With the departure of Google+ architect Vic Gundotra a large number of news sites are questioning the continuation of Google’s social network Google has been struggling with their social networks for quite some time now. Think of Buzz and Google Wave. Is Google+ the next in line of killed social platforms, or is it mature enough to grow without the need for this extra special care?
The common denominator in the news seems to be a lack of understanding of the role of social in the Cross Channel landscape and the lack of real experience on the platform by the journalists and thus have a different view of what is actually happening there. The usage of the platform is not in the top 3 right now, but the platform is in its juvenile stage. It’s still growing.
What’s more important is to see that a social network as such is not a channel like a video-site or a search engine. These are content centric bricks you can build upon. Social is about people. Google understands this and is integrating G+ in its own products. There are also a growing number of sites that use Facebook and Twitter to bind stuff together that start using G+.
Social is not a brick; it’s the mortar. It’s what binds different channels together. You can build on only bricks but it will be stronger with some mortar.
Google+ isn’t dead; it is technically full-grown, but still immature in adoption.
Leaves us with the question of what to do if you only have mortar? Is social alone enough to survive? What do you think?