There are signs that Google+ is falling out of favor with the social media elite. When the service first debuted, there were numerous breathless expositions on just how great the new social network from Google was. But as the months have dragged on, a new perspective seems to be taking shape.
As Sam Biddle argues in his post Why Google+ Will Never Beat Facebook, Google+ just isn't compelling enough on its own merits to make him want to switch from Facebook. He sums up a feeling that I have heard voiced before about the shiny new network: "Its a clean clone, an inferior, whitewashed Facebook—and there will never be a point in being friends with someone in two places."
Google+ is just not different enough from Facebook to justify the additional required to maintain an account there is the claim. Apparently Biddle isn't the only one to feel this way about Google+.
According to ReadWriteWeb, Google's traffic has significantly, wiping out the one-time 1,269% gains in traffic it posted. The public launch of Google was enough to spike traffic temporarily, but it died down afterwards. This could be a strong sign that the general public is not ready for another social network, or at least not this one.
Even worse for Google's dream of social dominance, their +1 button, which many say is a ripoff of the Facebook "Like" button, is not gaining any traction either, according to some critics. That hasn't stopped Google from adding the +1 button to its ads.
Of course this study from Chitika about Google's numbers doesn't really give anyone a completely accurate view of Google+. The social network has as many fans as it does detractors. Many pundits have lauded the company for 'getting it right.'
Despite the negativity, Google+ is already the sixth largest social network, and it's only been open to the general public for about a month. That's a good sign that it is meeting the needs of at least some of its intended audience.
It's fair to say that the jury is still out on Google+. This is especially true in light of the fact that it may be serving the business interests of Google, regardless of any perceived weakness. Google said at the beginning that they wanted to use the social signals derived from use on Google+ to enhance their core search products. After all, they still earn the vast majority of their earnings from search. If earnings are up again this quarter, it's safe to say that the company won't consider Google+ to be failing.
What are your thoughts about Google+?