If the rumblings coming out of pithy status updates on every other social networking site are any indication it just might.
Google unveiled their proprietary social networking site, dubbed Google+, in July. It was designed to be (and marketed as) the “facebook killer”, and for a moment every one believed it would live up to that expectation. However, as more people hopped on board the burgeoning social media giant, enthusiasm began to fade.
The first sign of danger came when Google launched Google+ on July 7th. Prior to that date few were allowed to try the site out, and access came from friend invites only. After only a few short hours of being open to the public, Google closed the virtual doors once again. Those who waited anxiously to try the site out would have to wait a little longer.
The most recent news on the proverbial e-grapevine is that Google CEO Larry Page stopped posting publically to the site. September 15, 2011 marked a solid month of observable silence from the Internet giant, leading many a rumor that he has jumped ship.
Of course, it is entirely possible that Larry Page has simply resigned his interactions to those with whom he is personally acquainted. Even still, his actions leave us all asking the same question: Isn’t it a poor strategy to ignore the public, especially if you want them to buy into your company’s next big thing?
Some say this isn’t a sign of anything other than Page being too busy to rub elbows with the virtual community. As detractors point out, when is the last time any one got a public update from the heads of Facebook, or even MySpace? Of course, the easy argument there is that those sites are designed to perform different functions.
Where Facebook is designed at allowing friends and classmates to follow each other’s dady-to-day activities, and Myspace is designed to… well, no one really knows any more… Google+ is sort of like Twitter, in that it is designed with an emphasis for the general public to follow celebrities and other virtual personalities. The idea is to make people feel like they are a part of a more elite community, to spread interesting tidbits from people like Page to one another.
As of yet, Page has not come out and made a comment over his inactivity on Google+. This is another supposed death knell, as even Tom Anderson (better known to tweens as “MySpace Tom”) spoke publically about his recent decision to leave the site he started many years ago.
Anderson insisted that he just didn’t like the changes being made at the site, and admitted he had to leave. Making this even more interesting was that his personal statement came from a post he left of Facebook, the social networking site that famously played a large part in the disinterest surrounding MySpace.
Is it possible that Facebook possesses some kind of impenetrable armor, and that it will take much more a rival site to dethrone it as social media champion? Should we all expect to hear a response from Larry Page via his own Facebook account in the coming days?
One thing remains clear: Whatever happens, Google+ has a lot it needs to overcome before it can hope to be the next Facebook. At the rate it’s going, it might just make MySpace look good.