I hate to be a harbinger of bad tides, but here are a few reasons why google+ will fail. I don’t write much nowadays so I’ll keep it short –
- Too much to do
All websites ever successful started with just an idea. Google’s humble beginning was a page with a search box and a button. Twitter started with just one stream of tweets pouring in. Facebook started out as a place where you yourself share your profiles and likes and dislikes. So, when a mash-up of ideas comes along, people not only compare it to all other services, but also feel confused at what’s happening. I still remember introducing Facebook to my brother Nipun and he telling me that it’s darn confusing to use. Yesterday when I gave him a tour of Google+ the first thing he pointed out was that it’s just twitter on google! I tried to explain that there are other features too like group video chat etc but he just pointed me to an article about facebook teaming up with skype (he’s not tech-unsavvy, just waits for me to give him the latest news). Granted, facebook will probably flounder with video chat just like they do with everything else, but considering how people are well settled into facebook and google plus will still remain in beta (oops, they call it field testing!!!) for a long time to come, facebook can quickly gain lost ground since people know skype’s the best!!!
- Too much integration
It seems that ever since I’ve gained access to google plus (5 of my friends added me to circles and I was in), Google+ is everywhere. From my google reader page, to my iOS mobile gmail login and from my emails ( I got a flood of google+ notifications) to my custom mail client ( I use mailplane for Mac, so shoot me!!). Google wants google+ to be everywhere I go. I don’t want that. I want to be able to shut it down and get rid of it when I want. I can do that with facebook, with twitter and I even did it long ago with good old orkut ( yes I too was on that boat once). But can I do it with google+? No. Bad idea. It has become so pervasive that I opened my google account settings and there it was, a dedicated google+ settings page. All this integration now seems to drive me away from google et al. I don’t wanna do that!!!
- Change is everywhere.
Mashable says that in the google+ wave, google has plans of renaming picasa and blogger to google photos and google blogs ( thank god they didn’t touch YouTube!). When you login to gmail, the top right has a link to show you gmail’s new look. One of my apps recently updated itself since they say google has changed the way gmail’s handling of third party apps has changed. Ok, there’s change everywhere. But so much so fast? Google is but one entity to me. It gives me mail, search, blogs and images. But it’s just one entity. Even if all the above changes are not due to one single team, this is definitely a classic case of left arm not knowing that the right arm is updating the code. My whole plethora of google offerings is changing
Within the next month or so and not all of it will be good. Most importantly, from a PR standpoint it’ll all be blamed to google+ since that’s the major new thing that google came up with. And with the integration that I pointed out above, google+ just doesn’t feel right.
I like Google. They make great products. But in an effort to gain whatever market they’ve lost to facebook and twitter and skype, they just made a mashup that even mashable would not approve of!!! It remains to see if I’m right.