Though Google’s social networking site Google+ has reached a count that Facebook and Twitter took two years to attain, it has a long way to go to overtake its rivals.
Google’s effort of importing friends from Facebook’s long-preserved list of contacts, a move to kill its biggest challenger, was blocked by Facebook on grounds of policy violation.
Facebook had also restricted people from placing adverts on its walls to attract more followers on Google+.
However, the network went ahead creating a spell of frenzy with a new set of products and an advanced network type compared to its competitors.
Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Google+ has well-defined circles, which allows users to post contents to specific groups of contacts. When a user posts something in a circle, the receiving member can repost it to his circle or make it totally public. The user can turn the reposting off, but only once the post is published. The circle concept aims at maintaining privacy, but content can easily leak out when circles are interconnected and overlapping.
Tech blogger Robert Scoble takes on the noisy stream problem in his blog. He says, “Already for high flow users, like me, notifications are useless there and finding the good stuff, and good people, is very difficult (getting rid of people who don’t add value is also too difficult). I am missing private messages sent to me.”
When a post receives a lot of activity, Google+ moves it to the top of the stream, which is a way of publicizing new content. This can be irritating to people who are not interested in these posts and there is an overcrowding of posts. The broadcasting platform Twitter tries to identify the activity that interests the user and shows when people retweet the message and also the messages you follow.
Getting publicity for a post seems to be easier with Google+ as publishers of content pay a lot of attention to Google, from search engine optimization to increase the ranking on Google searches, search engine marketing keyword ads to drive traffic, and onsite advertising solutions ranging from AdSense to DoubleClick. Search rankings will be increased by posting contents on Google+. But to get publicity in Google+ the publishers must add new content and find ways to attract audiences to drive traffic.
Google+ has recently added some games in its library to beat the biggest revenue earner for Facebook, but there seems to be some privacy issues with that as well. To access a game, the users have to allow the game and the developer to have access to some information of the user's account. This could put personal information and privacy in risk as somebody else in the users’ circle can grant permission to access these information, says PCWorld.
Google+ also is discouraging some potential users by insisting on real names. Many people use pseudonyms to maintain privacy.
Still, the site is a fresh entry in the social networking arena and it can profit from feedback from its users.