Recently, Techcrunch, Forbes, Marketing Land, and Mashable (just to name a few) have published various articles claiming that the death of Google+ is upon us. Our initial reaction was a little panicked because Google+ is used a lot in the world of social media marketing and SEO, but the more we read, the more confused we became. What exactly does the death of Google+ mean? We decided to do a little more digging, and here is what we found out is happening with Google+:
Why Google+ is Changing:
How many of you use Google+ as your main social network? The honest answer is probably not many. The truth is Google+ could not compete with the Facebook and Twitter. In theory, it was a great idea, combining the best features of each major social network, but it was not as easy to use at first glance. Google+ never gained enough popularity to sustain itself as a dominant social network, but Google does not want to eliminate it all together. The active population on Google+, though tiny, is still an important data source for Google, so changes are being made to keep Google+ active.
What is Changing:
According to Techcrunch, Google+ will no longer be considered a product, but a platform — essentially ending its competition with other social networks like Facebook and Twitter. So without the social network status, what will you be able to do with Google+? Well, for the time being it will retain its name as Google+. No major product changes have been made, but in the future, Google+ will be divided into photos and streams. The specifics are not clear about what this will look like because Google wouldn’t elaborate on its plans except to say no product changes are happening right now.
Currently photos and streams are just a feature of Google+, but they will become two distinct platforms. One thing for certain is that there will no longer be circles and communities to join. Eliminating these two elements will dissolve its status as a social media tool and help Google+ transition to a platform. The transition to a platform is the main change that we need to keep in mind when dealing with the new Google+.
What These Changes Mean for Marketing and Businesses:
As of right now, do not delete your business’s Google+ account, but it should not be the only social media sources that your are investing time updating. Google+ will remain an important source for SEO and marketing purposes. The social aspect of Google+ will not exist in the future, but it does not mean that it will not be a valuable tool for business who currently benefit from streams and sharing photos. To get the most out of the new Google+, focus your marketing campaign on visually-based content that can easily be shared on the streams or photo platforms. It seems that visual elements will be the future for Google+. The evolution of Google+ is coming, but only time will tell how it will affect the marketing and business usage of the platform.