Patrick asked me two questions today.
The first: “can Google+ succeed?” The answer is no. Google can gain plenty of eyes and get those faux “engagement” numbers from people incidentally, mindlessly clicking the red notification box in their email but without a hook, there’s no reason for a beat.
People are selective about their social networks. The ones they choose or don’t choose to join says something about them as an individual. I’ve met quite a people on Facebook and Instagram but not on Twitter. Plenty of Facebookers + Pinterests without Twitter. Just as many people on Instagram and Twitter but never touch Facebook. And so on. They chose their combinations based on how each platform enhances their life either by exposing their own creativity or facilitating the discovery of a particular flavor of content. Forcing everyone onto Google+ and expecting them to just go for it, go nuts, go *social* can’t work.
Google+ is a platform without personality - no sense of those integral early adopters who define the pathos of the site. Think of how Tumblr evolved, they’re one of the strongest examples out there of early adopters creating a vibrant culture. From a very close-knit circle of mostly tech kids and expanding outwards, one meme at a time. Where else can I shamelessly post Sailor Moon pictures? I never would put them on my Facebook.
Beyond that, I believe Google+ has already failed. I follow several people who worked on the Google+ team (found and followed thanks to this article) and some haven’t posted in days. If even the people who created the product aren’t using it, there’s no hope.
Could Google+ have succeeded under different circumstances? Sure. By not being a Google product. By experiencing organic, natural growth instead of being shoved into our email app. By having passionate founders working on a unique problem instead of a team of employees in a large corporation trying to force a product which encompasses the major features of every other existing social platform. By standing out. I’m saying they should’ve bought social.
The second question from PMo: “are Google goggles going to be a thing?” Fucking yes. Of course. Get me one step closer to a life like Uma Thurman’s in Gattaca, please.
One side of me at first thought: no one is going to wear Google goggles. Does anyone use the clap on? What about bluetooth headsets? [ok some people do wear those] How about segways? Tech can make our lives simpler in magnificent ways but if it makes you look dorky, it’s out.
However, then I thought about how people take pictures of their food. It’s so annoying and obvious and makes everyone around roll their eyes. Why are you all taking photos of your food?! Eat, you dopes. But I do it too, every single stupid brunch. This habit acquired by the smug satisfaction of attention via Instagram hearts and tweets. If Google goggles can somehow overcome their social handicap and create a positive reinforcement greater than the IRL embarrassment of wearing the things, they’ll be everywhere.
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- peternyc said: someone already said it but google needs to team up with fashion houses to co brand it. I’m curious about it, but as someone in fashion I would not be caught dead wearing what’s being shown now.
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- ccarella said: I would wear Google Goggles today if someone gave me a pair. Spending a week with an Android phone made me think twice about G+’s chances… but really, I still didn’t have any friends I wanted to follow there.
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- msg said: keep these up!
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