Is Google Trying Too Hard with Google+?

In 2013, we had our eye on Google+ as one of the up and coming social media platforms to emerge in 2014.

As it stands, Google+ certainly seems like a force to be reckoned with, but not exactly in the way we had predicted. To put it simply, Google+ is steadily gaining momentum, but in a way that might actually turn away users. Here’s why:

Recently, Google made some changes to its services that would allow any Google+ user to send emails to your Gmail account, even if they don’t know your email address; the email would only be revealed if the recipient responded back to the sender. Still, the response from Gmail users wasn’t exactly positive. Many found it to be an invasion of privacy and found it even more irritating that the change ran on an “opt-out” model rather than an “opt-in” one, which meant users would have to go into their settings in order to stop the changes to their email.

This, of course, was only the most recent attempt by Google to integrate one of its services with Google+. At the tail end of 2013, Google tried to require users on YouTube (owned by Google since 2006) to sign up for a Google+ account in order to comment on videos. Users were outraged by the change, including YouTube co-founder, Jawed Karim, who had more than a few choice words to say.

We can’t say we entirely blame Google for wanting to pique people’s interest for Google+. The social media platform did, after all, get off to a slow start with a two and a half year lull. Still, Google’s idea of requiring people to join their social media platform in order to use their other services seems a bit forced, if not extreme, especially considering Google’s past tactics that usually got people interested in their services because of how exclusive they seemed (i.e. Gmail’s invite-only model).

As Mashable contributor Chris Taylor puts it, “The parties we want to join, it turns out, are the ones that might be just a little too cool and exclusive for us. And right now, that’s certainly not Google+.”

If nothing else, this serves as a reminder that not every recruiting tool or social media platform is as cool, or performs as well as it seems. You always have to take step back and make sure they’re working correctly; otherwise, when things finally do go south, you’ll be out of luck.

What are your thoughts on Google+? Did you have high hopes for the social media platform? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter. We’d love to hear from you.