Though it didn’t seem to garner too much attention in the larger scope of the news cycle, some fairly big news came out Monday regarding the social media offering of Internet-giant Google.
You can read The New York Times coverage of it here: Google Plus Will Be Shut Down After User Information Was Exposed
Ultimately, the decision to shutter the service was made due to a data breach (which Google wasn’t very quick about sharing with those potentially impacted . . . seems like that should be a story that is higher up in the news cycle, don’t you think?). However, many viewed Google+ as being dead long ago. It never gained traction. The number of active users were consistently abysmal by other social media site standards. The lack of users probably contributed to the fact that the news received so little coverage.
This is pertinent to journalists, though, because the general rule of thumb was to have an online presence on all platforms available to ensure a connection with readers. Obviously, as more social media platforms have come into existence, that suggestion was already losing its luster. It’s difficult enough to build a solid presence on one platform. To try to do so on multiple platforms seems counterproductive.
Even so, undoubtedly some journalists had invested a lot of time and energy into Google+. Now they are going to have to go back to the drawing board. My suggestion: focus on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
I too used to have a Google+ profile . . . well, I suppose I technically still do, but I ultimately gave up on it this summer. I was getting no return on even my meager investment in the platform. I deleted the app from my phone, which meant it was truly dead to me.
So this time it was Google+, but it could be something else next time. The important thing is to keep an eye on what’s going on. Even something as seemingly inconsequential as the killing of a platform could have ramifications in the media world. Always be paying attention and re-evaluating your strategies to account for changes.