Google Plus: Going…going…gone?

DBradley Horowitzear Google+,

I’m just not that into you.

Kind Regards,


Recently, Google announced that the social media platform previously known as Google+ was kinda sorta getting dropped, ignored, put out to pasture or maybe just not emphasized so much any more. The company said it was putting Bradley Horowitz in charge of “Google’s Photos and Streams” products, and this seemed to be essentially cannibalizing Google+.

Horowitz is a Google VP who has been one of the main architects of Google+. He made the announcement, ironically, on his Google+ page. It’s unclear what this will mean – if anything – for your Google+ business pages.

Stream and photos

What it does mean is that Google is going to start handling photos and “the stream” (posts, news, updates) separately from the generic Google+. Imagine if Facebook started treating its news feed and photo albums differently than the rest of the platform.

As many of you know, establishing your small business Google+ presence has been viewed as important. A business page on the Google+ platform has been a ticket to getting your local business properly listed on Google maps and in directories or citations. Frankly, I think Google+ will maintain business pages. After all, it recently announced a major project that creates city and town pages that have at their heart, the local businesses located there.

What about Hangouts?

No one from Google has yet directly addressed the fate of Google Hangouts. It looks like another internal group has been put in charge of the Hangouts, so they shouldn’t disappear. They may merely “disconnect” from Google+ exclusivity.

Some observers believe that Google+ will cease being the “product” that Google promotes and evolve into just a platform upon which other products are launched, live and are marketed.

The importance of diversification

No matter how all of this ends up a year or more from now, there is one important lesson that small businesses should learn from this wrangling:

Don’t allow your social media marketing to depend on one platform.

Any of the social media platforms can change policies at a moment’s notice and upend your social media marketing strategy. Have at least two social media outlets in your program that you really work at everyday and perhaps a third that you emphasize less, but could ramp up if conditions change.

Most of us see these as free marketing channels and whenever something is free, it can go away at any time.

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