Why Google+ is like FarmVille: Will it take off with younger users?

Why Google+ is like FarmVille: Will it take off with younger users?

Summary: Maybe I picked a bad day to immerse myself in Google+, but Google is once again punching above its weight by launching (yet another) social network.

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I have heard absolutely zero from my friends, student colleagues and my Generation Y counterparts about Google+.

There are three things that the vast majority of Generation Y users of Google's services use.

The first is obviously search, and other search related features like Google Scholar; the saviour of students everywhere. The second is mail for which Gmail, along with Google Apps provides a relatively robust platform for free email. The third, and often overlooked, is an account for accessing other services like Google's inclusive products and other sites around the web.

Google+ is the new social network aimed at seemingly younger people -- based on the "hip and happening" goings on of lustrously blonde figureheads and notions of places to "hangout" to draw us in.

Or is it "Google Plus"? I'm not even sure how to write it. At least it hasn't fallen within the faux pas parameters of technological mishaps by having an ambiguously sounding name -- like Cuil (pronounced "Cool") or even Office 365 (pronounced "Office three-sixty-five").

The problem is, with Facebook having over 750 million users, who needs another social network?

The prospect of having to set up a new social network with new friends -- or old friends with a new Google account, and transferring all of my photos, events, calendars, and the rest of it -- is daunting enough as it is.

But Google seemed to forget the intrinsic problem with social networks. You need people using it for it to be "social". At the moment, I only have a few colleagues, no way of inviting my friends, and a social network without friends is pretty anti-social.

It's FarmVille all over again. Google+ is like FarmVille.

I can see the advantages of schools, colleges and universities who all have Gmail access through their Google Apps for Education service, to connect with other users in a pseudo-college union bar or a virtual fraternity house on Google+.

But the language used in describing some of the features remains mostly ambiguous. I have no idea what "Sparks" is, or how "Circles" will somehow make my life easier. Frankly, I don't have the time, the energy or the inclination to learn.

This major factor for prospective Google+ users of the Generation Y is that you have to learn to use yet another service. It doesn't come naturally, as many are still getting used to the new layout and redesign of Google's other sites -- which for the record, has a strangely Bing feel to it.

Maybe Google+ caught me on a bad day. But one thing is for sure; I will try it out over the weekend and see how it plays out.

But with Facebook's looming announcement, set to have each and every one of its users collapsing and fainting in awe at the thought of "a brand new feature" -- or whatever it is -- Google may have picked a duff week to launch its own competing social network.

Who knows? This could be the best thing sliced bread. It just takes some adjustment from the Stockholm syndrome that Facebook dishes out, to overcome the on-going post-traumatic stress of a new social captor.

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Topics: Collaboration, Google, Networking, Social Enterprise

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16 comments
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  • RE: Why Google is like FarmVille: Will it take off with younger users?

    Nope, it won't take off with younger viewers because, as of now, they are restricting the service to 18+. I tried using an invite yesterday and it said I had to be "over a certain age" to use "this feature." I'm 16.
    A Hylian Human
    • RE: Why Google is like FarmVille: Will it take off with younger users?

      @A Hylian Human - Well there you have it. :0)
      Rich Harris
      • And, there is nothing specifically 'cool' for young audience in Google's ..

        @Rich Harris: ... name, it is not what they hear or live about. They must have GMail, but this is not what considered 'hip' to make an effect of Google+ use by youth even if people of these age would be allowed to join.
        DDERSSS
  • RE: Why Google is like FarmVille: Will it take off with younger users?

    I'm 25, and don't plan on using it. Managing a Facebook and Twitter is enough for me. <br><br>I have better things to be doing than fretting over which social service I should be using. I'm also expecting Google to pull some shady things in order to "catch" up to Facebook, which as a user, I don't want to get caught in the middle of. <br><br>Honestly, I just don't see +1 lasting very long. What the Hell is it going to do? People already have a Tumblr, YouTube, Facebook, and others.

    This isn't FarmVille, this is Apple's Ping.
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
  • RE: Why Google is like FarmVille: Will it take off with younger users?

    I would acctualy be glad if this didnt "take off with younger users," mostly because theyr the reason I now avoid facebook.
    JerryGPena
    • RE: Why Google is like FarmVille: Will it take off with younger users?

      @JerryGPena Ditto. I don't want to use some trendy crap - I want something that actually works :D Unlike Facebook's security features...
      Imrhien
    • RE: Why Google is like FarmVille: Will it take off with younger users?

      @JerryGPena

      I feel you, is one of the reasons I don't like FB.
      czorrilla
    • RE: Why Google is like FarmVille: Will it take off with younger users?

      @JerryGPena

      I agree. It would be nice to have a service that isn't overrun by younger users.

      They already have plenty to play around with, and besides as Google's main aim (in my opinion) is to attract advertisers having millions of folk on board who aren't old enough to have a credit card probably isn't interesting for them.

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      lizziel
  • RE: Why Google is like FarmVille: Will it take off with younger users?

    I've never liked Facebook, and Circles is something that does interest me, so I will probably be one of the users of Google Plus. Even though I detest Google.
    rgcustomer@...
  • RE: Why Google is like FarmVille: Will it take off with younger users?

    Zack sounds like an old man on this one, while I, a lot older than him think that I won't mind switching to Google+.

    Testing it and so far so good.
    czorrilla
  • RE: Why Google is like FarmVille: Will it take off with younger users?

    I think there is starting to be backlash against facebook and any competitor is welcome. Twitter, Tumblr, etc. are related, but not clear substitutes for facebook. Google+ will be a real competitor and I, for one, am campaigning for them like crazy.
    revived
  • RE: Why Google is like FarmVille: Will it take off with younger users?

    What this blog doesn't mention is how much control Google is exacting over the internet you and I use every day. They have control over mail services, video, etc. This is clearly the next step in their plan. Google Dashboard lets each user control the content they provide as well as receive in each of these services. It's silly to say that Google+ is anything like Farmville, and it's already received so much hype and momentum in the media from it's invite-only status during it's first few weeks: Google+ is quickly becoming the new standard. People don't want to juggle multiple services, they want to own each service under a single platform, and that is what Google+ provides. This isn't kid's stuff, it's what's next.
    kriechers
  • RE: Why Google is like FarmVille: Will it take off with younger users?

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    they use to run their business. <a href="http://www.demetgelinlik.com">trendyol</a>Of course web applications are obviously SaaS. But <a href="http://www.demetgelinlik.com">markafoni</a>where does one draw the line between those applications and the servers that host them? For example, take an insurance company running open <a href="http://www.demetgelinlik.com">moda trend</a>source on their back end servers. At some point they decide to put a customer facing front end on those servers so that customers can access their accounts over the Net. Does that suddenly make that whole kaboodle Saas? If so, I am not sure I am comfortable with AGPL. In fact, I am not sure I am comfortable with this concept anyway since it undercuts one of the few provisions that make GPL software highly attractive to businesses that are not engaged in reselling the software itself. It really compromises the spirit of the GPL in some ways.
    seocu
  • RE: Why Google is like FarmVille: Will it take off with younger users?

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  • RE: Why Google is like FarmVille: Will it take off with younger users?

    I signed up with Google Plus but the problem was only less than 10 of my <a href="http://www.bestfriendquotes.ca">best friend quotes</a> friends has Google Plus. So I ended up not using it. Google Plus is just new and I think a lot of people doesn't want to change at this time. Google Plus is good but It will really take time for this to get as many users as Facebook has now. And I hope Google Plus will not <a href="http://www.slip-and-fall.ca
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    beatrs
  • RE: Why Google is like FarmVille: Will it take off with younger users?

    I signed up with Google Plus but the problem was only less than 10 of my <a href="http://www.bestfriendquotes.ca">best friend quotes</a> friends has Google Plus. So I ended up not using it. Google Plus is just new and I think a lot of people doesn't want to change at this time. Google Plus is good but It will really take time for this to get as many users as Facebook has now. And I hope Google Plus will not <a href="http://www.slip-and-fall.ca">slip and fall</a> and have a <a href="http://www.similar.ca">similar</a> fate with Buzz and Orkutz. Google plus has potential , it should be given a chance.
    beatrs