Larry Page's identity crisis: the dead weight of Google+ | ZDNet UK "At the start of this year I wrote a piece entitled "Why Google+ is here to stay, like it or not". Well, it turned out people don't like it, and that's a big problem for Google and its leader. I maintain the central thesis of that article, which was that Google+ is far too integral to Larry Page's Google to be cast aside like previous social failures Buzz and Wave. But what was a suspicion then is now quite clear - Google+ just isn't gaining traction. Failure The dead giveaway was the TV ad campaign that kicked off in recent weeks. When I first saw it, my immediate thought was: "You don't see Facebook needing to advertise." The ad shows off Google+'s finest features, such as circles and hangouts, but it wouldn't need to exist if those features were enough to entice the general public. It's not like Google+ didn't have a torrent of publicity when it launched. Its early invitation-only stage and the consequent hype ensured blow-by-blow coverage in the general as well as tech-focused media. It had a solid start. Social endeavours either go viral or they don't. We'd know by now. Not that we actually do know how many people actively use Google+. Somewhat ominously, Google's claim of 50 million daily active users and 100 million monthly active users is based on a rather odd definition of an active user: anyone who signs into Google services that are 'optimised' for Google+. In other words, anyone who signs into Gmail, YouTube or pretty much any Google service, since Page decided that Google+ had to be "baked" into the lot. The real tally for people who seek to be social in Google+ on a daily basis has to be significantly lower than 50 million. In my own experience, I only visit Google+ once a week or so, and I don't find much going on. Posts get shared a bit, there's the occasional post that ignites a discussion among the hardcore, but beyond that? The real eye-opener for me was posting, "Is Facebook turning into AOL? Discuss", and receiving not one comment from my hundreds of followers, all of whom are tech people. That question, on Google+. I mean, come on."