Thoughts on Google+
Chris Messina

Response to Chris Messina re: Google+ fail

Chris — Thx — your perspective on this topic is fascinating.

I understood from day one that Google+ was important — But not as a social network competing with Facebook. Given Facebook’s market share, usage stats and commitment to evolve and improve (using the worlds best tech talent to do so) the contest for the dominant social app was/is over.

Personally, I did not want to like Facebook, and even though I'm now addicted, I still harbor some odd, internal embarrassment and self-hate for liking Facebook. (pun intended)

At this very moment, writing this very sentence, I realize that my Facebook Wall has become my primary source for news and information — And this realization makes me a little nauseous because Facebook just isn't cool.

Even so, no matter how beautiful or brilliant Google+ became, it was never going to become the chosen social app. This was so clear to me, and I'm stunned to hear that internally the team was thinking of chasing Facebook.

I credit Google with being one of the top 5 influences in my life— No joke. Google has given us the ability to know what we need to know, when we need to know it, which improves and elevates our quality of life. We no longer need to live with sub-par experiences due to a lack of relevant information.

I want information, relevance and integration from Google—And, I want more, better, faster.

I want Google to be better at instinctively organising my information. It seems that Google is great at launching ground-breaking features, and then painfully slow at refining and improving them. I was/am happy to trade my so called privacy for services that literally improve my life experience. Looking at the apps on my phone, I see that lonely red G+ button and I don't know what it’s for.

I design/dev small biz website in Boston. I’m online 12–16 hours a day. I try every new major app that comes out. For me Google+ is a simply a dashboard for providing information on a company so Google can provide better search results.

Conceptually, I can see that for Google, having all my day-to-day personal communication with friends and family could improve search results. However, this isn't interesting to the user unless the benefit is tangible and absolutely ground breaking.

It could be that Google’s fail was more about being lazy or ineffective at making a case for Google+.

Yep, Google+ is beautiful and clever—but beauty and smarts doesn't in itself give success as a social network. As I look at my phone apps I'm excited to see Twitter, Medium, Swarm, Vine, Quora, IFTTT, Instagram, Google Keep, Wallet, Feedly, Pocket —And i'm also sad that I can’t use them all, all of the time. I'm enamoured by their potential — But the truth is I spend my time with Gmail, Facebook, Spotify, LinkedIn, Google Search and Google Now.

This is actually my 1st Medium post. Love it. It’s beautiful and clever. Maybe it'll become a thing — but more likely, I won't be back for six months or more.

Mike Ciolino
West Newton, MA

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