In Google’s ongoing quest to become Facebook, we’ve seen some big-time social media misfires and plain old bad ideas (Google Buzz, anyone?). But this is Google we’re talking about, so failure at becoming the next big social media star hasn’t hurt them one bit, and the pockets are deep enough they can experiment with bad social networking until the end of time. So social media marketers, digital branders and PR junkies alike cautiously awaited this week’s arrival of Google+. The reviews of + are pretty much on point with other social media products released by Google and go something like this: “kind of sucky but, hey, it’s Google, so we’ll wait and see if gets better… and if not, we always have Facebook.”
Greg Finn of Search Engine Land said this about Google+: “All in all, this is the best social product put out by Google to date, but probably not enough to convert existing social users away from their current service.” And that, right there, is the issue. As social media marketers, we see our clients huff and puff and roll their eyes back into their heads at the mere mention of joining yet another social network. Granted, Google is so powerful that anytime it releases something social, there are the masses who queue up to hurl barbs at them before even learning about the new product. But I truly don’t think this is the case with Google+. Like Finn and several others have pointed out, the name is just bad and it doesn’t fit with the brand. Also, maybe it’s okay if Google doesn’t rule at everything. Maybe being the most powerful search engine ever is enough.
We’ll wait to give our opinions on it, though, until we get our own hands on Google+, which won’t be available to the general public for a few months. And if Google+ is a fail, we have no doubt the tech and media giant will keep searching for the right social media answer.