Various tech sites, Techaeris included, have posted quite a few articles about the direction and potential demise of Google+, Google’s social media network. Inevitably, any such article is met with resistance and cries of taking public statements and/or rumours out of context – as I’m sure this one will be. But we’re going to set the stage here anyways…
UPDATE (06/23/2015): Jason Falter has received another response from the producer for Google’s outside creative agency. In it the producer “apologizes for [the] bad choice of words,” and indicates that Google+ is still going strong.
“No need to worry about Google+, I may have used the wrong words by saying it’s future; I meant the campaign and the future direction of the campaign. We value and appreciate all your work and connection to Google+ and love all the collections and communities created to far!”
So hopefully this is all a case of using the “wrong words” but the producer did mention Google+ specifically in the initial response to Falter. Only time will tell, but – like Falter – we all hope that Google+ is here to stay for the long haul!
NOTE: We also updated references to “Google representative” to “producer for Google’s outside creative agency” in the original story below.
A short while ago, Google+ introduced Collections and many of us here at Techaeris are huge fans of the new feature and use it quite extensively. It really has opened up new doors and ways to effectively post content and not have to worry about what people following you think or expect because they can turn on or off your Collections from their streams at their discretion. I’ve had a few Collections featured, and I won’t lie, it’s done wonders for not only my Google+ views but for Techaeris and our sister site MOARGeek as well.
Jason Falter, a Google+ user with a pretty cool Swords & Martial Arts Media Collection (go ahead, check it out!), was invited by a producer for Google’s outside creative agency to head down to California to do a shoot about the Collection as part of Google’s “Make It Happen” program. The program highlights various Google services and creates mini-documentaries of them in order to market those services to the general public. A couple #MakeItHappen Collections videos have already made their way to YouTube, indicating the program was indeed in full swing.
Falter jumped at the opportunity and had been going back and forth with the producer when he received this email earlier today informing him that unfortunately the shoot was going to be cancelled. An obvious disappointment, but according to Falter the reasoning given in the email behind the cancellation was more disappointing than the cancelled shoot itself. The producer stated in the email that:
“The reasoning behind them [higher powers] canceling it was that they weren’t sure of the future and direction of Google+ and therefore cut the budget for any social marketing.”
Now before you all get out your pitchforks and start crying “that can mean anything!”, you’re right. It CAN mean anything. I’ve said it before, I fully expect Google+ to change and evolve over the course of time, everything does. But when a giant like Google cuts the budget for social marketing because it isn’t sure of the future or direction of Google+, that’s a pretty ominous statement. There are many wheels turning in Google, and maybe somewhere the wires got crossed and the message Falter was sent wasn’t framed properly. As he indicates in his blog post, Google+ is a great place and a wonderful community, in fact I’d argue it is THE best social media community out there today.
Falter didn’t post this information on his blog to herald the end of Google+, but rather to make an impassioned plea for Google to keep Google+ around and to continue improving it as a community that millions of people use every day.
“I’m hoping beyond hope that Google keeps G+ around. At least for us fans. I honestly don’t know what I would do if they “Readered” it. I talk to more people on G+ daily than I do for friends in real life. This is my community. This is my place. This is my home.”
I’m sure truer words haven’t been spoken on behalf of the majority of the core Google+ community. Falter does wonder if perhaps this is a precursor to the rumoured takeover of Twitter by Google+, or something entirely different and unfortunately there is no concrete evidence for either scenario.
We join Falter in his plea to Google to keep Google+ around for the long term, and to continue focusing on making it better. Collections was a great start. The new Photos, even though it’s a split from Google+, is another great move (although there are some that will disagree). At the end of the day, Google+ is a community that a lot of users feel is their place and their home on the web.
What do you think about the statement from the Google rep about the future of Google+? Let us know in the comments below, or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.Source: Jason Falter