Google+ Embraces the White Space

If you’ve been over to Google+ recently… oh, who am I kidding – neither have I! Jokes about lagging user numbers aside, the Google powered social network has had a bit of a makeover recently. Much to the delight of web design trolls, and those individuals eager to jump aboard a trending hashtag.

The new design is incredibly pretty, if such a word can ever apply to web design. The problem users are complaining about is an abundance of white space between the news feed and the chat function. They’re so bowled over by this glaring white space that the hashtags #whitespace and #useforwhitespace have been trending all day. It has sparked a rather amusing spout of suggestions for what to do with the space, such as this:

Jokes aside, it has also given users a platform to say what they genuinely think the white space should be used for, in a constructive and enviable way; is this not what all developers dream of?

The amount of white space you see is entirely dependent on your screen, as the layout is adaptive to the screen size and your zoom level. I didn’t see a problem with the white space, as I leave my browser zoomed in to microscope levels.

But, jokes aside, Google does have plans for this white space, but they’re probably rather appreciative that this frenzy over the re-design gave them some breathing space around their current member numbers. At least people are talking about Google+.

Google has made claims that “100m of its 170m users used it in past 30 days”, this was reported by the Guardian newspaper. But how many of these users are engaging in genuine interaction? I know that I only signed up because I took a wrong turn in Gmail and wound up with a whole new social network; few of my friends, family or colleagues use the site. The only comment on my newsfeed is “It’s like Facebook, without all the people”.

A study my ComScore revealed that Google+ only managed to retain users for an average of 3 minutes in January, which is very different to the hyped up figures we’re seeing from Google.

Do you use Google+? Do you see it playing a major part in your marketing strategy over the coming months and years?