Apparently the creators of Google+ don’t appreciate people referring to Google+ as a social network. Even though you create circles involving your friends and associates, there is a What’s New stream similar to Facebook’s News Feed, there are apps and games, and it affects your searches when you’re signed into Google, (much the way Bing results are changed when you are signed into Facebook) Google+ is not a social network.
If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, I was told it’s a duck. But maybe Google+ is actually a turkducken. You know, that weird Thanksgiving food with different birds cooked inside one another so you don’t know where one begins and one ends. Maybe Google + is trying to pass themselves as a Duck Billed Platypus? What is that thing anyway?
I understand where Google is coming from. They are trying to create an overall unified user experience among their dozens of products. They want to enhance the user experience by making it easier for users to find everything that they are looking for, or think that they might want to look for. Google boasts incredible user numbers and interaction for Google+, with 250 million total users and 75 million daily users. The difficult thing to gauge is the user engagement. Are they using the Stream? Are they clicking on the ads, which have a questionable click-through rate?
What this whole Google+ issue comes down to is money. Google is a business, first and foremost. A company that makes 95% of its revenue from ads certainly had money in mind when they thought of Google+. Google will talk about the Hangout where you can have free video chats with users. This isn’t a business feature, but it sure will be one soon.
So as Google+ continues its odd evolution, those in the social media business will continue to watch. But we won’t call it a social network. Maybe Google+ could invent its own category. But overt privacy invading entity doesn’t sound nearly as nice as social network site, does it?