My shortest post ever. It’s also to document (for fun) my prediction, from day one, that Google + will fail. An argument I am having with a few friends. The first 20-30 million users is expected. It’s not a “revolution”. Getting to 100 million is the challenge. I predict this will not happen based on conversion rates from past product launches and Google’s available user base. Here are the steps:
1. Launch a “limited release” (see below). Get 20-30 million users because this is a reasonable conversion rate from the existing Google products user base to this new network (The people willing to try it out). Adoption appears to be fast because the people willing to try out new Google products in this expected range.
2. Google announces business accounts. All businesses signup because it’s free and they were told it’s a good idea. Because it’s “news” SEO’s report the usual “we are seeing businesses in search results from Googol +”. More businesses sign up.
3. Google ends up with another version of Google local with a very limited amount of social interaction.
People do not want to talk to businesses. It’s called a social network not a commercial network.
4. Subtract out all business accounts from the network. Mass adoption does not occur
because no one was asking for new features inside Facebook. Google + slowly dies off. By the end of 2011 no one is really using it as a social network. People do not mass adopt because of new “features”.
5. The rate of growth by individual users dramatically slows from end of 2011 into 2012. Google fails to hit 100 million individual user accounts. The share rate slows and is unimpressive.
6. The usual social media blogs pronounce it a failure. Google changes focus again.
The power of branding wins again. Don’t underestimate it.
So why do a “limited release” on things like googol +? Not because they are “testing and don’t want to grow to fast”. There is a bootstrapping issue with social networks. You log in…..*No one is there*. Then you go back because you were one of the special “privileged first users” (pawns). You keep going back to check if anyone else is there because you were told “the others are coming”. Otherwise you go in once and you never return. Because no one else uses it. You might even pick up a free advertising for your pawns along they way. There are many ways to seed a network and this is just one technique.