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At first birthday, has Google+ found its niche?

June 29, 2012 06:00 AM ET

"Our ultimate ambition is to transform the overall Google experience, making it beautifully simple, almost automagical, because we understand what you want and can deliver it instantly," Page said last fall. "This means baking identity and sharing into all of our products so that we build a real relationship with our users. Sharing on the Web will be like sharing in real life across all your stuff."

The company quickly moved in that direction. Last fall, Google began integrating Google+ with Google Apps, the company's cloud-based office suite.

Dan Olds, an analyst with The Gabriel Consulting Group, noted that Google seems to be weaving Google+ social and collaborative features through its product line, but he's not sure the social network is living up to the company's own expectations.

And that, he added, could be why there wasn't more excited talk around Google+ this week, despite its first anniversary.

"They could be aware that they don't have a lot to brag about," said Olds. "Their baby isn't walking or talking yet and, really, not crawling so much either. [Google+] hasn't seen anything near the meteoric growth they expected or hoped for. But this would have been the perfect time to make some Google+ announcements and maybe rekindle some buzz."

Moorhead, however, said Google+ has made strides and is on a good path.

"What they need to show is just how far they have come in one year comparatively," he noted. "When you compare Facebook and Twitter one year into their development, Google+ looks great comparatively. Google+ needs to show how ... integration improves the experience."

covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at Twitter @sgaudin, on or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed Gaudin RSS. Her email address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

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