Google Has Messed Up Social Once Again

I know I might be in the minority right now but that’s how I feel. It seems Google has learned little from Wave and Buzz. Here’s what I think has gone wrong this time.

First, Google engineers have probably never heard of the phrase, “less is more”. They tried doing everything with Wave — everyone knows how that turned out. They’re doing the same thing with Google+ (or Google Plus). It’s twitter, friendfeed, skype, facebook and slashdot all rolled into one. The problem is, I don’t know which one I’m using when I navigate to the G+ interface.

I know I can divide people into circles and keep them separate but I don’t know if I can keep track of it all. I have separate ‘circles’ for friends and ‘professional connections’. Most often, though, I want to share a thought with both of them so I just post that to the  ‘public’ circle. My friends, goofy as they are, start commenting on the post and it quickly turns into a dorm room crap fest. That’s not the ‘professional’ image I want to project — that was the whole point of circles. The solution, post the same thing twice, once to public and again to friends. But then, why don’t I just go over to twitter and post there?

That, I think is the core of the problem. Why would anyone want to use Google+ — after the initial awe of the cool interface for dropping your friends in a circle subsides? For sharing news — I already have a neat little twitter account for that. It’s streamlined and it does what it’s supposed to do. When I’m there, I know what I’m there for. I don’t get distracted by comments from my goofy friends. Well, how about keep tabs on my friends? I don’t use facebook myself but last time I checked a lot of people were already using that social network. Just as people haven’t jumped the Yahoo! mail ship despite the immense impotence of Yahoo!, I don’t see why they’d move everything over from Facebook over to Google+. Not everyone likes to play with new and shiny geek toys.

And that brings me to the second point: Google engineers just can’t shake the geek within them. They think everything will be adopted if it’s similar enough to Gmail. They tried doing this with Wave. They did the same thing with Buzz, integrating it too tightly with Gmail and that was a fiasco. Now, they’re doing this with Google+. It’s all about how cool the technology is. They’re going to release the API soon.  That’s all great but what about the social aspects? I don’t see any incentives for moving away from my existing social networks — except maybe Buzz. So, I don’t think Google+ is a facebook killer or a twitter killer. It might be a  Buzz killer but that too is a maybe.

4 Comments

  1. at last some one spelled it out for me,,, these kids were thinking that Google + is going to take the whole world by storm,,,and the biggest of all they were thinking that it will kill the almighty facebook!! 🙂

    Facebook has hijacked the internet,,, i don’t see anything beating it !! its a billion dollar franchise, its not hi5!!!

    Google + was so much banking on this circle thing but its like wave,, many idiots would take ages to understand the concept of it !! So google did it again!! When will they understand,,, so how many failures we’ve had so far under Eric Schmidt? I guess apple sent him to destroy google 🙂

  2. recluze

    July 13, 2011 at 9:18 am

    Actually, Facebook has not hijacked the internet. Google still has a very strong hold and it’s not going away any time soon. The problem with most of the “analysts” is that they see through a pair of geek glasses. Not everyone cares (or even knows) about the “like” button. Without that facebook is hi5. The internet is much more than facebook and that’s not going to change. It will only take a single collaboration between two social networks to bring facebook down. If you can bridge the gap between two social networks — just two — that will be the day facebook starts dying. And in my opinion, that’s not too far off in the future. (Of course, I’m not talking about any of that in this post.)

  3. @recluze you better ask these question from Google+ technical lead. He may be in a better position to answer or at least consider the points that you raised…

    I hope they come up with some solution. Here is the link: http://www.anyasq.com/79-im-a-technical-lead-on-the-google+-team

  4. well said nauman bhai, another unfinished gooogle product, and i was amazed to see buzz there as well as posts, i wasnt able to figure out the differen coz i can share and comment in both places lolz…..

    any how….count down started for google+,

    P.S i am not a facebook fan

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