It seems that only a few months ago, the digital universe was filled with a cacophony of virtual shrieks, as digital geeks (myself included) announced that they had received their prestigious Google Wave invites. Come January 2010 however, and it seems that the fanfare surrounding ‘the Wave’ has declined almost as quickly as a certain golfer’s career.
Let’s not beat around the bush – Google’s social media venture, so far, has failed.
Google has previously built its incredible success on creating unrivalled solutions to people’s needs: search, analytics, online advertising. What the company didn’t bargain for with Google Wave however, is the fact that people’s social media needs are already extremely well-met by the plethora of platforms currently out there.
Sure, Wave is a nice concept – a real-time communications platform that ties up emails, instant messaging, file sharing, collaborative working and networking. But many of these needs are already provided for through other channels such as Skype, LinkedIn and, contrary to early doubters, Twitter.
Another problem faced by Google Wave is that social media is by its inherent name, social. We may have enjoyed a feeling of superiority and prestige upon receipt of that longed-for Wave invite; however this soon dissipated upon realisation that we arrived in a vast empty chasm with no-one to talk to!
Don’t get me wrong – it’s still early days for Google Wave, and the company no doubt has a wealth of further digital talent it can throw at the platform, but will they have an audience left to market to? Social media is only just beginning, but if Google is to have its slice of the market, its time would be better spent focusing on needs that aren’t currently met yet.
Am I alone in this sentiment? Can anyone dismiss this argument and champion Google Wave?