Google Plus: Anyone?

Are you on Google+? Our marketing partners keep stressing the importance of having a Google+ presence from an SEO standpoint, and yet I don’t know anyone who actually uses it. Below is a thread from Reddit on the subject:

Google+, with all the hatred around Facebook and its privacy issues I thought people were going to think Google+ was a “safer” alternative.

• Personally I was just too lazy to make the switch. I had all my friends/photos/information on Facebook, why would I take the time to change it all over for something that did exactly the same thing?

• True, no one moved because no one was moving. If a certain number of friends made the migrations I would’ve jumped as well.

• I had a few friends delete their FB accounts and immediately jumped to Google+ once they had their invites. They all ended up recreating FB accounts a few months later.

• I think what killed Google+ was that they made a social network invite-only at the beginning. It made it so if you were the first of your friends to get an invite, you’d only have the one person that invited you, so you’d never use it. Then when your friends finally got their invites, you wouldn’t be on, so they wouldn’t use it.

• I really, really wanted it to take off, to the point I completely deleted my Facebook account and refused to have anything to do with FB for about a year. A social network is only as good as how many of your people are on it, and that didn’t last. Now I’m back on FB, because “everyone” has a FB account and I can communicate with the people I want to communicate with.

EDIT: A number of people are pointing out that FB was invite-only in the beginning, too. I say this isn’t relevant, as when FB was starting out it had a very different goal then when G+ was starting. FB was catering to a niche market (college students), G+ was trying to displace a heavily entrenched existing social media site. With FB during its invite-only time, there was no expectation that you would be able to talk to all your friends and family, so not being able to was not a deal-breaker.

• This was what I first thought of too – Google+ feels to me like a kneejerk “oh crap, we need to get a social network out there” reaction to the popularity of Facebook and Twitter, and I’m really not all that bothered by it.

• Yet another reason why people were hesitant to move to Google+. Google has a habit of outright killing services that they decide aren’t important anymore.

• A lot of people invested significant time and energy into learning and using Wave, and found a lot to like in it. But it didn’t live up to whatever Google’s expectations were, so they killed it. Why wouldn’t a potential user feel like the same thing is possible with Google+? Why would I go through the effort of learning a new system, spend the time to convince my friends to move, etc. when it’s entirely possible Google will just shut it down a couple years later if they don’t like how it’s going? For all its problems, you know Facebook isn’t going to shut down their social network anytime soon.

• Google has a habit of outright killing services that they decide aren’t important anymore. RIP Google Reader… sniff