I have never considered myself a nagger regarding every single change in social media, I have always thought that every change is a new step through progress. I have rarely complained, but I have tried to highlight something wrong when I saw it. Of course, we can be more subjective than objective, but there are other factors that recently surfaced and they are based on some statistics. I’m very upset by the disrespect Google shows the users.
Actually Google, a company which grew because of its search engine, had over 90% of its revenues based on advertising. So, they do everything they do to acquire data on users and “serve” them adverts. Not on Google Plus, though, since yesterday, my favorite social media network. But that’s not the point. You step out of Google Plus and everywhere you click and has Google Ads (adsense), you see what you consider “interesting”. Anyway, I considered them serious, especially after they started to experiment with the “authorship” feature. But what happened? Without any remorse, they deprecated the thing, being too burdening. It was funny when your Google Plus avatar appeared on the search stream, branding your posts with your name, or your page, it increased the click rate (so the “specialists” have always pretend), because people rather trust a face endorsing a bunch of words (specifically a link) than simply the link, or, they click on your post because they have recognized you. It was funnier than Facebook itself. An online identity card offered to you, courtesy of Google. But they don’t need to give you something, the things work on the reverse, they need to take from you, because they are paid to serve you “personalized data”.
They wanted to be better than Facebook as a social network and I have initially agreed, I granted them that. They were a serious, sober, ads free, social network trying to imitate by any means Facebook. I liked them because of their “sobriety”, and the potential to be part of something big, closer to the future than the others. Only Google is growing in a distopia. Have a look at this!
All those acquisitions…
The disrespect is showing in the fact that they change something essential without notice. Oh, I have exaggerated, they will soon deprecate PageSpeed service, and I have been noticed on gmail (my step by step identity detector, and of course, yours too).
Now, something small, but important at the time. One of the funniest things on Google Plus, a really useful way of growing followers for pages otherwise unknown by the public, was circle sharing. They deprecate at first the “search in the circle” function, essential to look inside a circle before deciding your actions about the circle. The circle sharing abusers sent sharing notes (by simply mentioning) to people who weren’t included. Of course that when finding the scam, some became furious, so a kind of animosity against circle sharers started to grow despite that a lot of them were nice guys and gals.
They put conditions, if you have to stay in the circle you have to share it, to plus it, to comment on that post, to add the sharer, etc. That was on a great bad taste, but everyone had his means to do what he did, and on the other side, anyone noticed had his own choice to decide if he wants to follow “the orders” or not.
Yesterday, after the stupid lobby made by people who never understood quality circle sharing and its benefits, the sharing function has been deprecated. Until last week, I haven’t have shared a circle in more than six months, and when I did it, I never had “instructions” other than “it’s recommended to add the circle” because of the members’ quality. It wasn’t a condition. Until last week, I have not shared other friends’ circles in more than a year and a half, especially from lack of time to check the circles and their quality.
“Circle me on Google Plus” used to be a nice urge outside the network because circles are this social network’s main feature! Of course they are made by grouping people in categories or other characteristics, their abilities, or their relationship’s degree with you, location, branch, whatever, but where will be all the fun if you can’t share all these treasures of friendship with the others?
Have a look at the following youtube video. You’ll see Scott Galloway, Clinical Professor of Marketing, NYU Stern, Founder & CEO of L2, business intelligence firm serving prestige brands. He spoke in Munich about what he named “The Four Horsemen of the digital economy“: Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google.
“Google Plus has a 98% decline in engagement rate, year-over-year”. On the other side, Facebook is only in Europe dominating with around 90% share of social. Globally, with it’s 2.4 billion users, it has more relationships on the Earth than the Catholic God. The Catholic Church has only 1.2 billion members. (I like that.) “The world of social is becoming ‘Facebook and the seven dwarfs’”, continues Galloway.
Based on yet another recent statistic made by Eric Enge from StoneTemple.com, only 1% from it’s total of 2.2 billion of Google Plus users are active! I can tell you from experience that a lot of people have a G+ profile and they don’t even know.
When after ten years of Google ruling by Eric Schmidt as CEO, Larry Page stepped in place, he promised to increase every employee’s bonus with 25% depending on how well they did integrate relationships, sharing and identity across Google products. Unfortunately, as we see and we have noticed in time, the incentives pushed the employees to do the wrong thing.
People prefer Facebook to Google Plus, because Google’s approach to social isn’t funny, and the top staff listens to its employees, not its customers (users). Another proof of disrespect. I have preferred G+ mostly because I haven’t made a Facebook profile, considering them too invasive, but I was wrong. Between two rapacious privacy invaders, at least one has to choose the funnier.
Attacking Facebook was maybe the greatest mistake of Google Plus! You can’t disrupt an already established social network, especially by initially offering the same things, and after a while, just removing them. (“Games”, for sample).
The “creative” geeks (the lack of creativity is obvious), the bunch of Google nerds introduced “Collections”, a feature which tries to imitate the Pinterest boards, without the complex functionality of the latest. For example, you can’t create a new collection from the “move post to collection” option, or to move posts from one collection to another. If you follow a collection of someone who is not in your circles, you can see the posts in that collection only in your main stream. To benefit of the filtered streaming, you have to add that person in a circle of whom you’re notified.
Generally speaking it’s like trying to replace a MacBook Air laptop with a Compaq. Instead of looking for the future, they are unsuccessfully trying to chase yesterday’s big thing.
They have ceased to offer us something genuinely new (like circle sharing), they give us bad copies of brilliant features (Pinterest), like “Collections”.
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