Having an effective strategy for doing just about anything is probably one of the most important parts of succeeding. Sure, sometimes you get lucky, but the best strategy usually wins out in the end. At least for a little while, anyway. Some could say that Apple has a great strategy, while others would argue that people are just crazy, and their strategy is to cater to the crazies. Or sheep, whatever words you want to use.

And some would say that Google has a pretty good strategy, too. Releasing Android like a flood and letting manufacturers create their own version to cater to their needs? Good deal. It’s obviously working, too, as Android is posting up some pretty impressive numbers, with over 1 million activations every day. That’s impressive no matter how you look at it, and it would be a safe bet that their strategy is a good one.

But, there’s a pretty distinct variation between the strategy that Google possesses, and those of other companies.

It isn’t so much in the way that Google does business, so to speak. It’s more about the end user, and the way that Google interacts with them. During the Mountain View-based company’s keynote on Wednesday, kicking off this year’s I/O conference in California, I saw on Twitter as people started pointing out that Google’s excitement over Google+ was a bit off-kilter. Sure, it’s great that Google+ has a lot of users, but some of those people were quick to suggest that the fact that Google forces Android users to set up Google+ accounts makes those numbers a bit inflated.

To be honest, it doesn’t actually do that. Google is absolutely correct in tallying those numbers, because the simple truth is that those people who are forced to sign up for Google+ are still signed up for Google+. The way it happens, whether users are doing it on their own or involuntarily slaved into the social networking tool is irrelevant. It’s irrelevant to Google, that is.

But it isn’t irrelevant to us, the end user. We notice these things. Back when Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich was breaking ground with the Galaxy Nexus, one of the things pointed out most often was the set-up screen the first time you turned on the phone, and the fact that Google+ was now part of the process. You’re signed up because you’re using a Google product, and that’s the end of the story. Google is viewed as shoving the service down your throat because they feel like you’ll like it, whether you plan on using it or not.

They actually did it again earlier this week, right after Android 4.1 Jelly Bean was unveiled, but with Google+ Hangouts. The company announced a new feature, called Events, and showcased how easy it is to invite people to new events. Well, that turned into a whole situation, as people were getting spammed almost immediately after the feature went live, with their timelines filled to the brim with invites to fake things, fake websites trying to sell you something, or just random events altogether. Again, Google’s system was released like a flood, and it forced itself down upon the end users, whether we liked it or not.

I actually didn’t turn on Google+ today for that exact reason. The moment that I saw my Twitter feed blow up with all the outrage over getting random invites to events that are obviously fake, I didn’t have any interest in turning on Google+. I still don’t. I have no reason to think it’s fixed, because I don’t think Google minds that it’s happening. They want you to use the new events feature, and that’s exactly what is happening.

You’ll get used to it, right?

Wil Wheaton actually put it best, I think, on his own Google+ page:

It's too bad that I'll never use it, because Google has, yet again, made a product that may be useful and cool, but forced it upon users without giving users any control over how invasive it is.

Is Google doing it wrong, no matter how great their strategy seems? It looks like they aren’t learning from past mistakes, like Buzz, and they’re just doing it all over again. They want us to use their features, but they don’t actually ask the end user if they want to use the features. They make us use them, and then maybe eventually change some things around so we can opt out of using it at a later date.

I want that option right now. I’m scared to open Google+ because of this, and I think Google+ has the best smartphone mobile app for a social networking site out of all them (Path is a close second, for the record). But I won’t open it up until I know this events situation is capped, or at least muted in some way or another. And no, I don’t want to do the muting.

What do you think of Google’s forceful strategy? Yes other companies have their own way of forcing things for you to use, but I can’t think of anything off the top of my head that is this extreme (or has been as extreme as Buzz). If you can think of something, let’s compare and discuss. Let me know what you think.

Also, is it fixed yet? Is it safe to open up Google+ yet?


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"Can Google beat Facebook?"

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Hank S. Christy No, they got in the game to late.
Mathew Duhamel i love google + i wish there were more people
Tyler Kirchman I hope they can I hate Facebook and there app
KoDy Designed ByCrime It already has what a stupid question lol The only time I use Facebook is to comment on here can you guys please use a system that allows me to comment through Google+ then I can get rid of it completely. Facebook has become an afterthought for most people and Google+ is constantly j packed with activity its not even a fair comparison anymore Google has slowly unleaded a monster upon the world and Facebook sat and watched as their demise became eminent with every update Google draws closer to perfection while in comparison with every update Facebook provides it just pisses off more of its ever decreasing userbase and now regretful invester. Its over and the sooner people begin to come to yes with that the better
Brian Kunz Its kinda funny that I'd answer this on Facebook.
Macoi Ojeda Moralina Jr. it can compete with facebook but it cannot replace it. simply it is facebook already makes its name and you can tell that everybody's using it. it might took a year for google to catch up. But as of now. The complete package is at the facebook.
Muhamed Mansur Already did that
Ronny Laukvik It can, but not very likely. Facebook has grown too big, and why would people switch?
Joel Diaz I'm not sure. At least not any time soon. I tried it but its just still too empty. It leaves me depressed even. So I still stick with FB until everyone else makes the switch. Call me a sheep. It's all good :)
Kenneth Yaw Agyeman-Badu We still don't have this app on Windows Phone....hmmm
Jerry Stephens I wish somebody would. Facebook has just turned into a big piece of bloat ware. The problem is that's where all the people are. Doesn't matter how good a competitor is until people move to it.
Edgar Lozano I don't think you can compare Facebook with Google+ they are two different types of social networks. Facebook connects you with the friends you already have even if you have NOTHING IN COMMON WITH THEM, while Google+ connects you with your friends PLUS other people that you do have things in common with. That's why some people find it more formal. Personally i like Google+ more because i have more interesting conversations there than with my actual friends on Facebook.
William Smith no its like apple people dont even want ro try it because all there friends r on facebook!
Chris Ransom Yes as Facebook starts to die slowly with the auto trolling of pictures
Vicente Reyes Also Google plus is way faster. And in hangouts you can video chat with up to 10 of your friend and message with alot more I believe
Vicente Reyes And its the best look for Google. Not too formal. Facebook fails on looks.
Vicente Reyes I love Google plus. Don't hate if you haven't used the full potential of Google plus. Learn how to use it and it might replace facebook right away.
Ddon Washington If more of everyday people were on there & tried it, then yes. I am in a lot of circles, & I update every blue moon, & typically nobody's really on there except tech geeks & what not. Which is cool, but there's really not that much variety to me, & that's the issue. It's really a narrow type of target user using Google +
Chris Payne I considered them beat several months ago. Many people are just slow to catch on and realize it.
George Rukhaia No, not now but after some time it definitely will :) 'cause it's awesome :)
Mobi Techie Gonzalez The User interface definitely needs a'lot of work!.. It looks way too professional..what I'm trying to say is... It looks too proper or formal! In my opinion they need to make it more attractive to your everyday family user, your everyday teen, your mom & dad & at work friendly look as well! MySpace is for kids it was a lot of fun at first but then here came FACEBOOK bulls eye! Well I should say... It was phenomenal before they added all the stupid updates! but that's just my opinion and opinions are like assholes everybody has one!
Jamie Bethell Don't be silly lol
Jacob Grumbles If more people would try it would beat out Facebook just for the simple fact that Google+ is stable and fast .
Brandon Le It just came at a time when consumer demand for social media has been met with Facebook and Twitter. When that demand gets higher, more people would probably use Google's platform, and the only way the demand will get higher, is if Facebook goes to the path of MySpace or we find some need for another social platform. As of now, though, most don't see the need to have yet another social profile, nor the capacity to stop everything they have done on Facebook to switch to Google+.
Jeff Cross What is this Google + thing??
Vincent Jean I can see it. but not now. Myspace was taken down why not Facebook
Anonymous The problem with fb and google plus is too much info. No simplicity. Google+ and fb will bore people in another 5yrs. Instagram and the like are perfect
Marti Ruiz the reason i stickwith facebook is cuz my grandma
Marti Ruiz like it
Jonathan Bernath As much as I want to see it. Don't think anytime soon
Justin Harsch Even Google+ doesn't consider itself a social network. http://mashable.com/2012/06/29/google-plus-problem/
Wiam Wee it came out to early, and the user interface needs work
Ahmad Salem Sure, But Not Now
Shin Wolf EFFING NO!
Bernie Fen possible but highly unlikely...

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