There was a lot of talk about Google+ when it was about to launch 4 years back. There were articles from marketing experts and business magazines that Google would give tough time to Facebook or become a bigger giant in the social networking industry. While things sounded really cool in the beginning the bubble popped very soon and it was realized that Google+ was not going to become as big of a thing as Facebook. At that time you could give hundreds of reasons why Facebook could not be beaten by Google with its new social networking platform.
Lawyers in particular made significant headway forming marketing groups like Circle of Legal Trust, which rose like a Phoenix out of the ashes of the 2012 Google Panda and Penguin updates. Many attorneys were forced to lay off staff, and/or go to work for another firm due to the blasting of their legal websites into cyberspace by Larry Page’s new algorithm. Google Plus made it possible for many of us to understand and recover from the significant negative impact these updates had upon us lawyers.
So on the one hand, Google hurt us with these updates, but then gave us a tool to meet, confer and begin to understand and recover some of our old organic and local rankings in the legal online community. But sadly, in the recent days, the secret news has come to the top and we are now hearing it clearly that Google+ is going away.
In my conversations with David Amerland, he is supremely confident that nothing is going away, but simply that things are being restructured. I personally think everything is fine, and am suspicious that Google Plus is going the way of Google Buzz and its predecessors.
The news might not be very satisfying for those who have always been staunch critics of Google+ and who always said that Google+ would die because the mentioned social network is not going in the ground completely. The new lead who will manage Google Plus in its split form will be Bradley Horowitz. What it means is that Google+ will divide into two different parts. One section will be called Google Photos and the other Google Streams.
Almost all online magazines and news websites are talking about the splitting of Google+ into 2. Those who always supported Facebook will only be happy that the competition is gone but we can’t say that for sure. Internet is a funny place where sudden ideas get sudden recognition. Who would have thought that an idea as simple as posting messages using only 140 characters would become such a huge success despite the fact that Facebook was already around at that time? LinkedIn too made a great name, Instagram became more famous and many other social networking platforms got good success.
It is a pity that Google+ could never get the recognition that these new social networking platforms did even though Google+ is admired by its users in great words. Google also deployed strategies for marketers and online writers by allowing them to have their names appear with their circles and photos in search results but things did not go as planned. However, something good came out of the whole project. The photo section of Google+ got great attention and the fact that users could have their photos backed up on Google drive automatically was also a great and successful idea.
Google Hangouts is another product that came with Google+ and since then it has been admired too. According to the latest that was heard from Google officials Hangouts will remain a standalone product and more work will be done on it to make it more marketable. However, Google has some great competition in the form of SnapChat, WhatsApp etc. as well. Not to mention, Facebook has also come up with an app that allows users to chat, share videos and audios etc. From the online reviews given by most users the new app from Facebook hasn’t been admired much though.
Marketing experts are still thinking what Larry Page might be thinking about everything right now. They are not sure what actions Larry Page would take but some funny opinions from people have been that Larry Page might want to buy Facebook. We also know that Google+ is basically composed of Googlers trying to figure out how to rank on Google. The fact that Larry disabled his own “PageRank” toolbar tells me that helping people understand how to rank organically was not the goal of Google+ :-).
Of course, it is probably not possible that Larry Page is going to buy Facebook, because being the biggest giant that Facebook is, no one would dare to buy Facebook. We can however say that Facebook would definitely be looking to buy some brands or do collaborations with them to broaden its area of services. We have seen Facebook going very active in video hosting and marketing offerings.
What Larry Page is thinking right now is unknown, but we at Circle of Legal Trust think it should definitely be something that could give Google something to hold on to and remain something in the social media world. Facebook is moving forward at a very high space when it comes to social networking. It is gaining more exposure for companies by empowering its advertising side of the business.
Even though the users of Facebook dislike ads, there is still great attraction for businesses to have their businesses advertised on Facebook that they won’t hold back from paying to this giant to get noticed by its huge user database. Larry Page seems to have been struggling with his approaches recently.
Just recently Facebook finalized a deal with WhatsApp. WhatsApp has millions of users that use it on a daily basis and by buying WhatsApp and making the owner of the app one of its directors, Facebook has gained access to more millions of contact details. On the other hand, when Larry Page tried to buy WhatsApp at a huge $19 billion, the founders of the WhatsApp brutally turned down the offer.
It was said by some insiders that the founder of WhatsApp believes that Google only wanted to make this deal to stop WhatsApp from joining Facebook. Founder of WhatsApp, namely Koum, thinks that Google’s offer was only to keep WhatsApp away from Facebook but we get to hear a different story from Google officials. According to Google officials Larry Page only discussed with Koum how staying independent would be more benefiting for him and WhatsApp.
Larry Page supposedly told Koum that he would not gain much if he becomes part of Facebook now. We must also note here that Facebook offered Koum a position as one of Facebook’s board of directors but Larry Page did not offer this when he offered to buy the company. The users of Google+ will soon see their names without a + sign on their Gmail accounts where previously they had a + sign with their names and clicking on the name would take them to Google+. Google Plus will now have its new name that would be “Google+ Photos.”
Hangouts will be there but we will not see the social networking side of Google+ as it used to be. Or better yet, Google might not work on social networking aspect of the search engine anymore and leave it to its fate. At the end we would like to say that Larry Page needs to come up with some good ideas soon to prove that Google can be a success in other things than being a search engine giant.
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