Google+ – Just a Fad or the Next Wave in Social Media

Like many involved and/or participating in the world of social media, I have closely followed the Google+ field test since its launch just about a month ago now. I’ve read lots of articles debating its effectiveness or sustainability against social media giants Facebook and Twitter and hopped on last week to give it a whirl. It has many of the same bells and whistles that Facebook offers, e.g., photo sharing, wall posts, messaging, etc. While it is somewhat confusing and initially complex to get started/sign-up, the new social network (Google is referring to it as a product rather than a network – semantics I say), I dig that you can assimilate people into different categories or “circles”. Today on Facebook, I have friends, acquaintances, people I didn’t want to accept an invitation but had to, and then work colleagues. It’s a mess. Google Plus eliminates the mess by categorizing the person accordingly. However, finding friends is a bit difficult as you need to use Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo accounts, so it ends up being a manual slog.

The real question is will this take off and become a must-have, must-be-on, social sharing network? Google certainly has the numbers but I am rather skeptical that the non-millennial/gen-y and older crowds are going to embrace yet another network to manage. According to a PC World article today, Google+ is already suffering from a drop in engagement and overall web site traffic. Not good since it’s just one-month old. But, with other services and apps like Android, YouTube, Gmail, etc.., the new social network or “social circle” may have a fighting chance. What’s your take?

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