Umass Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research Blog

Google+: An Engineer’s Thoughts

Did you think Google+ was going to be a hit or miss? Statistics show a 1,200% spike in just the first few days following its public launch on Sept. 20, 2011. That’s astounding! No!? Well let’s look at the preceding days… A study conducted by Chikita, a data analytics company, shows a 60% plunge in traffic on the new social networking site. It may be cause to say Google+ could be a miss.

In just the first month of operation, Google+ had 25 million visitors “making it one of the fastest growing social networks of all time, according to Mashable Social Media. Chikita’s findings — a likely representation on traffic patterns and not a complete reflection — shows Google+ may not be a hit for prospective users or Google’s employees.

An article by HuffPost Tech centers on a post that was leaked to the public accidentally by Google’s own engineer, Steve Yegge. Yegge expresses his thoughts about Google+ and how he believes it’s a “pathetic afterthought” and “knee-jerk reaction.” He goes on to describe Google+ as “a study in short-term thinking, predicated on the incorrect notion that Facebook is successful because they built a great product.” He then goes on to explain why Facebook is successful, “they built an entire constellation of products by allowing other people to do the work. So Facebook is different for everyone.” Google’s mistake when they created Google+ was that they attempted to predict “what people want” and how Google would deliver it to them. Yegge says it’s a practice “that few if any innovators have been able to do successfully.”

The ironic twist on Yegge’s post was that it accidentally leaked to the public through a mishap with Google+’s “Circles.” Google’s whole concept behind Circles is allowing the user to “share different things with different people,” but most importantly, “sharing the right stuff with the right people.” The person who shared the post somehow got it through a Circle he was connect to Yegge on, but he thanked Yegge for allowing the post to remain public.

Google highlighted its privacy settings as one of the key selling points versus its competitor Facebook, but as it’s been seen even with Facebook’s reconstructed privacy settings, there will always be flaws in the system. The fate of Google+ is yet to be sealed, but we will have to wait and see what the future holds for the new social network.

*Link 1- Chikita’s findings (there’s an interesting graph showing Google+’s growth)

*Link 2- Steve Yegge’s post (sublink within article brings you to the full post)

1. http://mashable.com/2011/10/10/google-plus-traffic/

2. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/12/google-engineer-trashes-g_n_1007248.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009#s406710&title=Blocking_Glitch

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Filed under: Fun Articles

2 Responses

  1. Very cool, I’m a total Facebook addict!

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