Thats right, believe it or not Google+ still exists and it has undergone some massive changes this year. The photos feature was pulled and made into its own dedicated platform, Google+ was unbundled from the YouTube website and now today the Google+ team have revealed a brand new design which focuses on the parts of the website which are working well.
When I say “working well” of course I mean in the opinion of Google, for me..it is the social network that just won’t die. Google+ has a small loyal user base compared to other social networks. As I have noted in the past, when Google+ launched initially it was something that everyone wanted to get in on.
It was the party everyone wanted to be invited to because we all thought that Google had created something incredible and new. The fact that it was invite only at the start gave it an element of exclusivity and then Google opened doors to the public and most of us headed back to Facebook and Twitter.
I mean lets face reality here, how many of us still thought Google+ existed? For those of us who knew it was still there, how many of us thought Google had just abandoned it?
Jokes aside Google+ does have something that they believe works incredibly well and that is the Communities and Collections section. So if you are one of those loyal Google+ users then you will enjoy this little update that Google are rolling out. Communities was launched in 2012 and has been the “most popular” feature of Google+
Though it is hard to measure popularity on a social network which is pretty dead to be honest. Collections launched earlier this year and is like the unwanted love child of Reddit and a less attractive Pinterest. However, Google says that someone out there likes it.
Google has decided to focus on these group friendly features which is interesting because my personal experience with the community feature has been absolute hell. When they launched communities I was still an active Google+ member trying to still give the network a shot and I became a moderator of the Night Photography community which is one of the larger photography communities on there.
It was great at the start, the community feature was well received however it soon descended into spammy chaos that was impossible to keep on top of and was frankly depressing to moderate. The community still exists and they still have me down as a moderator but these days there is more spam and pornography posted there than anything else and from what I have been told the story is the same for any big community on Google+
The only ones kept clean now are the communities which have the dedicated Google+ users running them.
At some point you have to wonder will Google ever give up and just let this thing die off? We have Facebook, we have Reddit, we have Pinterest…so what are Google trying to gain by creating their own mashup of those networks which looks nowhere near as good?
Instead, Google+ is resurrected and relaunched around 2-3 times each year, trying to get our attention and lure us back. No doubt the next relaunch will probably be early to mid 2016 so we will report back then.