Google+ is not Buzz or Wave reprised

By Razib Khan | July 16, 2011 11:30 am

Over the past few weeks I’ve seen several media stories profiling the rise of Google+ by noting that hoopla also greeted Google Wave and Google Buzz before their expiration as “It” technologies. This caveat was probably more true for Google Wave, which heralded the revolution which no one seemed anxious for (“what if we designed email now?!?!?!”). Buzz was a public relations disaster from its inception. When I first posted on Google+ I asserted that it was not in the same category as Wave or Buzz, and that was in a good way. By that, I meant that taking Google+ for a test drive I thought I’d stick around for at least a bit. I didn’t get that sense with Wave, and proactively shut down Buzz in my Gmail account. But that’s an N of 1, me. Over the past few weeks though friends have been joining Google+, and real conversations have been starting. I’ve consciously avoided adding anyone to my Google+ circle proactively, rather I have been reciprocally adding them. I’m at 300+ now. Right now the people in my circles are much closer in profile to my twitter account than my Facebook. That’s probably not typical, as I am a quasi-public individual (looking at who I share in common with those I’m adding to my circles it seems that some of my journalist friends and acquaintances are replicating their twitter followings as well, and that’s how people are finding me).

In any case, I have some non-anecdotal data that Google+ is not replicating the paths of Wave of Buzz. Google Trends. It’s early yet, so I don’t think that Google+ has “peaked” in terms of news or search by any means (if it’s successful), but it’s already surpassed the other two offerings:

(recall that Buzz’s spike in news volume had a lot to do with its huge privacy failures, so it wasn’t good news)


Comments (6)

  1. jemand

    I actually am afraid it is gong to be much more similar to twitter than facebook, which makes me afraid because I don’t particularly LIKE facebook and would like to be able to appreciate google+.

    However, that’s personal, twitter itself has been a tremendous success, so I wouldn’t be surprised if google+ is as well. Plus, it may be easier to steal some momentum from twitter since it is the first of it’s kind, whereas facebook has already won the battle with several other social networks, like myspace or livejournal.

    So those are my thoughts, I’m not very enthused with the service, but I think that’s because I don’t really like twitter.

  2. “afraid it is gong to be much more similar to twitter than facebook”

    You’re still thinking about it much too one-dimensionally, as is the poster of this article. It’s both of those ( if you want it to be ) and much more, on a per-post basis. It covers the entire spectrum from Email/IM to Tweets to Facebook to Blogging to Bookmarks to Skype to collaborations to…. everything that you’d think of as “This is a social site”.

    THAT is the significance of Google+ as a social service. Not how it compares to FB / Twitter on a one-to-one basis.

    Let me repeat the important bit. It encompasses the entire current spectrum of different services, on a PER POST BASIS.

  3. I agree with everything you have mentioned Razib but I’m wondering if social media might go the way of blogging (albeit on a huger scale?) as in it might peak very soon and then after the peak grow consistently but without the hype.

    Linkedin registers losses:

    Personally I like the circle functionality of G+ but have just been overwhelmed by it, I can barely use it because then I’m talking to the same people (in some case over 4 different mediums!)

    Just my two cents and a half.

  4. Colin

    I think that the difference with Google+, as has already been noted, is that you can have it be both Twitter-like, with public posts galore, and Facebook-like with the private share among certain circles of friends. It allows you more share from one location. Add to that, someone is soon going to make an app to repost your short Google+ posts to Twitter, and probably add a ‘share to Facebook’ as one of the posting options. Google will also probably try to leverage this one-stop medium to try to regain some market share for Blogger from WordPress and the various other blogging platforms.

    That said, and being one of the 300+ who added you to a circle, if it turns into the new “relatively’ content free Twitter I’ll probably drop it. I’m still trying to figure out if it’ll be my Facebook replacement.

  5. miko

    Hey Razib, I’m looking for a G+ invite if you have any…

  6. Clark

    The big problem is, as I mentioned, that if you pay Google to use their services via Google Apps, then you inexplicably can’t use Google+. If I had an invite I’d probably just setup a different account. But then I’ll be logging in and logging out non-step. It’s kind of ridiculous how Google treats its business clients.


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About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at


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