Apparently, the launch of Google+ boosts the stock price and so far it seems to be a great success. However, I am one of those skeptics who worry about its popularity in the long term.
G+’s idea seems to solve people’s real problem in social networking that people want the better granularity over their network. And that brings the introduction of group. However, I think this idea disobeys one fundamental principle that every dominant social product should have. It should be SIMPLE. People are getting lazier and lazier nowadays. We are tied of looking into textbook or dictionary, instead we use search engine to find an answer. We are tied of blogging, instead we tweet to share our thoughts. For human beings, as long as we can achieve the same result, we tend to use the simplest solution.
G+ is a more complex solution, although it provides a more powerful feature. In fact, G+ doesn’t really solve new problem, it just solves a subproblem on how to share our thoughts. It’s like search engine and the advance search feature in search engine. Search engine is a revolutionary product and advance search is just an enhancement on that product. And how many people really use this advance feature?
The success of Google’s search engine is not because it has very powerful advanced search feature, it’s because its basic search is as powerful as to meet 99% needs. This is also true for social product. Since the existing service can meet most of needs, then why bother to move to a new service? Here is another nature for human beings, we are tend to stay in the current position unless either the current position gets worse or there is a better position elsewhere. On one hand, the existing social service doesn’t get worse. On the other hand, G+ is not a better service since you need to pay more to get more benefit (Spending time to manage your group), and it’s debatable that people really care that benefit.
All in all, I doubt G+ can become dominant on the market, instead, it’s still an experimental product. But I do think it looks much better than its predecessors like wave and buzz. Seeing the progress that Google has made on social networking, I am still optimistic that it will bring out a killing product in the future.