When Google+ was launched it was an exact facsimile of the Diaspora* social network. It was an elegant light weight product that played well on mobile from day one. Log in was easy since most people have a Gmail and/or YouTube account. The interest based and theme based circles opened up for new connections and friends around the world without x degrees of seperation to Kevin Bacon and the need for previous friendships. And Google Hangouts is a killer app. Still, it does not have the traction that Facebook and Twitter have.
It could easily, though. Since Google already own another massive social property, YouTube, that is already slowly being integrated into Google+, they could make a clean play. Dump the Google+ brand with its geeky URLs and make youtube.com the alternative to facebook.com and twitter.com. Not everybody is on Facebook or Twitter, but everybody is on YouTube. They could actually compete with Facebook and take over the number one spot in social.
Here is how Google could kill Facebook. Dump the Google+ brand and go all out YouTube. Make ad free subscription models optional. Partner with Twitter and WordPress for smooth embedding and cross sharing.
Personally, I don’t want to have my Google+ and YouTube streams on two different destinations. I want them on one screen with my personal subscriptions in the left column and my social feeds in the right column. Cross commenting would also be much more logical as opposed to now where it is a mess. The branding of YouTube would also be less Google pushy and if they would offer a $30 payed version without advertising, smart omnisearch and Creative Commons functionality for original content we have a winner.
See you on youtube.com listening to Julians Moon together.