Jack Schofield charts the background to Google+'s failure to
make it into the social networking Premier League and looks
at how things might go in the future. He
G+ started out as a slow, bloated website, it attempted to gain users by compulsion — locking G+ to YouTube comments, Gmail and other Google properties — and it tried to enforce the use of real names...
All of these were unpopular with many users...
The clincher is in his conclusion:
G+ might have done better if it hadn't been delusional about replacing Facebook, and aimed at providing something that users -- rather than Google — actually needed.
There are useful things in Google+. Google Hangouts are OK even though I've struggled to get them working as well as FaceTime or Skype. However, there's no logical reason why Hangouts should be part of Google+ and not a stand-alone app or, possibly, integrated into Gmail.