Google plus is dead?

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Oh noo… google+ is dead!

Or is it really?

Recently Stuart Duncan, my favourite G+ user, shared his two cents on why people felt Google+ is dead.

It made PERFECT sense.

Image credit: Getty Image: quavondo

On his G+ status which had been shared more than 270 times. He said:

1. Go to from a fresh browser, ie, not logged in.

2. Sign up for a new account, name it anything you like.

3. Without following anyone, sit and view your stream for a little while. An hour or two should do.

4. Return in a month, view your stream. Does it still look like it did a month ago?

5. Write an article on how no one uses Twitter, it’s a ghost town and a complete failure.” 

What he said got me reflect my current strategy on Google plus and how much time I have been spending on it.

  • I wasn’t spending time on it at all. I’ll login, spend a few minutes here and there and leave. I find it tough to “stick” to it. Apparently I wasn’t the only one.

According to ComScore, the average users were spending 3 minutes on Google Plus and nearly 7 hours on Facebook a MONTH.

  • I don’t share much at all, usually photos or status updates here and there.
  • I didn’t have a strategy. (mistake I made when I was on twitter too)

So after giving it another try and of course spending more time on google plus.

Here are my thoughts

  1. Its beginning to win me over. I had one status which generated over 400 +1’s and 200 shares.
  2. Some of my post gets better visibility and engagement than Facebook. That is because my network on Google+ is more targeted while my Facebook is more towards friends and acquaintances. Whenever I share something more personal, it has better engagement.
  3. I like the conversation on Google plus because I it definitely brings a deeper conversation than twitter just like so many mentioned.
  4. I still like how straight forward twitter is compared to G+, whenever I tweet someone, its for that person.

I’m not saying I adore it so much that I would give up Facebook or twitter, or would share the world how amazing twitter, facebook or google plus is.

I’m just saying, it works if you spend time and effort on it, just like every social networking sites.

What do you think?


  • jaybaer

    Damn good post Aaron. If you don’t put in the time, it’s not going to magically work. The challenge G+ has is that people don’t see a huge problem with FB and Twitter. So, they have to build a better mousetrap, not just a different mousetrap. So far, the differences aren’t enough to pull over a ton of people. But I still believe that G+ is massively viable, long-term, and Google will keep plugging away at it. 

  • ModelSupplies

    You made NO mistakes on Twitter!~ 😉 

    G+ lost me when they randomly locked me out of all my Google accounts one day – and it lasted for MONTHS~! When I finally got back into my accounts, (which included YouTube btw since they bought it!), they had taken away all the thousands of circle friends I had made~! There seemed to be no one to contact about it and then, Pinterest came to town. No contest where I need to invest my “spare” time. 

  • Kelly Lieberman

    Great post and what has been missing for me  with G+ is that I have not found it compelling.  I really like @jasonbaer:disqus  comparison of just building a different mousetrap – it must fill a need that Twitter and Facebook are not meeting in order for us to dedicate the time to it. 

  • Vincent H Clarke

    Great post and a great reminder that just because you build it doesn’t mean they will come. The more you invest in quality interactions on any social media site, the more value you will get out of it.

  • Robert Lavigne

    Spot on Aaron.  What so many people also fail to see is the real integration capabilities that are to come. 

  • Nigel Ohrum

    Insightful as usual Aaron. You hit the nail on the head on Google+ and my thoughts towards it. The more i use it… the more I LOVE IT.

  • Steve Hughes

    Google+ is niche, Facebook has mass appeal.  Robust and serious players on Google+ (active anyway).  You can definitely build a world on G+ if you’re interests lie with Social Media, Technology, and Photography.  It’s not dead, but it’s not taking down Facebook anytime soon.  Stuart compared G+ and Twitter (apples and oranges).  He knew better than to compare to Facebook.  That’s no contest. 

  • Domingo Rogers

    I can’t remember where I read it this weekend, but someone made an analogy between Google+ Hangouts and the front porch. Basically the premise was if you just hang out on the front porches of your neighbors and don’t say anything you’re going to come across as an individual that is a little creepy and will quickly be labeled by your neighbors as being cold and grumpy.  Google+ Hangouts and for that matter Google+ as a whole is, I believe, designed to benefit those that actively share and engage with others. I would challenge you Aaron to start holding a weekly Hangout that you announce here on your blog and on Google+. Hold the hangout for half an hour to an hour about topics your brand optimizes, track your website’s analytics and write another post on what you find from doing this for a month or so. I look forward to reading more about your Google+ findings!

  • Carolyn Nicander Mohr

    Aaron, very interesting post. I want Google+ to succeed. I like it a lot, the site has a different feel to it than other sites. But I do worry that the lack of activity on it is an issue. I hope it’s just a slow starter and that it takes off soon.

    Twitter took a while to take off too. Google+ is still in its rookie year, there is still time for it to succeed.

  • Janet Callaway

    Aaron, aloha. Amazing info you shared. Thanks so much. Though I started using G+ shortly after it was released, it has never “grabbed” me though I certainly know dedicated users and proponents.

    The difference between the amount of time spent on G+ and fb a month is staggering.

    Look forward to reading Stuart’s post. Thanks for starting the week by stirring the old brain cells. Aloha. Janet

  • Stacey Acevero

    My friends aren’t on Google +, so immediately it has low value for me. The brands I’m interested in are on Google +, but few post differentiating content from their Twitter or FB so why go out of my way to see the same stuff on a different network? I could do without it, quite honestly. But of course, I use it, evaluate it, and keep up with its trends, like a good social media manager does :) It is in fact useful for Search Plus Your World.

  • Aaron Lee

    Hi Jay, thank you so much. Love your mousetrap concept and I agree with you completely. At the moment, FB and twitter just has that mass appeal and I believe google+ is onto something big. 

  • Aaron Lee

    Aww, thanks. I certainly made my fair mistakes on twitter. 

    Oh, I didn’t know you were locked out, I would have recommended you some people for you to get in touch with. 

  • Aaron Lee

    I agree and I actually think features like hangout is one of them at the moment. Also circles is a great benefit too. For some reason i just list someone on google and not Facebook lol. 

  • Aaron Lee

    Indeed Vincent, I think that is why the google team is spending a lot of time engaging with people there and learning how they can improve too. 

  • Aaron Lee

    Thanks, yes! and i am sure they would if  they spent more time there. 

  • Aaron Lee

    Thanks Nigel, its like a funky ice cream flavor lol. 

  • Aaron Lee

    There is definitely no contest for sure. For now Facebook definitely has mass appeal because they have been around for quite a while. Meanwhile Google+ just got started and is slowly getting the masses to join. 

    Earlier I had a conversation with someone and she said that her teenage daughter and her friends is spending time on google+ too. 

  • Aaron Lee

    Hi Carolyn, i think google+ had a great start, and they are definitely getting the masses to join which will help them to take off.. 

  • Aaron Lee

    Aloha Janet! 

    Yes, it didn’t grabbed me when I just got started too. I think whats different then and now is more people are into it, while people were just “testing the waters” back then.  

    You’ll find great activity from people sharing there like they are on twitter or facebook too. 

  • Aaron Lee

    You’re an awesome social media manager. 

    At first I had the same thoughts about the friends not being there part, but like twitter, most of my friends aren’t there too. 

    But then again, I wouldn’t want them to be at two places too. I don’t follow brands on google+ but i do engage with new people there. 

  • Aaron Lee

    I LOVE the analogy you just shared with us Domingo, I’m going to circle Martin right after this. 

    Oh wow, I have not dare to put my own face onto a 5 minute video lol! Have definitely not considered a 30 minute to an hour topic lol. 

    But you know what, i am going to include that in my goal to do. 

    Being a shy guy, social media have helped me to come out from my little shell. Perhaps google hangout will help me get out MORE? 😀

  • ModelSupplies

    Oh~! YOU were the one with the Google connections~! I posted on Facebook, but no one could remember who it was – it was you, of course~! =) 

  • Anneliz Hannan

    Nicely done.  I also use Facebook as a conduit with family and friends and although I follow my interests and brands there I do not post or repost much professionally.  I do however use Google + purely for professional purposes.  Each of these social networks has its niche and luckily that is the premise for social networking. To each his own.

  • Cybercat919

    face book for friends and twitter I use to tweet issues I am passionate about that friends on FB could care less about. Don’t feel I have time for one more account to spend time. Not significantly better to make me change my allegiance.

  • Luis O Maymí

    Aaron this post came at the right time. I’m trying to figure out what to do with the plus. Aside from the Google authorship (rel=author), which was my main motivation to make a Google+ account, it’s just another social network to figure out. From this comments I guess we are being force to join the plus…for whatever reason it may be.

  • Aaron Lee

    I believe not many of us have time for another network too. I’m prioritizing my time :) 

  • Aaron Lee

    I agree with you Anneliz. I think too many are comparing both of them. Its like comparing oranges and apples 

  • Aaron Lee

    LoL! we have a lot of google plus enthusiast here :) 

    I’m sure if you spend time on it, you’ll start to love it. 

  • Phil Nugent

    Thanks for the insightful post, Aaron. Perhaps Google+ is worth another look.

    However, as Jay Baer indicated, for most users there’s not a huge pain associated with Facebook and Twitter. Without that pain, the substitute (Google+ in this case) has to be an order of magnitude better than the existing market leaders in order to make up for the switching costs.

    This is not the case – at least not yet. And while the SEO benefits of using Google+ will keep a fair number of marketers on the platform, SEO isn’t a sufficient carrot to convince a critical mass of users make the switch – or even to add Google+ to their short list of always-on social media platforms.

  • Joel Cheuoua

    Brilliant points IMHO. The only thing I disagree with is on there’s a no huge pain associated with Facebook and Twitter: Over-sharing, content proliferation and noise is a big pain which is almost self inflicted due to the sheer volume of friends/brands people connect to. 

    And on Twitter even more so than on Facebook as Twitter is not a place for friends. And we are encouraged to do so …I always cringe when I read “it’s a ghost town because obviously nothing [public] is happening” or “cool, I got 400+ comments/likes on my last update, this social network must be great!”.It’s not that it’s not cool – It really is – but it puts the value of collecting connections and flooding content or information before the value of connecting with people at a personal level.Only marketers seems to like – or tolerate – that level of noise …. for obvious reasons.

  • Lewis LaLanne aka Nerd #2

    I’m totally neglecting G+ for our site. Facebook as well. The only place we’re putting attention on is Twitter.

    And I don’t like this because I prefer not being limited to 140 and seeing previews/blurbs for content.

    Be very cool to see if G+ brings the ruckus and weathers the storm of being the underdog. It seems like from the sharing action you’re experiencing there that it may very well be the real deal. Thank you Aaron for opening my eyes to what’s possible with this channel.  

  • Víktor Bautista i Roca

    Just to know what you are talking about. When you talk about “status” you mean a normal post? Or anything special?

  • Aaron Lee

    It depends, it depends what is your objective there. 

    If you’re a photographer, then you could share some of your photographs, tips.. etc

  • Wendy

    Having a hard time with G+. I have to log out of my email accounts and into a separate email just for G+ which is so time consuming that by the time I get there I forget what I was going to post. It is worth taking a second look. And a third…

  • Fernando Gros

    I was skeptical about G+ for a long time.  But, it’s fascinating to watch the way photographers are using it.  In fact, it’s become quite the place for serious photographers now, consolidated by the upcoming Google Photographers Conference, with some big names involved.

    And, increasingly musicians are realising that while Google+ is not really built for music, it does dovetail really nicely with YouTube.

    But, a lot of people I follow on Twitter have opted, instead, to move towards Pinterest (who wants to bet on Google buying that?).

    Personally, I only have time to play on G+ because I don’t do Facebook and increasingly spend less time on Twitter. But, I don’t think productive people can manage three social presences.  One of Twitter/FB/G+ will have to yield.

  • Lisabeth Rosenberg

    Aaron, let’s do a hangout sometime.  G+ is interesting and cool.  G+: Lisabeth Rosenberg (and Terracina Studio)  Still learning & discovering it.  Maybe, I’ll see you there.

  • Jeannette Marshall

    WOW … I really like this post Aaron.  For a long time, I thought I was preaching but nobody was listening and VOILA, here your article is – wonderful.  I agree … G+ can be much more tailored to your interests whereas FB is those you would define as “friends or acquaintances” or I put as: “want to get to know better” and Twitter is “whoever will read will read” like a crap shoot (not undermining its effectiveness as much as there is a lot of “clutter” … maybe it should be called “clucker”?  Through Google, I have expanded upon my love of art, photography which really there isn’t a better place to share images … in fact, I started out using images to capture interest in whatever I post – be it a quote or article.  Oh, and I’ve often defined G+ers as “thinkers” … much more intellectual capital contained therein.  

    See you in G+


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  • Becca Smith

    I have been using Google+ for a while now with not much success.I think it’s a long way behind facebook.
    Will follow your advice and see how i get along.

  • Webstats Art

    I am looking forward to new features in facebook.

  • Aaron Lee

    Its out now 😀 

  • Aaron Lee

    Love to help out in any ways possible 😀 

  • Aaron Lee

    Thanks Jeannette, I agree, photograph stands out there and there is less clutter there. Its an amazing tool

    see you there!

  • Aaron Lee

    Sure! behind a shy guy, would love to “TRY” it 😀 

  • Aaron Lee

    oh wow, not many would just focus on G+ as they don’t feel it will “last”. I beg to differ with them for sure. 

    What are you using g+ mainly for?

  • Aaron Lee

    There are a couple of tools out there that you can use for sure 😀 

  • Wendy

    Any recommendations?

  • Doug Cohen

    Ok – so now I’m interested to know more about the hangouts.  I’ve done what Aaron says he had been doing – posting some stuff here and there, hanging out for a few minutes and leaving.  I haven’t been discouraged – I didn’t expect to get more out of it than I was putting in, just hadn’t focused on it and wasn’t quite sure what to do with it yet.  Something that generates a different type of relationship or event (or hangout) is intriguing to me, but I still don’t see my clients there, and I’m still not sure I need to connect with vendors, partners, mentors in our industry etc. in ways I’m not already doing on the other platforms.  Wondering what type of return I’d get on my time – maybe if G+ came to HootSuite I’d feel a little better about dabbling…  

  • Scott Sprich

    Hey Aaron.  This is a really good take on Google Plus.  I actually just wrote a post on how Google Plus is dead which is how I found this site.  I actually think they have many more features than facebook for business owners, but we really do need to spend time in order to learn.  How many directions can we be pulled in though.  I have a popular post that has 599 likes on facebook to 2 G+ so as good as Google Plus may be the proof is speaking for itself.  If ever, it will be a long time before G+ makes a dent to Facebook, regardless of how it’s used.  I attached that image of the 599 to 2 comparison to illustrate my point.  You did inspire me to spend more time on G+ though.