The Final Breakup With Google+

I’ve been contemplating clearing a lot of stuff out of my day to day, with an app that we want to finish ASAP, a personal project I finally want to finish, and a foster we have right now which requires (happily) more of my time. I quit the Android Nanodegree because it became obvious I wouldn’t have time anymore on a regular enough schedule to complete it. I’ll probably be deleting my Twitter and Facebook passwords to make inconvenient for me to spend time on either during the week, unless I really want to. And lastly, I deleted my Google+ profile for the final time.

The Google+ I loved from 2011 essentially died with the big changes in late 2015. The new Google+ focuses on communities and collections, which is the same direction I might have made if I was in their shoes. But I’m not. I’m on the consumer side of things.

I tried to follow only Collections, but it turns out a lot of people don’t bother to use them. It’s hard to change the behavior of old school Google+ users, so the people I follow didn’t use them that much. So it’s hard to use Google+ that way. Not to mention, my feed became a mess. Lots of “Suggested for You” posts would show up that I wasn’t interested in. I prefer chronological order, and the new feed was kind of all over the place. So for content consumption, Collection’s weren’t doing it for me.

On the flip side, I started putting everything into it’s own collection, but that didn’t really do much. By default I just subscribed all my followers into each collection, and I didn’t see anyone ever subscribe to just a Collection. On a higher level, using Collections didn’t help share content because Collections only live on Google+. There are no direct links to share your collection. So the best place for me personally, to “collect things”, is in fact, my own blog here, on I’m a big fan of using Tumblr as a blogging platform, and I will continue to do so, and probably increase the amount of tags and such I do. I’ll put things in their proper place here and then share with the appropriate social networks, well, where people actually are.

Communities are in theory a great idea on Google+, but I think without Events and Hangouts integration, it’s just a big messaging board. I had a hard time finding communities that were active and interesting. Really, I’m a programming geek, so I think I’ll just stick to Stack Overflow. In fact, it’s about time I started answering questions on there. That’s my community.

So after considering all the time I spent trying to use the new Google+, how little I got back from it, how little referral traffic Google+ has ever generated, I found my way to the “Delete Google+ Profile” page. And I deleted. It’s gone.

Hangouts is it’s own product I use all the time. Google Photos was made its own product and is amazing. Google finally redid Contacts so it’s not a burning tire fire. I think I’m good. As I said, I will be better off collecting things here and syndicating out to Facebook, Twitter, and hell, even Instagram. When I have a little more time I’ll be examining different Twitter clients to see if I can create a different experience after using TweetDeck for ages. I’ve relied heavily on Facebook Lists, but I think it’s time to scale back from that and instead try to use Facebook more like how then intend people use it. There are a lot of negative feelings I have about Facebook as a product (not as a company) and some of that is based on their products and some of it’s based on how it sometimes brings out some of my worst habits. I think we’ve all been there with the latter.

There is some sadness as I write this post, because I really wanted G+ to happen, the redesign to be really interesting, and to be able to really build something there. But that time has past. The new Google+ is not a product for me. It’s still technically great. The apps are still awesome, but I’m moving on. My footprint on there is pretty small, and I’ll miss some people I’m sure, but eventually I’ll find them…on other platforms.

So long Google+, and thanks for all the (vegan) fish!

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