While it is arguable whether or not Google+ has been a failure, it cannot surely be classified as a success story. Whether this is down to the lofty expectations we hold of everything Google or the dominance and strength of Google+’s competition, the social networking platform has struggled to make a name for itself. This year however could be the make it or break it year for Google+. Here is how Google plans to put things right in 2013.
A Unified Google
Much of Google’s planned reinvigoration of Google+ in 2013 surrounds two key themes. The first is the merging together of different Google divisions, creating unified Google platforms. The second – which stems from the first – is by making a Google+ account a requirement for those using such platforms.
Thus in a way, consumers will have little option but to use a Google+ account in order to enjoy many of Google’s perks.
For example, a new platform under the name of Google Messenger will merge Talk, Voice, G+ Messenger and Hangouts. This instant messaging platform will also come in the form of an Android app. The task of merging Google’s various IM clients has been delegated to instant messaging gurus Meebo, who were bought by Google in 2012. This instant messaging platform will be available only to Google+ users, who will merge their identity and friends lists with Google Messenger. Thus as long as Google Messenger is a success; Google+ will undoubtedly see a sharp increase in active members in 2013.
A similar technique has been planned through the introduction of Google Games, which will bring together Chrome Games, Android Games and Google+ Games. These games will soon be found in the same place (@Google Games) and will also be cross platform (rendering all games available on all Google platforms). You will interestingly need a Google+ account for this, which Google hope will serve to increase the amount of Google+ followers.
In addition to this, Google’s highly anticipated Project Glass innovation, which will be an augmented reality display that’ll allow users to connect with others through 1st person images and video, will also boost Google+ numbers; as such videos and images will be easy to upload unto Google+.
Eat of Facebook’s Decline
It’ll be interesting to see an infographic submission on the number of active Facebook users over the past few years in order to understand whether or not Facebook is truly on the decline. It is certainly clear that in some areas – such as the United Kingdom where 946,120 deactivated their accounts over the month of last December alone – Facebook is losing followers.
While Twitter is meanwhile going strong, it will no doubt be Google+’s utmost ambition to capitalise on Facebook’s decline, and pick up the high numbers of ex-Facebook users. After all, there may simply not be enough space for more than two practically universal social media networks.
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Dave Shuker is a British freelance writer and social networking expert.