[TECHNOLOGY★★] WHY GOOGLE+ FAILED, ACCORDING TO GOOGLE INSIDERS
(P1) Last month, Google announced that it’s changing its strategy with Google+.
(P2) It is giving up on promoting Google+ as a social network aimed at competing with Facebook. Instead, Google+ will become two separate services: Photos and Streams.
(P3) This didn’t come as a surprise — Google+ never really caught on in the same way that social networks like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn did.
(P4) Technically, tons of people use Google+, since logging into it gives you access to Gmail, Google Drive, and all of Google’s other apps.
(P5) But people aren’t actively using the social network aspect of it.
(P6) Rumors have been swirling for months that Google would change its direction with Google+. Business Insider spoke with a few insiders about what happened to the network that Google believed would change the way people share their lives online.
(P7) The main problem with Google+, one former Googler says, is the company tried to make it too much like Facebook.
(P8) Here are some other things we heard from former Google employees:
(P9) Google+ was designed to solve the company’s own problems, rather than making a product that made it easy for its users to connect with others. Logging into Google+ connects you to all of Google’s products, which is useful. But it didn’t yield a social experience that was as simple as those like Facebook or LinkedIn. People had to think about who they wanted to add to circles rather than simply adding someone as a friend on Facebook or adding someone to their network on LinkedIn.
(P10) One person also said Google didn’t move into mobile fast enough with Google+.
(P11) Google+ was a “controversial” product inside Google. But that’s not too uncommon within Google, since it’s a large company with many employees. People have opinions on everything.
(P12) When Vic Gundotra, who led Google+ and played a big role in creating it, left the company about a year ago, it came as a complete surprise.
(P13) Although Google+ didn’t boom into a massively successful social network, that doesn’t mean it completely failed. Google made a solid platform that makes it easy for the millions of people that use its products to seamlessly log in to all of the company’s apps. It made a really useful tool for organizing your photos online.
(P14) But it’s not a mainstream social network, and it never caught up to giants like Facebook and Twitter in that regard.
If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.
- Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
- Why is Google changing its strategy for Google+?
- The success of a social network or application can partly be measured by how much you hear people talking about it – this is true of Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and others. Was Google successful at getting people to talk about Google+?
- One Google employee said that “Google+ was designed to solve the company’s own problems.” Do you think that companies like Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, and Yahoo understand the public well, or are they too focused on themselves and their own “company cultures”?
- What have been the most successful parts of Google+?
Expressions to Practice
What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.
- To give up
- To catch on
- To catch up to
- To play a big role