Hot on the heels of the news that Google’s Chrome had surpassed Mozilla’s Firefox for the number 2 spot on the list of the most used web browsers, speculation has begun to emerge that it may be a matter of time before Google+, the tech giant’s social media foray begins to seriously challenge Facebook for market share.
New Google offerings throughout the years have come bearing a mixed reputation. The good tends to be very good; the company’s search engine, the foundation for its immense success, has dominated the market so strongly that the word “Google” is included in dictionaries as a verb. Google Voice, a telecommunications service, was well received, with 1.4 million users adopting in its first 6 months. However, a few notable attempts for market expansion by Google have failed, some spectacularly. Buzz, a social media outlet intended to challenge Twitter and Facebook, was officially pronounced dead after it failed to provide much incentive to convert users. Wave, a collaborative platform initially billed as a major achievement, was shut down just 3 months following its launch.
Chrome’s road to success moved at a more gradual pace. Launched in 2008, it quickly became the primary choice of browser among the technologically savvy, with features such as running tabs as separate processes in its own task manager and frequent background updating, among others. It took a considerable length of time, without any advertising (although an avenue previously ignored, Google has recently embraced advertising) to gain serious traction among users. With an innovative product, users converted making Chrome second in market share only to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, which has the distinct numerical advantage of standard inclusion as the default browser on Windows PCs. Chrome is poised for continued success as users mature and become more aware of its advantages.
Google+ follows the same core principles as Chrome, with the goal of offering better technological and experiential solutions. However, Google + has a far greater task to convert users due to the influence and impact of Facebook. It has been perceived as floundering much like Buzz and Wave, being written off by many outlets as a futile attempt at dethroning the king.
Don’t be quick to discount Google+. The company has proven that persistence and patience pay dividends. Armed with advertising, including television spots, Google-themed conferences, and online exposure, Google+ might give Facebook a run for its money.