So Google+ is no more, it’s been withdrawn amid huge data exposure. I can’t say I’m surprised. I can say that I am surprised that it was still going and still had a user base to close down – we’ve not heard much about it for many years.
Even when it launched – and as it started to generate interest/news coverage, I wasn’t convinced it would take off. It all felt a bit too little, too late. Facebook was already dominant; Twitter was arguably in its heyday. I felt they were already too established to be replaced, even by a single platform that wanted to do it better. The forced sign-up via YouTube et al, and the rumours that you would need to use Google+ for SEO purposes also failed to build a popular platform.
It didn’t really have anything to offer to pull users away from Facebook or Twitter –despite being in a strong position with the power of Google behind it. Why would I go to Google+ when I already had an established network on other platforms? The IT and tech crowd seemed to take to it, and they soon stopped releasing user numbers – not a good sign.
And the data loss, Google chose not to inform any of their users, whether this will be seen as a bad idea, only time will tell. Reports suggest it was not significant or important data (I wonder if that is because so few users actually had any important data on the platform).
Overall it is a lesson on the need to offer significant improvements and differences, if you are going to join the party late.