July 28, 2015

As I point out in my Powershift Marketing book, if you are one of the first companies in a business category, you can build up such a strong lead position, that new competitors have a tough time entering the market. Google+ has just learned that marketing lesson.

Launched four years ago, Google+ wanted to become a major competitor to Facebook, Twitter, and other established social networks. In late 2013 Google+ said they had 300 million monthly active users. Not bad, of course, Facebook had over one billion active users and now has 1.4 billion.

Google+ began to falter big time when Google decided to make it a requirement that you have a Google+ account and profile to log into most Google services, including YouTube. (Marketing Lesson: don’t try to tell your customers how to behave!). So, now it is over.

Brad Horowitz, head of Google+, announced Monday that users will no longer need a Google+ account to engage with others on Google products. Instead, any Google email or account will do. “In the coming months, a Google Account will be all you’ll need to share content, communicate with contacts, create a YouTube channel and more, all across Google,” the company said. Smart move, just about five years too late.

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