Did you think that Google+ was one of the hottest, fastest-growing phenomena on the Internet? Well, that was so last September. Just five months after Google launched its social media challenge to Facebook, signing up about 40 million users in record time, Farhad Manjoo of Slate is declaring Google+ to be in its death throes. "The search behemoth might not realize it yet, but its chance to compete with Facebook has come and gone," writes Manjoo. Google+ created a terrible first impression, particularly by flubbing brand pages, and "in the social-networking business, a bad first impression spells death."
The biggest problems with Google+ are that it's boring, stodgy, and there's nothing to truly distinguish it from Facebook. Even Google's top executives barely use the service. Unlike software, which you can fix as you go along, social media requires critical mass, and without that, Google+ has already "started to die—it will hang on for a year, maybe two, but at some point Google will have to put it out of its misery." Want a counterpoint? Nick Bilton at the New York Times thinks Google+ is never going away. "Proclaiming that Google+ won’t survive is like saying that the Apple mobile iOS operating system will die, but the iPhone and iPad will live on. They are one and the same, just as Google and Google+ will be."