A Case Against Google+

Google+ will fit some people really well, and is certainly bringing some fresh ideas to the table to keep Facebook on its toes. That said, here’s why I kinda hope it doesn’t take off, and why I’m seriously considering leaving the party early.

  1. There were compelling reasons to abandon Friendster and MySpace at their peaks; frustrating performance, bugs, spam, bad UIs, visual nonsense, etc. Facebook seems to be scaling quite gracefully and they seem to constantly improve rather than frustrate.
  2. My main issue with Facebook would be privacy, but I find it highly unlikely that, in the long run,  Google+ or any other ad-supported social network will be a better steward of our personal information. That train goes in one direction.
  3. Establishing yet another silo of social network identities will cost us a huge amount of collective time.
  4. Since Google+ “circles” nearly remove all social cost from forming weak relationships (“just dump them in acquaintances”) we could be talking about a lot more time spent managing relationships. Circles may be the killer feature that we later really regret embracing.
  5. Prominent Google+ notifications appear at the top of all Google tools, and I couldn’t find a way to hide them without, say, keeping a separate account. With social networks being brilliant delivery mechanisms for dopamine; offering that hit while in Gmail, Docs, Calendar, and Search is going to be a disaster for a lot of people’s productivity.

4 thoughts on “A Case Against Google+

  1. Will Greer says:

    “Establishing yet another silo of social network identities will cost us a huge amount of collective time.”

    That’s why I haven’t even bothered to try google+.

  2. I’m sorry I said that I put you in my acquaintances circle, but I also put you in my “people I’m married to circle”. Really though, I think G+ is okay so farm but not amazing.

  3. Dana John Hill says:

    I honestly don’t know what Google+ really is, but reading your post leaves me sharing some of your concerns. I am not so much worried about work productivity, because, let’s face it, the internet itself has already ruined that for a lot of people. But I don’t like the idea of maintaining two social network profiles. That MySpace/Facebook trasition period was annoying. I haven’t deleted my MySpace account, but I never look at it. The idea of having a Facebook and Google+ account to look after seems like a lot of work.

    I understand that Google wants in on the huge potential ad revenue that a social networking site can generate. And I understand that “Google+” might seem a little more professional to some business types than Facebook does. And I understand Google+ might tie in some of Google’s other unique and indespensable features, like docs and groups and whatnot. But I don’t like the idea of another mass exodus.

    And I see the potential for that. That is, Friendster quickly gave way to MySpace, and MySpace somewhat quickly gave way to Facebook. If Facebook gets abandonned for Google+, I think it points to danger for any social networking site, because it indicates that people are capricious.

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