Farewell Google+

Google recently announced that they’re removing the requirement to use Google+ to access their other services such as Youtube. Since it was introduced 4 years ago, it’s fair to say Google+ never really took off the way that Google hoped, and today it still lags behind other similar social media sites in terms of unique users by a significant amount. With that in mind, integrating Google+ into all of their other popular services probably seemed like a great way to help Google+ generate more traction, although clearly it has not worked out given the announced change.

In their recent blog post Bradley Horowitz, VP of Streams, Photos and Sharing, wrote that “People have told us that accessing all of their Google stuff with one account makes life a whole lot easier. But we’ve also heard that it doesn’t make sense for your Google+ profile to be your identity in all the other Google products you use.” I’m not sure how much they heard the former, but it seems they’ve certainly heard the later.What made sense from Google’s perspective seemed to many of their Users like an extra hurdle to accessing services they did want to use.

At User Insight we find this same situation all too often when talking to Users. If Users don’t find value in something, it doesn’t matter how much it makes sense from a company or product perspective; Users will either refuse to use it, or if required, use it begrudgingly. Talking to your Users is the best way to avoid this type of situation, or if it exists determine whether the perceived lack of value is based on a product not having desired features or Users being unaware of what affordances the product does have. Here at User Insight we’re always ready to help get you just that kind of feedback.

Image by Mike Carpenter, Artist and Strategist, User Insight