Rise And Fall Of Google+, Courtesy Facebook

by CXOtoday News Desk    Aug 03, 2015

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Google has finally admitted that it will no longer continue Google+, the social network built in 2011 to rival Facebook. Last week, Brad Horowitz, who took the reins of Google+ earlier this year, announced in a blog post that it will no longer force people to use a Google Plus account to log in to other and more popular Google services, such as YouTube. Soon they’ll be able to log in with the existing Google Account. The move is undoutedly a strong indication that Google’s high aspirations for the social network has shunk.

The rise of Facebook

Inside Google+’s failure is obviously the gradual rise of Facebook, which is snatching away users, employees and advertisers over the month. It has been making inroads on Google’s YouTube to pull video creators and advertisers over to its ecosystem. Experts also believe Facebook’s decision to keep WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger open and not needing to login to use has helped grow user numbers.

Although Facebook and Google are both tech companies, Facebook has been successful for its business in social media. Google which is now an integral part of an internet user’s daily life, believes it can do its best in everything. And this confidence helped the latter’s social media site to stay afloat.

Google was a late entrant to the social networking business. By the time Google launched Google-Plus in 2011 was mostly too late. By the end of that year, Facebook already had 845 million users and in 2015, it stands at 1.4 billion.

No clear plan

Experts believe Google launched Plus without a clear plan to differentiate the service from Facebook. Slate magazine’s senior technology writer Will Oremus considers Google’s post to be a defeat in the company’s attempt at building Google Plus into a “Facebook rival.” And while Google says it will offer “a more focused Google Plus experience,” Oremus believes that it will no longer attempt to shadow the Facebook experience and will probably merely be what it has always been good at: a social network for “internet-based communities” to discuss what they love.

The slow demise of Google+ sheds light on how a large technology company tries and often fails to innovate when it feels threatened, believe experts. The Google+ project though launched several inventive services and created a more cohesive user identity the social network itself never truly beat back existing rivals. Facebook is now larger than ever, with 1.4 billion users and a market capitalization more than half of Google’s. It continues to not only poach Google employees, but Facebook and Twitter are also beating Google’s dominance in display ad revenue.

As aron Goldman, chief marketing officer of 4C Insights, a social-media data firm told WSJ blog, “They thought they could muscle their way to becoming the next big social network,” A. “They are finally figuring out what this is.”