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Last week, one blogger published an interesting analysis of Google management's use of their company's new social network, Google+.

The result: "only 3 of the 12 people listed on the Google Management Team page have ever made a single public post on Google+, totaling just 29 posts ever and only 6 in September".

When including SVPs, the results aren't any better: "of the 18 most senior people charged with overseeing Google, 11 have either not joined or have never made a single public post, and 5 have barely used it at all".

When Google+ launched in invite-only mode, it captured the attention of techies and first adopters. 'Is this a viable contender to Facebook?', many of them wondered.

There was some good news for Facebook: unlike its past social networking efforts, the early response to Google+ was largely positive. You can't thrive in invite-only mode forever, however, and when Google+ launched publicly, the search behemoth saw a massive jump in traffic.

But things are looking a lot less rosy for Google+ today, at least if you buy the headline from the Daily Mail, "Traffic plunges for Google+ as 60% of users log off".

Numerous observers were quick to point out that the 60% drop seen by analytics firm Chitika is based on the spike in traffic Google+ saw on September 20 when the registration floodgates opened.

So yes, Google+ traffic is down from its public launch peak, but it's still way to the tune of 480%. Whether Google can keep traffic rising at such a clip over the long term, of course, remains to be seen.

The nearly five-fold rise in traffic in less than a month means that Google+ can't be labeled a failure, but Google management's apparent lack of interest in using the company's own social network raises the question, will Google+'s fate be "As above, so below?"

Say what you want about CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who isn't the most likable founder in tech. He is an active user of the product his company operates and when you watch him talk about it, you get the sense that he lives and breathes Facebook.

Despite all of the company's missteps, Facebook has managed to grow and prosper. The fact that the people at the top, particularly Zuckerberg, 'care', means a lot, even if they sometimes make horrible decisions.

Google+'s fate has yet to be decided, but one thing is for sure: if the people who are in charge of it and who stand to benefit the most from its success don't start caring more, and in a publicly visible way, the consumers who are using it will probably be less inclined to care over time as well.

Patricio Robles

Published 11 October, 2011 by Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles is a tech reporter at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

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Comments (1)

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Thomas Harrison

This is an interesting point and it may be a bit embarrassing for Google but I do not think that this should be held against Google.

over 3 years ago

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