You might be surprised that Google’s version of Facebook — Google Plus — is still around. In fact, it celebrated its first anniversary last week.
While we have come to an era of social networks dominated by Facebook and Twitter, Google doesn’t envision Google Plus to ride the tide. Despite this, Google Plus still clings to relevance in many ways.
“Google Plus is just an upgrade to Google,” said Vic Gundotra of Google.
This seems convenient since Google Plus is clearly the underdog, with 150 million monthly active users versus Facebook’s 900 million.
Moreover, it appears to be a smart move as it could very well serve as the “social glue” that binds all of Google’s already-utilised products, wrote Richard MacManus at ReadWriteWeb.
“One year ago, I think we all expected Google+ to turn into a better standalone product than what we’ve got now. But despite that, Google+ has turned out to be incredibly useful to Google,” said MacManus.
Web users may have noticed the new features of Google Plus, which include the ability to grab e-mail list from Google friend “Circles,” see links posted by friends and log into YouTube.
Simply put, the rest of Google’s products, particularly the search engine are widely used, even if Google Plus isn’t by itself.
Google Plus also excels at mobile applications. To illustrate this point, Jennifer Van Grove cited the Android tablet app for Google Plus, which makes Facebook’s apps “look as if they were built in the MySpace era.”
Grove, added, “Mobile is Facebook Achilles’ heel, and it certainly doesn’t look good for the newly public company to lose to Google in a mobile face-off.”