Thoughts about Google Plus

Please send any feedback or more items to me.

  1. So far, the basics of Google+ look exactly like Facebook.

    A little more eye-candy in the user interface, but otherwise identical. (The biggest difference: you can put someone in one of your Circles without getting their permission; in Facebook, they'd have to confirm you as a Friend.) But all of my friends and family are on Facebook, of course. I don't use any fancy features of FB or Google+, so I don't care about differences in video-group-chat or whatever.

  2. There is a lot of wishful thinking going on, with people hating Facebook and investing their hopes into Google+ to be amazingly better.

    It's too early to tell. [Now, a year after launch of Google+, it's clear that Google+ is not far better than Facebook.]

    Are you on Google Plus ? (video)

    And 10/2013: John Kruzel's "How to Keep Your Mug Out of Google's New Ad Scheme" and Nathaniel Mott's "Finally, the Facebook-ification of Google+ is complete"

  3. Some people love Google+ because it's so clean and uncluttered.

    But it's too early to tell [a month after launch]. Wait until you add 100-200 Friends who aren't all early adopters, and Google adds games and applications.

    From waverz on Reddit, at 1-year anniversary of Google+ launch:
    I think Google+ is now equally as bad as Facebook. The main reason I don't like Facebook is clutter. Now Google+ has sooo many features with sign-in popups and I'm constantly being bombarded from all angles (gmail, blogger, youtube etc). Check out and you'll see what a clean social network looks like.

  4. It would be easy for Facebook to put a better UI on Groups and Lists to make them easier to use, and as flashy as the Google+ interface to Circles.

    Facebook already has the underlying functionality working, but their UI needs work.

    Facebook already has added "Subscriptions", and more ways to control the visibility of your Postings, in reaction to Google+ Circles.

  5. Putting everything into Google may not be a good idea.

    I like having my email with Yahoo, searching through Google, social network in Facebook, documents on my disk instead of in the cloud, phone calls through Skype, etc. That way, no one company knows everything I'm doing. And if one account gets disabled, I'm not shut out of everything simultaneously. And it's good to have backups: GMail is my backup email, Google Plus probably will be my backup social network (sort of).

    See the "Ways to protect your privacy online" list in the Miscellaneous section of my Computers page.

    Sebastian Anthony's "Google+: Too many eggs in the Google basket"

What's next ? Bing+ ?

My reaction to article about Steve Yegge rant:
Interesting article, but I think he's missing the main point. He says "Google+ has problems because Google is trying to force it in certain directions, instead of keeping it as a neutral platform". I think "Google+ has problems because Facebook was the first to be good enough to attract normal/naive users, and unless/until Google+ comes up with something FAR better than Facebook, those users are staying on Facebook".

From 1Bad on Reddit, at 1-year anniversary of Google+ launch:
[Compared to Facebook] ... G+ is more of a self-promotion tool for people willing to invest the time. A lot of people are looking for a more personal experience from their social network. So yea the quality of g+ posts is better because the main content-creators need to post interesting things to grow their followers, but you are losing the personal nature of the network because your friends don't give a crap about maintaining their g+ on a focused topic with interesting posts. If I am looking for places to go SCUBA diving it doesn't matter that I follow Neil DeGrasse Tyson and 50 other science nerds on G+, firstly because they don't follow me back and secondly because my Facebook pool of hundreds of "friends" have experiences to share on the matter which means something to me. So I can ask on Facebook "who knows a great place to go SCUBA diving", and I get a few people with really valuable, insightful and personal experience to share with me.

TLDR: Facebook is about building a homogeneous unified network that requires little maintenance, produces a useless information stream but has high value when queried; G+ is about building separated information silos with high-maintenance, high-quality information streams but has little value when queried.

TLDR:TLDR: Facebook is like being at a party. G+ is like watching a party on network television with a celebrity host (probably Anderson Cooper).
From willcode4beer on Reddit:
> G+ is more of a self-promotion tool
> for people willing to invest the time.

This is a perfect description for social networks in general.
From TheIcelander on Reddit:
Not in my experience. Twitter especially is a place where I can keep up with friends and meet new people without much effort. On Google+ I need to seek people out and cram them into circles to get any value. Only after hours of curation do I get anywhere near the level of interaction I get on Facebook or Twitter.

Google+ is much more like Reddit than a social network.

From comment by MustBeSaid about Ryan Tate's "Women Explain Why Google+ Is All Dudes" 7/2012:
Google is playing this like it's some feature war. Nobody on FB cares about this feature or that feature. I'd be willing to bet that the vast majority of FB users don't know about half the features it offers.

People are on FB because everyone else is. For many FB users, getting on FB was their big "tech" plunge. They finally had enough pushing from others to get on there. They spent time figuring it out well enough to get by, added their photos and finally got comfortable with the whole thing. It does what they ask of it, it doesn't cost them anything, they're satisfied. Why would they change?

What reason is there for your average, non techie to leave FB, join Google+, move all their crap, learn how Google+ works and then have to bug everyone they know to move to Google+ too so they're not alone. They ONLY got on FB because their friends and family were. You're asking them to join a different network that's basically the same thing but their friends and family aren't there?

For what? What's the incentive?

Circles? Hangouts? They just don't care! They're on FB because the people they want to keep in touch with are there. That's all it is to them, a communication medium.


They don't want to make an effort or make new "friends" on some different but the same social network. They didn't get on a social network to make friends, they got on one to do whatever with the friends they already have. And they're on FB!

From comment by Will Robinson about Ryan Tate's "Women Explain Why Google+ Is All Dudes" 7/2012:
A lot of people here appear to be assuming the point of Google+ is to be a clone of Facebook. Which is a perfectly understandable mistake to make because thousands of idiot journalists insist on suggesting it is. Google+ doesn't work for the purposes of chatting with your friends. Your friends aren't there. What is there, though?

Well, what are you interested in? Type it in to the search bar at the top of the screen. This is Google, after all, they have the best search engine in the world. You'll find, very likely, dozens or hundreds of posts about it. Comment on some of those posts. Make a new circle named after the subject, add a few dozen of those people to that circle.

Now you have a channel for posts about that subject on your home screen, and you can post to that circle yourself. Note that you circling these people does not mean you've "friended" them - there is no connection between you and them. They don't see things you post to "Friends" or "Family" or any other circle. It's like you've followed them on Twitter, in other words. Now post to that circle a few times about things, or just engage with people's posts. You'll find people circle you back. You're still not "Friends" in the FB sense, though - they only see what you post to that circle (or all circles, or Public), and there is a basis of your communication - your shared interest.

That, ultimately, is what G+ is. It's an interests network, like Pinterest only somewhat more interactive, and in practice it's much more like Twitter in terms of contacts. And like Twitter, to make the most of it, to really make it worth using, you need to circle a LOT of people. To give you an idea, I have a Gaming circle, a Photography circle, a circle about obscure RPGs, and a very busy Acquaintances circle for people I don't really have any direct connection to, and all told they come to just short of 1400 people. I don't have tumbleweed problems, instead I have to keep several of my circles throttled so I don't get overwhelmed, and it's almost all content I'm personally interested in!

When I go on G+, I get dozens of posts about computer games, RPGs and photography, which happen to be what I'm interested in. My friend who has interests in writing, knitting and rock music gets posts about that. Not dozens of people telling us what they had for lunch or about their holidays or about how much they hate their sister. If I want that, I go back to Facebook, which I also keep as a social diary as more people I know IRL are there, so it's convenient for that.

The two tools work together really well. What I've found is that G+ doesn't make FB obsolete, simply because there's no real overlap between what they do. If anything, G+ has made LJ and Twitter obsolete, for me at least.

Farhad Manjoo's "I Have Discovered the Purpose of Google Plus!"
Matthew Rappaport's "12 Reasons Google+ Isn't As Bad As You Think"
Claire Cain Miller's "The Plus in Google Plus? It's Mostly for Google"

Joshua Barrie's "Nobody Is Using Google+"

Ron Amadeo's "Google Minus: Google keeps backing all the wrong social products"

Please send any feedback or more items to me.

Last update: January 2015.

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