I find myself asking, “Is it me? Is it because it is too new? Am I too lazy to start over with a new profile?” Then I think, it can’t be me, because no one that I know uses it either. I sign on to Gmail over fifty times a day to check all of my five emails. I use Google translate, Google Maps, YouTube, Google Drive, Google Images… The list could go on. Google is in almost every aspect of my computer-using-life. Yet, for some reason I steer clear from the top left corner where my first name is located with a cute little plus sign in front (+Elizabeth). Instead, I automatically open a new tab and type out “Facebook.com.” But why? Google+ is right there, ready for me to use, ready for me to take advantage of. However, I always begin to freak out after just five seconds of not seeing the “traditional” blue and white background. And I don’t think I am the only one.
Google+ originated in 2011 only about two years ago. Facebook was first introduced to a select number of people in 2004 and took off in 2008, four years after it originated. If it took sometime for Facebook to take off, why are we so quick to dismiss Google+? I asked my friend Janaki this exact question, she responded by expressing,” You have something already, that already serves its purpose. Google Plus, the way it is, I don’t think it is going to capture a worldwide audience. If they add to it, evolve and differentiate it from the competition, perhaps.”
This is exactly the direction Google is taking with their rather new social media network. On April 30th Google announced that they will be going in cahoots with user interacted sites such as Deezer, Fandango, Flixster, Slacker Radio, Songza, SoundCloud and TuneIn. With this partnership they will roll out Google+ Sign-In, to further integrate app activity into search. This will resemble the Facebook Connect feature that is seen on multiple websites.
With this new feature “you’ll see popular and aggregate user activity to the right of search results. Searching for Fandango, for example, will show the top movies among Google users,” explains Google+ product manager director, Seth Sternburg. Further eliminating the use of the “Meebo Bar” tool that was introduced in 2005, which provided Web publishers with a helpful way for their visitors to “discover, browse, and share content on their site.” By getting rid of the bar Google plans to continue to grow the Google Sign-In feature to “integrate more personalized, social data directly into its search results.”
As Google continues to enhance and grow Google+ with features like Google+ Sign-In, Google Hangouts and Google Now for iOS, hopefully so will Google+ itself. I am not opposed to clicking the little top-left button that has my name written all over it, but at this time I just do not see the need. My life is on Facebook and to switch over to something new and what I would not say is better, seems like a waste of time to me. If Google continues to grow their social network into a hot commodity with features that help facilitate my access to information, and everyday tasks that I would gladly add or even eventually make the switch. Would you?