Guest blog by Bart Sintenie
Google+ has been stirring a lot since the launch in 2011. On the one hand, it was raining requests for invitations to participate in the, at that time, private network, and on the other hand, the question was 'who needs another social network'. After all, the market was already divided among Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. In addition, almost everyone in our country had just switched from Hyves and in America from MySpace.
Number 2 social network
Yet there are now hundreds of millions of people worldwide who use it. In terms of numbers of users, Google+ has been the second largest social network in the world since January 2013. Only Facebook is bigger. In October 2013, Google indicated that monthly 300 million users visit Google+, in December 2012 it was 'just' 135 million. A huge growth that is likely to have continued exponentially.
Sounds like a huge success, but at the same time there is a lot of resistance. Google is absolutely not subtle in its attempts to persuade anyone to use Google+. Or, if we are talking about a lack of subtlety, to push it through everyone's throat. Bit by bit, Google forces itself to have a Google+ profile to use its services.
For example, Google+ is installed as standard on every Android phone (and the app cannot be removed), the Android photo gallery and automatic backup of photos have been combined with Google+, Picasa photo service has almost completely switched to Google+, you can no longer comment on YouTube without a Google+ account, location information of companies has been transferred (and abused), the internationally used Zagat is integrated, and so on. Even Gmail is intertwined with Google+, recently more than before. And in the search engine you often come across Google+ messages. Especially from people you have in your circles.
Resistance to Google+
Many people are not happy about this, and let us know, it was signed by 230,000 people petition to disconnect YouTube is just one of many expressions of this. Despite the resistance, the signal is clear, if you want to use Google services, you will have to believe in a Google+ profile. And given the figures that Google comes up with (which are from the period before the YouTube integration), it seems that masses of people do the same.
Guest Blog Plus
Nice all this info, but of course for you the question, "what's in it for me?". Good question, and I will gladly go into that next time. Unless people are ahead of me in the comments of course.