As soon as Google+ launched, there was almost as much content written about it as there was on it, with people offering guides, help, invites by the dozen.
The launch prompted as much love as hate, with people either 100% for or against it, as well as a percentage of watchers sitting on the fence waiting to see which way they should jump. Surely a better position to be in at launch than indifference for any company?
There has been phenomenal early growth in user numbers, then talk of usage having peaked over the summer as time spent on the site per user seems to be in decline.
And now Google has announced the closure of ten existing products – Aardvark, Desktop, Fast Flip, Google Maps API for Flash, Google Pack, Google Web Security, Image Labeler, Notebook, Sidewiki and Subscribed Links, in favour of concentrating on the development of Google+; it seems that some of these products will be incorporated as features in Google+, as Google consolidates its position and increases focus on the new platform.
So has Google found a hook to hang its hat on with Google+, a way of consolidating and expressing its direction in a simplified and understandable strategy? The really excting thing is that nobody knows, and that we can watch the story develop as it does so. Will Google+ be the future for social networking, as Google are in a very strong position to execute, or will it be another in a line of Google products that don’t quite cut it when it comes down to mainstream adoption?
What do you think? I will be following the story with interest, and will be spending more time trying to understand and make use of the unique qualities of Google+, what it can do for me and my business, and what makes it different or better than my other social networks.