Google+ recently opened up its service to brands with Pages. It is a late start and despite Google+’s impressive growth there are many detractors. These skeptics think the dye might be cast and a fight with Facebook might just be too unfair for Google+ to be able to compete.
The main criticism is that Google+ has been too cautious to allow users to experiment and do things. The prime example is Pages. When Google+ first opened many brands rushed in to create a presence. Google+ then shut the door, claiming that brands would have access later. Google+ also disallowed users to have pseudonyms. The skeptics point to Twitter as a better model because Twitter was quick to allow user improvisation.
Now that Pages is available for brands on Google+ there are still restrictions. If a brand or a digital agency was hoping to use Google+ for promotions or contests, then it needs to look elsewhere (maybe Facebook?). Legal accountability is a concern and even Facebook had initially disallowed contests. Facebook has, however, relaxed its policy but Google+ has not learned from Facebook’s adaptation.
Some skeptics think it is this caution that makes the already unfair fight with Facebook too unfair for Google to compete. Google+’s big draw is access to its open graph, which is the database of preferences and wishes collected by its behemoth control of the search market. However, if Google+ continues to stymie creative uses of its service then there will continue to be little for the user to do while on the network. Skeptics cite this lack of things to do as the reason why Google+ access has been dwindling since the euphoria of its launching. Users are drawn in, but then leave for greener and more interesting pastures. Opening up the service to brands and their creative teams might be just what Google+ needs.
The social media marketing agency has a vested interest in seeing Google+ succeed. It would provide leverage against Facebook dominance and its access of Google’s open graph would be a huge boon. But if Google+ continues to restrain engagement and creative uses then there really is not much the digital agency can do.