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The IUP Journal of Information Technology
Google +: Google’s Ultimate Attempt at Social Networking?
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The case is organized into different sections. The first section is about the background and history of Google and the introduction of Google +. The next section is about the social networking market and the top players in it, followed by google’s previous attempts at social networking. It then talks about the various features of Google +, the initial response to it, and the response by the competitors. The case focuses on understanding the growing importance of social networking websites for the advertisers as well as their growing popularity among people over the world using the story of google—the search engine and Internet giant as a struggling player in the social networking arena, trying to compete against established players like Facebook and Twitter. The case also highlights the previous unsuccessful attempts by Google with its ‘buzz’ and ‘wave’, to understand why they did not do well. The questions that this case puts forward are whether Google has a real chance of succeeding this time with its Google + and whether it had finally got its attempt right. This case is designed for MBA level students, and is intended to be a part of the IT and systems/ services marketing curriculum.

 
 

On June 28, 2011, Google, Inc. (Google) launched a new social networking website called Google +. There were rumors already doing the rounds that google was planning to launch another social networking website after the failure of its wave and buzz sites, to take on the many existing, established players in the field of social networking mainly, Facebook2, LinkedIn3 and Twitter4.

The team behind Google + looked to learn from their previous mistakes and to address some of the issues that people faced with the other social websites. Privacy was one major issue that had plagued websites like Facebook and Google itself. Google + thus included some innovative features that users had been looking for. One of the most useful features, which was also a central, important part of Google + was circles. Circles allowed users to control exactly what they shared with whom. Besides this, it also included useful features which rivaled those of the competitors.

 
 

Information Technology Journal, Google +, Social networking, MBA students