It’s hard to imagine now, but at its launch Google+ was seriously considered as a rival for Facebook, though, given the ubiquity of Facebook and Twitter, it’s perhaps just as hard for some to remember Google+ exists.
In a recent study of US teenagers’ social media habits (where Instagram is vying with Facebook as the most popular platform) Google+ didn’t even register, and that’s far from being the only study in which it did not feature.
But six years on from its launch and Google’s social network, or ‘social layer’ as they prefer, carries on in the face of repeated attempts to sound its death knell.
Most recently this month saw a surprise update to Google+ that brought a handful of new features and finally ended its previous design layout.
Much like Google itself, I can’t seem to give up on Google+ and post to, and visit, the site most days. The traffic is drives to PMLiVE.com pales into insignificance behind LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, but it’s long been difficult to imagine it wouldn’t have benefits in terms of SEO and visibility.
Sure, it can be clunky, frustrating to use and slow to integrate with third party services, but it also brings interesting content that’s different to my streams on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. (Plus over 1,000 people follow my Pharma Companies collection, slightly more, incidentally, than follow me on Google+.)
So it’s worth noting that the latest round of updates to Google+ are unlikely to be the last. As Google+ product manager Danielle Buckley wrote when detailing the changes:
“Just because we’re bidding adieu to classic Google+ doesn’t mean we’re done working on the new one. Our aim is to make Google+ the best place to connect around the things you care about.”
So, reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated it would seem.