Google+ is 'Facebook-lite' says former Googler

"Adrift at sea". "Facebook-lite". According to former Googler Chris Medina, that's exactly what Google+ is. Rather than serving as the "social backbone" it was designed to be, Media thinks Google+ is about as far from that missive as possible. In a recent post on blogging site Medium, Medina took aim at his former company's "social" platform, calling them out for violating privacy and trust along the way. If you're wondering what gives Medina pause to take on Plus, it's easy: he used to work on it.

Medina worked on the Google+ user experience for 3.5 years before leaving google over a year ago. Tracing his steps, Medina was around for just about all of Google+ until he left. From the most basic first steps to the overarching layer it is on Google services, Medina was helping to design your experience throughout.

According to Medina (who Mashable aptly ponts out may have invented the hashtag), Google+ is a Facebook also-ran, and serves as a news feed for many users. He agrees that there are many useful parts of Plus, like Hangouts and Photography tools, but considers them add-ons that can be jettisoned and spun off into their own services at-will.

Medina also says Google chose the name "Google+" because they "could just drop the '+' and pretend the 'project' never existed". Failure of Google+ was a concern for many Google Buzz "veterans" in the building.

Plus was positioned internally as chasing Facebook's success, too. From the jump, Media says nothing was well thought-out:

By starting off on a defensive footing, Google+ didn't defiantly stand for something special in the world. Instead it defined itself by what it wasn't — i.e. Facebook — though it was positioned internally as chasing after their success. And while Facebook executed a bold, ambitious (and uncomfortable) plan to create a "more open and connected world", Google+ confusingly claimed to be rethinking real-life sharing on the web, with "nuance and richness", even though we clearly hadn't figured it out. Indeed, our solution (Circles (read: "lists") put the onus on the user to manually curate groups of people — a great concept in theory, but too arduous and awkward in practice...

But by launching a conventional social network, Google missed the pivotal opportunity to establish a data-positive paradigm for sharing, individual control, and personalization that set itself apart from Facebook. Ultimately it offered too little, too late.

Google is missing the point, at least in Medina's eyes. Rather than go a different direction with social, Google instead used it to churn their machine faster. He laments the lack of privacy features Google could have built in, and says the original project, Google Me, would have given users more granular control over their privacy settings.

Whether you like Google+ or not, Medina has some good points, and it's an interesting take on the inner thinking at Google about Plus. His insight also echoes talk that Google is prepared to take Photos and Hangouts away from Google+ and have them as standalone services.

Source: Medium

Via: Mashable