Google+ for iPhone and Android Sharing — Too Little Too Late?

Google+ for iPhone and Android Sharing -- Too Little Too Late? | 40Tech

Though the initial excitement of Google+ has worn off, millions of users are still using the service and more people connect every day. For its part, Google has been working hard at bringing the preview social network closer to a production offering, adding social gaming without annoying people, verified accounts for prominent users and famous folk, and ironing out their sign-up rules (the heavily debated real name only policy). They have also been paying attention to their mobile apps, finally adding post sharing into the Android app. iOS users had to wait a bit, as is per usual, but the much awaited update is now available in the app store.

But is development coming along too slowly to keep up interest?

Personally, I’m a huge fan of Google+. There are a lot of innovative uses that are cropping up — cooking classes via hangout, blog replacement, collaborative writing groups; Evan and I are even putting together a hangout-based pen and paper roleplaying game, cementing our geek status once and for all. Google+ is also a fantastic place to meet and converse with new people, focusing on like interests over general broadcasting, which makes for better conversation and better relationships.

The problem is, I’ve started to notice that my streams are starting to degrade. People appear to be less active, less conversant, or generally gone and gone. This could be due to the end of the summer — people are getting busier as the school season and work focus heat up — and it could be part of the overall ebb and flow of a new product. It could also be that Google is taking too long to get their service off the ground and into the hands of the general public.

Gmail was in beta for years, and to the point that it was really more of a long-standing joke than anything else, but the Internet back then was, if you can believe it, less fickle. With the world takeover of social networking and subsequent obsession with real-time streams, the attention span of your average user is practically gnat-sized. And let’s not forget that, in order to get noticed in the massive amounts of information flowing through the digital-verse, bloggers and people in general tend to gravitate toward sweeping sentiments of “wow this is awesome” build-up and “it’s never gonna make it, and here’s why!!!” doom and gloom statements. And yes, I realize that it wouldn’t take a stretch if the imagination to lump this post in with them, no matter what I say t the contrary. The point is, it makes it really hard to accurately gauge if a service will live or die.

To top things off, Facebook hasn’t been sitting about with thumbs in nethers, either. They’ve been paying attention to what people like about G+ over Facebook and have been making changes to how their own streams work, attempting to make it easier to share with those you want to share with, and even (finally) updating their mobile apps for new sharing and privacy options.

I say again, I’m digging Google+ — but I dug Google Wave, too. I think that Google’s push to integrate Plus into their overall offerings will help keep things moving, but I have to wonder: if users as a whole notice their streams downgrading in quality and movement, will it start one of those slow spirals into web oblivion?

It’s been a few months now, what are your thoughts?

Bobby Travis

Bobby isn't 40-something, but is a strong supporter of the Grown-up Geek kind. He's a loving husband and father first, but is also a freelance writer, productivity nut, operatically trained singer, and (not-so) closet geek. Check out his random thoughts, wackiness, and Instagram pics on Tumblr, Twitter, or Google+-- or just head over to bobby-travis.com.

6 Comments:

  1. I love the feature set of G+ over Facebook, but only a few of my friends are are on it. I fear g+ will not gain traction as Facebook has a fan-base and only has to adapt while G+ has to develop and convince.

    I wish there was an “IMAP” type protocol for Facebook, Twitter, G+, etc. that would allow for posting and sharing and let me choose whose social client to post with and read posts with.

    • I agree, Steven. Some sort of easy and well-managed cross-connection between the social networks would be killer. I doubt it will ever happen officially, but it would be peachy! Maybe once the API is more fleshed out, We will see something.

  2. I completely agree with your article. I also feel Google are being too slow to push out updates and keep people interested.

    I wrote a little post on my blog about my experiences after 8 weeks and have similar views to you.

    http://theonlycog.com/post/has-interest-in-google-peaked

  3. I see google+ (and google in general) as a huge road-roller. Anything is encounters will eventually be flattened and turn to tarmac. The moment google+ introduces google apps integration it’ll kill most b2b services out there. Why bother when you know you’ll get there.

    So I’m just patient and appreciative :)

    • I like the way you think, Chuck. I don’t know if G+ will ever be able to catch up to Facebook, let alone roll over it, but it does stand a good chance of carving out a significant niche. Google seems intent on it, anyway, what with all of their services starting to adopt a similar brand feel and G+ and the +1 setting up like an anchor point to the lot of them.

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