On the Google’s Blog, they announced that Google+ has been reinvigorated, revamped, and redesigned. If you don’t want to read the entire post (I don’t blame you), the short of it is Google is attempting to make Google+ a conversation engine. The focus is now centered around Communities and Collections.
Communities like ORM and Infographics, and Collections like Surfing and Zombie Cats. And, for all the chest-beating of 1.2MM users/day, recall Stone Temple Consulting’s study in April of this year: 90.1% of valid profiles are empty. Even though this is a positive effort for the Google+ team, in the end, in reality, it doesn’t mean a thing. Google may have created a new archetype for the web: digital zombie.
Google+: Still On Life Support
If you listen closely, you’ll hear it: wind whistling down the Google+ hallways and corridors. Sure, it looks like a lively, bustling place. But it’s devoid of real, meaningful content. It’s simply the last-ditch landfill from Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest re-posts; it’s the final place for content marketers to file in some referral traffic.
Don’t let this “refocusing” and “re-imagined” Google+ fool you into believing there will somehow be a resurgence in the platform. It’s as dead as its ever been. The Pinterest/Instagram-esque format and center of gravity won’t convince anyone to who’s not already there (actively) to become an active participant. It’s simply another stent for Google+’s weak heart, another life-extending tactic, that seems to have no end in sight.
A New Digital Era Archetype: Digital Zombie
The fact-of-the-matter is Google+ will live on life support forever because Google tied to businesses (the first attempt to make it a “real” social channel, a blatant oligarchical move). And, until such a time as Google severs that connection, you can expect reinvention after reinvention, reanimation after reanimation of the platform. It truly is a digital zombie.
And, that is rather apropos in describing the platform: it’s not truly alive, nor is it dead. It simply exists. Google+ is a barnacle: leeching off a larger Google ecosystem, feeding off the flourishing, living platforms (both in style and content), and attempting to convert users them over to a zombie platform. Google can, and likely will, keep the AED at the ready.
In the end, perhaps that’s what Google is counting on. If you have to use it to manage your Google profile, your business page (even though technically it’s through Google My Business), a couple other things, maybe you’ll stick around and participate. Though I doubt a “more robust” Collections and Communities section is really going to turn the ship around. Since no marketer (digital or otherwise) can opt-out or ignore Google’s ecosystem, it’s better to use it to your advantage. And, maybe, even throw them a courtesy post or two.