Google Keeps Trying with Google+

Posted on January 17, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Social with 17 Comments

Google Keeps Trying with Google+

While Google+ is about as relevant as MySpace or Apple Ping for most people, the search giant hasn’t given up. And this week, it’s updated its social networking service three useful new features.

“For the past few years, we’ve been doing a lot of listening on the Google+ team, and we’ve learned a lot,” Google’s Danielle Buckley writes. “Listening to your feedback inspired us to introduce a new Google+ focused on helping you connect around shared interests a little over a year ago. Your feedback led us to launch more than 50 updates across Android, iOS and web to ensure the new experience serves you even better than the previous one.”

That “new” Google+ debuted in late 2015 and was part of a big change that actually impacted me, as the firm split Google Photos out of Google+ and turned it into something special that I now use and recommend.

Since then, Google has rolled out tons of additional new features for Google+, and has added the service to the G Suite (formerly Google Apps) family of business offerings. But today, Google is announcing two new features for Google+:

Low-quality comments are now hidden by default. Low-quality comments—or “typical tweets” as we call them on Twitter—are now hidden by default. This means you no longer need to deal with the noise. Unless you want to, of course.

Optimized for different screen sizes. It’s not entirely clear what changed here—again, I don’t actually use Google+—but the layout has been updated to accommodate different screen sizes, provide more white space, and let you zoom into photos.

Events. Previously removed, the Events feature is making a comeback starting on January 24. “You’ll be able to create and join events on Google+ web as you have in the past,” Buckley says. “Please note that Events will not be available for G Suite at this time.”

Why so dismissive, you ask?

Google+ is the least successful of the modern social networking services, with about 111 million active users, a far cry from the billions who use Google’s other services. By comparison, Twitter has 313 million users, and Facebook has 1.8 billion. Even LinkedIn boasts 106 million users, and that service is only for businesses and those seeking employment.

Basically, I’m glad they keep trying. And you never know. But for now I don’t really see the point.

 

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Comments (17)

17 responses to “Google Keeps Trying with Google+”

  1. 4964

    The only Google+ activity I get is from Google+

  2. 5496

    Who decide what a "low quality comment" is?

    No matter how you or anyone else tries to spin it, 111 million users is a lot.

  3. 2585

    The "people gap" comparisons here to Microsoft's difficulties in mobile are obvious, only more complicated because of the problem influencing app developers and carriers, who yield much more influence than Microsoft wagered.

  4. 289

    Google+ has replaced Yammer in my organization. Yammer is widely missed.

  5. 412

    I only use it for Microsoft Android Beta/Insider programs...

  6. 427

    I think they should "Wave" bye-bye to google plus!

  7. 217

    The mistake they made was trying to be a social network, it needed more Googlely-ness but it never happened. Like a Google Now for the desktop in a way, anyways who cares, waste of time even talking about it

  8. 943

    And don't forget Google+ is also the "Enterprise Social" component of Google's "G-Suite"

  9. 5845

    I keep using Google+ as a proxy to XDA Developer and other developer community sites. It's a great network to share technical expertise and photos/screenshots, miles ahead of old forum-like sites on the web. Stumbled upon it when I was searching for custom roms for my previous phone.

  10. 5234

    I'm not sure you can call it the "least successful".

    YouTube comments are all tied into Google+, as are the Google Forums.  Google+ is a proper NETWORK.  Facebook is still mostly just a single website.

    Oh, and so.cl is far worse.

     

  11. 9562

    Right... "only" 111 million users..  I mean.  WHY EVEN TRY.  /wrists, Google!

    And if this same social network was owned by MS and called Microsoft+, methinks the snarky tone in articles about Google would be a lot different, and that people should "just give it a chance".  That it, Paul? ;)

    Meanwhile Microsoft paid $26 billion for LinkedIn and its "measly" 106 million.  

    • 1221

      In reply to BoItmanLives:

      You serious man?  Put in context, Google+ is a SOCIAL network.  Those numbers are pathetic compared to Facebook.  As for Paul, you act as though he's a Microsoft shill.  The man gave up on Windows phones.  He's using Android & iPhone as his daily drivers.  Are you new to this site..?

      • 5510

        In reply to JustinMSalvato:

        A couple of things:

        One, the purpose of Google+ has always been for benefit of Google's Search Engine. It was, is, and always will be about the data.

        Second, Paul Thurrott is a shill for Microsoft. The reason why he gave up on Windows Phone is because he realized that, technology-wise, he was at a dead end with it and he can't experience the technological luxuries that Android and iOS users enjoy. For a hard core tech lover that's very hard to stomach, especially for someone like Paul, who wants to be on the winning side of stuff. To be honest, if you are so deeply and heavily invested (technology-wise and emotional) in Microsoft products there is just absolutely NO REASON to switch from one's "beloved" Windows Phone to Android or iOS because all the main apps are available. Plus when you write glowing reviews for Windows Phones on a constant and consistent basis, then all of a sudden go to Android or iPhone, that tells me that you want a new toy to play with.

        Going back to Google+.

        Google+ has always been an excellent tool for social networking. It always has and there is just nothing wrong with it. The only problem with it, is very simple....everyone is on Facebook. Just like everyone who makes videos are on Youtube.

        Like I said earlier, it's about the data...and it's all about the GOOGLE ASSISTANT.

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