I challenge you to dig into the depths of your brain amid memories of last month’s celebrity gossip and a few hazy nights just to remember a little something that was, you know, kind of supposed to change the way the entire world uses the internet.
Remember when everyone thought Google Plus would certainly force Facebook the way of poor MySpace? Well, we’re still waiting for that to happen a year after the Google Plus launch; though, CNN recently reported that it still could … maybe.
The world tried so hard to like Google Plus, especially those of us who have beef with Facebook and the hordes of nonsensical status updates we’re privy to each time we log in. Unfortunately, only 150 million or so of us stuck around to comprise Google Plus’s monthly active user base – compare that to the 400 million users the network is predicted to have by the end of 2012, and the more than 900 million users having mini high school reunions on Facebook.
We shouldn’t be so hard on Google Plus, really. After all, they don’t seem worried that their users spend only 3.3 minutes on the site each month (compared to a whopping 7.5 hours on Facebook, according to a recent comScore report). Instead, they discreetly focus on linking all of your Google activity together and creating a social experience rather than an itty-bitty network. Did you even know what Google Plus was before reading this article? Even if you haven’t actively logged in to your Google Plus Circles, you might have an activity feed if you use YouTube, Google Chrome and Gmail regardless.
There is one sweet spot of the Google Plus experience that has people coming back for more: Video Hangouts. A place where pants are optional and up to nine people can video chat at once. Similar features on Skype aren’t free, and though there are hundreds of video chat platforms that boast free chatting for as many people as you want, many of them are just straight-up sketchy. And that’s me being nice. I love Google Plus Hangouts as a cooler way to have a mini high school reunion and an even cooler way to hold business meetings across a few time zones.
And it goes without saying that the whole no-pants thing is certainly appealing, too.
Are you among the 150 million active users? Am I forgetting about other cool things the social network can do, or am I just using it wrong? Sound off in the comments below!