I was right in the middle of writing a blog entry on how the well-documented trust problems of the Facebook brand have left a gaping strategic hole that could have allowed Google+ to topple the social media giant. But then Google+ messed up in a big way. They no longer can claim trustworthiness and may have just torpedoed their chances in the marketplace.
Saturday Google+ began a purge of user accounts. The move was unannounced and massive. Even famous people like Arianna Huffington got purged. To make matters worse, a few folks with connections—like Arianna—were able to get their accounts restored. But most people were advised to get advice from forums or apply for a review—essentially Google+ was telling them “tough luck.”
ZDNet summed up Google+’s brand implosion: “Google+ remained silent, and combined with contradictory actions over the weekend it’s now a trust trainwreck, a growing PR shadow and a textbook-case community management nightmare.
The brand math is simple:
No communication + Disdain for customers + Random and contradictory actions and policies =
No brand trust = No reason to dump Facebook for Google+
GooglePlus could quickly become GoogleMinus if the brand continues to operate this way.
UPDATE: A month later, Google+ is still torturing customers. Read this horror story.