The following post is from Kevin Olivieri, TIG Global Social Media Analyst.
Google today announced a sweeping redesign of their Google + platform. The redesign focuses on allowing more customization, helping users create a simpler, more personal experience on the site.
In terms of layout, Google+ now gives users an opportunity to rearrange apps around the page, moving away from static locations. In the hopes of boosting interactions and conversations, they’ve updated the quality of the visual content you post to make it more aesthetically pleasing, simultaneously making their content stream more like the Facebook newsfeed with easy scanning and more pronounced interaction capabilities. Lastly, Google Hangouts has been revamped to feature more Open and Public hangouts for users to discover.
In addition to the redesign announcement, Google also revealed the social network now has over 170 million users. Although this number is impressive, as I’ve said before, it’s greatly skewed. When you compare time spent on the site to that of its competitors, Google + is last, behind Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, LinkedIn and even MySpace.
The biggest issue with Google+ is that no one uses it. Considering the vast number of social networking options, there is limited incentive to use a platform where a user’s friends aren’t regularly engaging and the value proposition, even when used, isn’t unique.
For the time being, our best suggestion with Google+ is to take a wait and see approach. It’s important (for SEO purposes) to establish a presence on Google+ for your business. But when it comes to monitoring and managing your page, all other social networks should take precedence over G+.
There’s only so much time in a day, and worrying about Google+ right now just shouldn’t be a priority unless there’s a drastic jump in usage rates. Focus on managing and cultivating thriving communities on more proven networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest before you’re worried about Google+. If there’s a shift, we’ll let you know.
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