its competitors.

And it’s been mentioned that though Google Plus seemed to have an extravagant amount of users, a majority of those users didn’t actually visit the site, They instead used Google+ through Gmail or YouTube.

And throughout all of the changes in management over the years, in November of 2015, Google+ revealed a completely new redesign with the help of former Google Executive Bradley Horowitz, and is now solely focused on interest-based networking.

But despite the multiple attempts made by the team at Google, Google+ continues to decrease in popularity, and is rarely used as a social networking outlet anymore. Many even claim the phenomenon to be “dead” in a sense.

Instead of Google owning up to the fact that the idea was a flop, they have decided to play to their strengths and create an outlet for people that are looking for a more community based site. However, Google+ has the odds stacked up against it as it works to compete with both Reddit and Pinterest, both consisting of similar a concept.

However it still continues to get a a lot of criticism from experts. And many state that it was never intended to be a social networking site in the first place, and criticize it for not being the “community” it claims to be.

The future of Google Plus is still unknown, but experts continue work at making it something that is beneficial for users to have access to. However, only time will tell what the outcome of this inconsistent site will be.


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