Never took off? I thought it had hundreds of millions of users. In what world is that not taking off?
Where people actually *use* it.
Wait, so because people actually use it, it's not taking off?
Sure, it has millions of users, precisely because google tied it to it's various services.
If I recall, it had 700 million users before Google started tying it to all sorts of services. Though I agree Google does a good job at muddling the real numbers.
But do people actually post on it?
Absolutely. A lot. Every single day. Google+ has become more important than my mailreader.
Do people actually open it and use it to keep in touch with friends and family?
What? Fuck no. I use it to come into contact with complete strangers who share my interests and passions. I keep in touch with friends and family by visiting them.
No, and by your own admission, they couldn't because it gets "pretty heavy" when you keep it open.
Kill the tab and reopen it. It's not that hard. It's just that when chrome starts to seize up, I start to hunt through my tabs to kill any old Google+ tabs I still have open. It loads so much content that it can't possibly be lightweight (though I admit I've never actually measured it).
Fanboy's aside, g+ isn't used
That's the popular talking point by the media and people who don't use it. Seriously, with all the many times that Google+ has been declared dead or a ghost town, you'd almost think somebody is paying to generate bad press.
The reality is that tons of people use it very actively every single day.
and at least part of that blame has to be on the interface.
Perhaps. But then how do you explain the success of Facebook? That interface is far worse.