The big test for Google+ is reach. The true measure of whether it passes this test is how Google+ is used before, during and after natural disasters and other crises.
This past week, we (along the East Coast) lived through an earthquake and a hurricane, so I have to ask: On which social media network did you find yourself when each hit?
On Sunday, I saw this on Google+:
“Really haven’t had much to say here on G+ this week. With the earthquake and hurricane in NYC, Twitter was where it was at.”
I completely agree. Nothing (yet) beats the immediacy and reach of Twitter and Facebook when a crisis hits. If you’re on Google+, you know that most of your friends and online network of friends and acquaintances aren’t there yet. This is a huge problem for Google+ that I don’t think they’ve yet recognized.
When last week’s earthquake hit, I wasn’t fully sure what had just happened. My first instinct was to make sure everything around me was okay and nothing dangerous was going on that I should be aware of. My second instinct was to check Facebook and see if anyone else felt it. I figured this was the fastest way to confirm that I wasn’t crazy and how widespread the quaking was felt. I was right.
Within minutes of the last tremor, several of my friends had posted comments about the quake—from North Carolina, Washington DC, and Virginia.
I checked Twitter and saw many people tweeting about the quake there too—tweets from Toronto, New York and Maryland.
About three to five minutes later, the news broke in to the show I was watching and announced the quake. Old news for many by then.
I went to Google+ and posted the information, but I didn’t stay there. As said above, Twitter and Facebook were where it was at.
I think many people aren’t adopting Google+ because of the plethora of predictions it will fail and because Google is not reaching out to and educating people without Gmail accounts. Right now, there’s no reason for people to switch to Google+ because the reach of Facebook and Twitter is so much greater.
Google is basically failing Marketing 101. You have to give people a reason to want your product.
Right now, that reason to use Google+ isn’t there. If it doesn’t come soon, Google will be trashing what, in my opinion, is a very good product.