Oregon Social Media was recently asked by iStrategy on our thoughts about Google+. Google+ is new, it's exciting and we're all trying to figure out where exactly it's going to fit in to the social landscape. Part of that process means people making bold predictions. Some people are even going as far as saying that Google+ is going to replace Twitter. When Google+ launched in beta a few months back we received an invite and immediately began tinkering. It was a new toy and a confusing toy at that. Circles? Hangouts? Huddles? Sparks? Are we supposed to blog? Post photos? What is this thing for? In a lot of ways it felt like an eighth grade dance and we were all standing on the wall. You start dancing! No you start dancing! How do you dance? We assumed it would all make sense in time. And while months later Google+ did away with features like Huddles and Sparks, we still find ourselves asking, why? Aaron Lee recently provided six reasons why Google+ will not replace Twitter. We agree. In fact, we don't think Google+ will replace anything. Is that too bold of a prediction?
Here are four reasons why I (Don) believe Google+ will not replace Twitter or Facebook:
I still don't know what Google+ is. I am asking myself the same questions today that I did when the product was in beta. Is it blogging? Is it for networking? Why should I +1 this website? Why should I use this service? Give me a reason to invest time into your product.
There is no incentive for people to abandon Twitter or Facebook. Do you really think people are going to stop using Facebook because Google+ offers circles or hangouts? Google+ is going to need a lot more than a marginal privacy improvement and a video chat feature to convince Facebook users to migrate their entire digital lives to a new platform.
People don't need another social network. The tech community adopting Google+ is not surprising - they care about search. The average Facebook user doesn't care about SEO, algorithms or page ranks. My friends don't know what SEO even stands for. They care about what their friends are doing.
This is not the first time Google has tried to create a social network - does everyone remember Google Buzz? Or Google Wave? What about Orkut? Google+ is a combination of all these failed Google products. Each one of these products encouraged users to share their thoughts, photos and links with friends. However, Google never provided a purpose or incentive for users to use their products. If you look at the Google Buzz homepage, you'll see a lot of the same verbiage found on the Google+ homepage. Why should people adopt Google+ now?