Reports of Google+'s death were greatly exaggerated according to Google, claiming to the BBC they they're just getting started
This comes in response to a Forbes article "A Eulogy for Google Plus", a piece in Slate: "Google+ is dead," and the general opinion circulating that seems to be we got a Google+ account; but don't really use it anymore.
The social network gained 10 million users within the first 16 days after its private beta, the exclusivity bred a good publicity around it, which saw it rocket to 40 million users within the first 100 days, making it the fastest growing social network on the web. However, web analytics cirm Chitika painted a different picture when October came around, talking about traffic shrinking dramatically since it's 1,200% spike pre-launch.
Different bits leading to this are clear to us. At launch, whatever Google+ had, Facebook also possessed, and whatever it didn't have it could just grab and adapt. It took the status update off Twitter, and it took the social groupings idea (circles) straight off g+ without the unnecessary animation.
However, one thing that they are (thankfully) aware of is that they have a different opportunity here. Not to create an independent social network; but rather a co-dependent social layer to the internet, something that Facebook has tried and still hits walls of privacy concerns.
Bradley Horowitz, vice-president of product at Google+, says:
"Google+ is a foundational element for identity, relationship, interest across all we're doing at Google," Mr Horowitz tells BBC News, adding that the social networking function is just one of many social tools.
They have it all: Blogger, Youtube, Gmail, Google Docs, all of these and more spanning from the core search services that still rolls in the big money. All of these could be ideally integrated to make services used by hundreds of millions daily a complete internet suite.
"Everything we do is going to be informed by this sense of person and interest and relationship, so that all users' data can be used in their interest at their discretion," Mr Horowitz comments.
"So the concept of Google+ dying, it's a misunderstanding of what we're doing," he says. "We have not even begun, let alone these reports of premature demise."
"Since Google has such deep pockets, the notion that you can declare it dead because you are counting numbers and trend lines on a spreadsheet is kind of loopy."
So the message we can take from this? Google is going to go big with +, putting everything it has into the promotion and development of the service. It doesn't want to be another web 2.0 demise, shared and discussed by friends...on Facebook.
I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.