I’ve been experimenting with Google+ since it emerged, and as much hype as I read from the major news sites, I just haven’t bought into the propaganda they keep spewing out. I keep reading how Google+ is going to replace Facebook, but no matter how much I look into the service, it fails on almost every level. Let me explain:
1. No one is on it.
Oh, I know how they keep claiming a gazillon people are on it and all that, but I’ll let you in on a little secret (if you haven’t used Google+). No one you know is using it. And that’s the problem right there. Sure, it’s great that Felicia Day (creator of the web episodic show The Guild), Wil Wheaton (the guy who played the kid on Star Trek the Next Generation and has been pulling cameos on other shows like Big Bang Theory and The Guild ever since), and Taylor Swift (the singer) are all on it, but what it’s really turned out to be is a glorified Twitter account where you get to actually see postings of these people, instead of blurts of words from their Twitter feed. But again, so few “normal” people are using it, which means if you want to use it to follow some celebrity with a one-sided conversation (where they never hear from you), then it’s fine. But what makes it different from watching some celebrity gossip show? Nothing, really.
2. The Interface Lacks Substance
Everytime I use Google+, I’m convinced I’m missing something because I go on it and then wonder why I wasted the time. It’s like there’s a whole other big room that’s part of it, but I just haven’t figured out the secret handshake to get into that other room. I suspect that other room doesn’t exist, but even if it does, what good is a service if you can’t access it? That’s my problem with Google+. It has nothing going on for it that keeps me interested. I’m a news junkie, which means I want to see things going on. Right now, my Google+ feed is filled with nonstop cute cat pictures from the celebrities that somehow think this is interesting and relevant. I’m not kidding. The only other type of posting seems to be from April Summers who shows naked pictures of herself in Playboy, which can be cool, but not really newsworthy. Every other person I follow seems to practically repeat the same information but a little bit different each time. The people I’d like to follow and know more about don’t actually have an account, or they have an account and don’t use it (like Taylor Swift).
3. It’s Owned by Google
Google is a great search engine, but honestly it doesn’t really innovate in anything. It does a really good job of seeing what other people do and then streamlines it. But there’s rarely any innovation or brilliant thought behind it. Or when there is, it’s designed by engineers who still haven’t figured out how to communicate with the masses, so they set up really complicated environments and expect the people to figure out how to maneuver through them (“I’m looking at you, Google Adwords!”). And there’s always the fear that Google, in their infinite wisdom, will just cancel your account because you disagreed with something they had to say, or do, cutting off four or five services you might be using that had nothing to do with the reason you got shut off in the first place, and like Facebook, they won’t speak to you in order to fix the situation because you’re irrelevant to them, as you’ve always been.