Google Plus started out growing faster than any social network has so far, but may not be able to compete against Facebook longer term.
The appeal is not sticking because many of the people that quickly flocked to Google Plus have made their way back to the comfort and familiarity of Facebook.
In fact, the inability to keep users engaged has some observers wondering just how long Google Plus will be able to survive.
A Closer Look At The Battle
Google Plus entered the social game at a time when competition was arguably at its fiercest. Facebook was just reported to have an estimated 750 million active users, while both Twitter and LinkedIn were making notable gains of their own.
In order to garner attention, Google would have to give users a different experience, and different is what it strived to be from the very beginning.
Even in its original beta form, Google Plus was equipped with a new friends system in Circles, a discovery engine in Sparks, and a group video chat tool in Hangouts, which recently made its way to the mobile platform.
Apparently all that wasn’t enough, as Facebook went to work with some countering of its own.
The majority of the changes involved making the popular social platform more user-friendly, starting with the news feed.
The news feed has been designed in a manner that presents users with posts that are deemed to be most important to them, opposed to the most recent updates.
According to Facebook Engineering Manager Mark Tonkelowitz, the news feed experience is now like users having their own personal newspaper.
Despite not being embraced by the community as a whole, or at least not at first, the recent changes at Facebook have reclaimed the attention of both the general members and brands who spend their time on the site.
And while Google Plus still has some attributes that enable it to stand out, the lack of activity and return visits is a sign that users are having trouble justifying its worth in comparison to what they already have in Facebook.
Google Plus is not the search giant’s first attempt at social networking.
If you recall, the company launched Google Buzz in 2010, which fizzled out due to a major privacy flaw that accompanied the initial release and the same issue the company faces today — being useful in what can be considered an overly crowded space.
Google Plus definitely has more potential than Buzz, but should it bomb, it could very well be the last shot at ever touching Facebook in the social realm.
Guest writer Aidan Hijleh is a freelance copywriter and serves as the non-profit partnership liaison for Benchmark Email.
Lead image courtesy of Shutterstock.