This year looks set to be a pivotal year for the face of social media. It’s been recently announced that a staggering 600,000 people have opted to jump off the Facebook bandwagon and deactivate their accounts in the past month alone in the United Kingdom and there is enough reason to suggest the most popular social networking site is on a slow and steady decline.
Twitter meanwhile continues to grow in popularity but also in controversy as the social networking site justifiably struggles to implement a fair authority on what can and cannot be said online.
Perhaps the most interesting of social networking stories however is that of Google+.
Despite unjustifiable statistics suggesting otherwise, it’s fair to say that Google+ has suffered from a rather slow start. Statistics from December 2012, point towards the social networking site boasting a more than respectable half a billion users. It is however very likely that the vast majority of these users aren’t incredibly active.
In fact, if you’re like me, then you won’t know anyone who even has Google+, let alone uses it on a regular basis. Thus the reality is the social networking site is struggling to find the same level of dominance that Twitter and Facebook have.
There are however a few reasons for Google+ analysts to be rather optimistic. The first is the apparent decline of Facebook. More and more of us are seeing Facebook as intrusive on our privacy. Furthermore, growing numbers are seeing little point in Facebook and are getting rather bored of the social networking site.
In July 2012 it was reported that Facebook were witnessing drops in two main metrics: number of friends and likes. Furthermore, the news of over 600,000 users deactivating their accounts in the UK over the Christmas period is enough to suggest a possible end of an era.
This could work to Google+’s advantage, through Google’s social media network offering an alternative platform for those bored of Facebook but not quite bored of social media.
In fact, the last time I myself used Facebook was over a month ago and that was to just sell my iPhone and sell BlackBerry Curve 9360 hardware to friends and not to socialise!
A Google+ Tailored Google
Another cause for optimism is that Google are expecting to restructure their platforms in 2013, tailoring them to all work in favour of Google+.
Google Messenger for example is expected to be introduced in 2013, and this will merge Google Talk, G+ Messenger, Voice and Hangouts. The interesting part in this is that Google+ will be a requirement for Google Messenger, needed for identity and friend lists.
Such tactics to bring more people on Google+ will also be implemented through placing a new platform called Google Games under the Google+ banner. Google Games will bring Chrome, Android and Google+ Games together into one platform and this will only serve to increase Google+ members.
Furthermore, the introduction of Project Glass Explorer Addition, a wearable augmented reality display that will allow you to take first-person view pictures, will also help increase Google+’s popularity, as these pictures will be easily and directly able to upload and share through Google+.
It therefore seems that despite its slow start, Google+ may yet be a dominant social media force after all.
What is for certain is that success or no success, 2013 looks set to be a very intriguing year for Google+.