A fascinating rant about why Google Plus isn’t working (as well as some interesting stuff about Amazon), from a Google insider.
Google+ is a knee-jerk reaction, a study in short-term thinking, predicated on the incorrect notion that Facebook is successful because they built a great product. But that’s not why they are successful. Facebook is successful because they built an entire constellation of products by allowing other people to do the work. So Facebook is different for everyone. Some people spend all their time on Mafia Wars. Some spend all their time on Farmville. There are hundreds or maybe thousands of different high-quality time sinks available, so there’s something there for everyone.
And there’s the problem with Google+ in a nutshell. It’s a clone of Facebook, built by engineers for people who think like engineers. I now realize what it was I couldn’t put my finger on: this service started out as a list of features. But it didn’t start out with a vision. In fact, I’ve never heard anyone articulate, from a customer’s point of view, why Google+ came into existence in the first place.
I think they’re both probably right… and it’s why I suspect Google Plus won’t get the critical mass to become the replacement for Facebook or Twitter anytime soon.