You don't get it
The discomfort with using fb has nothing to do with electrons.
The geek alit are abuzz with the NEXT! NEW! THING! It's called Google Plus (Google+), and my inbox is peppered with notifications that I've been added to so-and-so's Circle. Unfortunately, I'm already connected with many of these people on Facebook. More unfortunately, I've never heard of some of the people that have been adding …
I don't use Facebook or Google+ to any great extent although I am registered with both.
Tight integration with my Android mobile is what eventually moved me over to Gmail as a mail consolidator and I guess that I'd be more likely to update my Google+ status than I would Facebook for similar reasons which would then make Google+ more useful to, e.g. my parents and those of my friends who hang on my every word.
Once the tools are written to keep the two in sync in whichever way works best I guess I might start ignoring Facebook completely.
I use twitter a lot more once I realised that TweetDeck would not only Tweet but also Buzz and Facebook for me... so as Buzz is already rolled into Google+ (I think) I can keep all 3 in Sync with the existing Apps for Android/Chrome et. al.
I wholly agree that my output at the least should be from one post and if at all possible the replies should be aggregated. I don't use TweetDeck instead of any of the services it has worked more as a feeder causing me to use all three a lot more and I think that should be the goal.
I have had my facebook account since it was exclusive to schools and have 600+ friends. Now I have a wife and a kid and want to post pics but not to all of my friends and I don't have time to select the individual friends I want to share with. Enter Google+. Most of my friends are flocking to Google+ for one reason, simplified privacy. Some of them have 2000+ friends and are in the same boat as me with family and privacy concerns.
In my opinion kids/teens/tweens and the parents of 25-45 year old individuals with not see the advantages of Google+ and will stick to facebook. It will be the 25-45 y/o adults that will lead the charge for Google. Plus will allow us to start over with a tabula rasa with privacy and family in mind rather than partying and a friend count.
And another BIG plus No Zynga Games!!!...yet
....and then they made Facebook.
After all the volatility we've seen in the Internet startup (.COM) world over the years (i.e. pretty much everything other than Amazon, Google, and eBay - any other Internet companies that actually make money?) I find it laughable that Matt could sit here and prognosticate about the unshakeability of Facebook and Twitter.
I'm not saying Google+ is great or that it's going to be the next Facebook - hell if I know, I don't use any of this stuff - but just that I could see Facebook, or more easily Twitter, go the way of MySpace.
You said "Now I have a wife and a kid and want to post pics but not to all of my friends and I don't have time to select the individual friends I want to share with"
Facebook already has something analogous to Circles - it's just not very obvious. You can create lists and add your friends to those lists.
Then when you share something, the text field where you add the friends to share with also accepts lists as well as individual friends. So you can share to one or more lists rather than individual friends.
"Facebook already has something analogous to Circles - it's just not very obvious. You can create lists and add your friends to those lists."
Yes, but you can't post to a list. And recently you can't even choose what you share with a list! I made my phone number available to my "close friends" list and guess what, now it's available to everybody!
Not to be rude, but you're doing it wrong then. FB has offered the ability to post to a list or exclude a list or exclude certain people for several years. The privacy settings also allows you to restrict access to your content/personal data by lists or individuals.
That said, they sure don't make it intuitive or obvious and that provides a real opportunity for Google+.
I think the point is that in Facebook you cannot combine lists that easily on the fly, yes it is only two or three clicks but on G+ at the moment it is drag and drop or an instant set of tick boxes. FB will probably get this soon too I am sure.
Totally agree that the initial setting up of lists is the burden, FB use to encourage you to do this a bit when you Added a friend and the key thing G+ is going right now is to make it easy and necessaries to sort people in some way (not everyone is my Friend so they may as well be someone I follow, or family or college as all those are just as easy a state to set). I can see where this takes it key from Gmail and it is a feature I like, but I am just that kind of person (see pic)
I am not convinced by this argument. I want to be able to network with 'friends & family', but I won't use Facebook in any circumstances. I purged my account a couple of years ago.
Yes I'm technical - but so many of the aforesaid 'friends & family' have had to get support from me after getting some foul infection through Facebook that they are now scared to use it.
I'm already setting up new links with them through g+
This is doubly so since MS bought Skype. I'm a Linux user, but most of family are Mac and they don't want an MS Skype on their machines...
I don't don't have to tell my friends and family to be wary of Microsoft.
I simply have to answer their questions about alternatives.
Avoiding Microsoft is half of the decision for going Mac/Apple for everyone I know that has bought a MAC recently.
The fact that Apple knows how to make a computer "cool" doesn't hurt.
Since the big players in this seem to have a mental age of 8, Android's Facebook widget is beyond dreadful. It is possibly the most buggy, broken, under-resourced piece of incompetent rubbish ever to have been wished on a user community. Nobody could spend ten minutes with it without feeling a desperate need to vindictively slaughter all involved.
And again to make sure.
Accordingly, Google plus has a huge untapped user base of furious and frustrated Android/Facebook users.
It might save my sanity.
The latest version of Facebook for Android is extremely buggy and unreliable. It also now no forces the user to jump into Facebook's Mobile site, instead of using the Android app. If you look up Facebook for Android on the Android marketplace and read the latest user reviews you'll see that the latest update is utter shite. The previous version is sort of okay, and I use it occasionally, but the new version is garbage.
People I've been talking to who are excited about Google+ are not the technological elite. There is a sense of quiet admiration of something that looks like it might be useful.
You're right that people won't shift systems unless there is perceivable gain, though for SEO the advantage is pretty clear. Whether Google+ already has this in its platform or whether it will take the inevitable data breach at Facebook to scare people away or whether it will need something else to come along.
However, having recently nailed your colours to the mast by suggesting Facebook's IPO should be around 10^12 USD, what else are you going to say on the matter?
Assuming the moderatrix's replacement lets this through, I do have to wonder if Asay is a true believer or, more cynically, has some great motive for pimping the immutability and "undervaluation" of Facebook.
I treat zealotry with wary scepticism, and the last few opinion pieces on Facebook from Mr Asay have certainly lowered his esteem in my view.
Another reason Facebook is not going to fail anytime soon is games and women.
Google has no games, and as such has no way to pull you back in, or get you to spend hours on the site in the first place.
Us like minded men really don't give a stuff about some of these mindless repetitive games, Farmville for instance? (Is it Farmville, the one where you mindlessly tap away on a field growing stuff??)
But the girls absolutely love these mindless pieces of crap they call games. They sit there like the devil possessed, double tapping to brew a coffee, and move chairs round virtual cafes etc. Or double tapping 5million squares to grow more crops, etc.
So lets face it - the ladies are addicted to Facebook. So what hope for Google+? None. Because there won't be any women on it, and who wants a social network that resembles a sausage fest at the end of the day?
My point, that was written in jest, was that Google+ won't appeal to 'normal' people, and by normal I mean people who don't care about IT.
These people play games, they share photos, they don't say dumb things on their status that would embarrass their mother, etc.
These are the people that Google needs to persuade to move to +. But when + offers nothing extra, and in fact less than they get with Facebook (eg games) there is nothing to offer them.
As for circles - it's simply a software feature. Facebook could implement this if they simply allowed status updates to different permission groups that you've already set up.
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That's why you produce goods in your bakery/winery/perfumery to get fuel for your 4x4 combine - to plant quickly. Then you use your arborist to collect the trees, and the farm hand for the animals. Of course, if you've got George trained up, he can get 20 of the animals. That way you're free to take care of your orchards, pig pens, etc.
... it feels more like Twitter than FB. I'll keep family stuff on FB because, oddly, it's easier to stay private than on Google+. Say what you like about FB security, at least it's all in one (sprawling, many tentacled) place - Google has options everywhere, for different things, and they all feed into one another (iGoogle, Google Accounts, Android, Google+, Docs, etc) - I'm still trying to work out why the +App declares my recovery email instead of the chosen primary one, but it's no doubt something they'll work out soon, before general release. The Android App is pretty slick, more responsive than the Android FB app (but not the iPhone FB app).
I'll probably switch more business stuff to Google+ because it seems more oriented to getting things done, making networks and use of the 'Huddle' to set up collaborative stuff with Docs.
Just so long as they keep Zynga away...
Since Matt Asay is wrong about virtually everything, I think we can predict a roaring success for G+. I actually know quite a lot of mainstream individuals who are at least giving G+ a try. If Google can figure out a way to migrate pics and whatnot from Facebook, it's a slam dunk.
Several of my friends have started posting only on Google+. I suspect more will follow. Google just needs to keep the momentum and FB could turn into MySprpace in a very short period of time.
I wasn't too bothered by Facebook and the privacy issues. Then I discover that FB have banned apps written to export your friends contact details. Info your friends have chosen to share with you, FB are now actively trying to prevent you using. That was the nail in the coffin for me - I'm migrating.
> it's not clear that a critical mass of people outside the tech world ...
A techie version of facebook. Hmmm?
The thing is, it doesn't have to be one or the other - though I can't see much overlap between the predominantly child-populated FB (and their stalkers, ref: an earlier story) and a more technologically literate G+ that offers a similar platform, but delivering a different product. Hell, you could probably make a compelling argument for an "adult" version of FB ... in fact that one may even make money.
So while G+ may not eat FBs lunch - or it may wither and die altogether, it provides an alternative. And one that doesn't come with the FB associations and baggage.
The difference is that Google has a proper scalable backend, which FaceBook does not. And looking at how they've set it up, it's as if they sat around the table and said, "what's good and bad about Facebook and Twitter?" and then copied the good stuff, fixed the bad stuff, and threw in some brand new ideas.
Frankly, I would be surprised if it does NOT take over.
I for one, hope Google+ takes off, if nothing else to pull some of the rug out from underneath facebook. I wouldn't be caught dead using either service myself.
It is unfortunate that Linux on the desktop hasn't taken off, myself having used Linux as my primary desktop since about 1997 it has been fun to watch it evolve over the years.
I think the reason why Linux hasn't taken off is much less to do with Microsoft and much more to do with Apple. It is pretty sad to see so many folks that claim devotion to open source carrying around a OS X laptop. Myself I am not devoted to open source, but still like and prefer Linux on my own systems wherever possible. When I did use Windows for work I heavily modified it (replacing the shell and other tools) so it looked and acted more like linux (so much so that the IT guy didn't know how to open the control panel) but had the benefit of windows apps on it. Unfortunately most of those tools haven't been maintained in many years and probably wouldn't work so well on versions beyond XP (haven't had the need to try).
I've had my younger sister on Linux for about 5-6 years now. First with SuSE, then Ubuntu. One time when she was still on SuSE I started poking around her computer to find she had installed the WINDOWS version of Yahoo! messenger on her Linux system, and it worked! She didn't even ask or tell me she was doing it, I was shocked it just worked.
She has been using a Toshiba laptop with Ubuntu on it for many years now with no real issues(I have been expecting the HD to die for a long time it is a really old laptop). She told me recently she needed a windows system to do some school work she just started at a new school. So I sent her another laptop, same type as her Ubuntu with XP on it (took forever to find all the drivers - and windows 7 wouldn't work the hardware was too old of all things!). The thing was bricked within 2 weeks, it stopped booting after she installed some software in the advice of her teacher. Still don't know what is wrong, seems too strange to have the hardware fail immediately(and I mean immediately within minutes) of installing software. She's more sold on linux than ever.
I do not, and have never really pushed linux on the desktop, always been holding out hope..
I tried OS X for a few weeks last year against my better judgment and as I expected I found it unusable for myself. I could probably make it work for me if I decided to commit to the platform and learn the new way of doing things for 6 months, but what I had already worked so I got another system and put Ubuntu on it. And as for Linux, I wouldn't be using Gnome if I didn't have the 'brightside' program for edge flipping - I'd be using KDE or something else otherwise (I used Afterstep for the longest time and that had awesome virtual desktop management).
I was going to comment on the Netflix blog yesterday about their price hike, wrote my comment in, hit the "Comment" button, and was greeted with a "Login to facebook to comment!" page, so, naturally I closed the browser window.
I'm connected to my friends on LinkedIn, that's all I really need. I don't twitter, I don't facebook.
Having worked for 2 social media companies that both desperately wanted to be facebook over the past few years has probably jaded me even more against the whole thing (both of them failed obviously like most of the others).
I do hope WebOS succeeds though, I have been using it for a couple of years, and do have a HP Touchpad (won't go near Android or iOS so I have nothing to compare it with) and it works well for me. I don't expect it to take over the world, but if it can maintain say 10% market share over the long term in a market the size of mobile phones and portable computing devices that should be good enough for HP to continue supporting it.
Google+ solves a real problem that I have with Facebook. I'm an individual, a parent, a spouse, a boss, a client, a friend, etc., etc.. Each of these life roles is a different context and I don't want them all to overlap 100%. With Facebook, I can't easily manage this issue so it's broken for me. I don't post a lot of the things I'd like to because I don't want to share each post with everyone.
So Google+ solves a very real problem for me and many like me. That's who cares.
Can Facebook fix my problem? Maybe. Will they? Who knows, they haven't done anything about it so far. The start of a migration to Google+ may be just the kick-in-the-pants that Facebook needs for motivation.
"I'm an individual, a parent, a spouse, a boss, a client, a friend..."
So, what, you can't email any of these people? You've already *got* a narrowcasting channelized targeted communications application. It's what you get when you double-click that little envelope icon.
I don't eat soup with a fork, so why would I use Social Media to handle business communications?
It worked well until we got a bunch of under 30s people who implemented a blog and irrevocably split apart the communications methodology. They didn't see the point of having something that actually downloaded things so you can read them offline. I couldn't arrange to be constantly online to read their messages. Also, their messages got dispersed in so many places I could never manage to check them all.
@Tom and Pizza.
We used to use Lotus Notes until new management decided to switcht to Exchange. Then they realized what we did with Notes but couldn't with Exchange, lots of contractors designing forms and stuff and now with sharepoint we're close to what we had in the late 90s.
We in IT set up a wiki and mailing lists for our needs shortly after we were condemned to Mail only.
Getting very bored of social networks. The originals always remain the best.
Pubs, where the only thing people try to sell you is beer, and you know who your -real- friends are, because they're out there with you, not spamming you with mindless games and pokes and thoughts-of-the-day.
But, I work at the end of a commute, and I live in another country to a large set of my friends I've had for years.. Not so easy to drop round to someone several thousand miles away..
There's a place for social network sites, same as there always has been; they're a tool.. Use them as you need to.
The automatic uploader is brilliant. Why would I bother manually uploading everything to Facebook now, especially since they shrink them so much? And the feature that lets you retouch photos in the web interface is actually superb; try hitting Cross Process and then click I'm Feeling Lucky a few times.
If a large number of users cannot figure out how to do something then that points to a crappy user interface.
Same with this lists thing. It seems Facebook lists are the same as c+ circles but their UI is so bad most people dont even KNOW about the feature let alone setting it up.
User Interfaces - they matter...and in this case may be the decider
I hoped this would be clear from the context of my post but, in retrospect, it wasn't: I'm talking about the Android app.
The G+ Android app will automatically upload every picture you take with any camera app to a private album, sorted by date, which you can reorganize then share at your leisure. Facebook does not do this. RTFM yourself, buddy.
I know that Facebook has some nicer features if I plug in my phone via USB and upload pictures the old-fashioned way, but... why should I do this? Upload 'em all and sort 'em later. Can't be beat.
Also, Facebook's hi-res downloadable pictures are still resized, but I'll admit it's unfair to ask them to store the 20 meg photos that my phone sometimes produces if I max out every setting for teh lulz.
"The iPod wasn't a revolutionary device"
It actually was; itunes didn't come along until quite some time later, particularly for PC users. It was the device itself that was amazing, as it combined the function of a Creative Jukebox in a box the size of a pack of cigarettes. Revolutionary, and way better than anything available at the time from Archos etc.
Things like Facebook or Twitter or the iPhone get started thanks to early adopters, and succeed thanks to the envy of followers.
It is all about being in and fashionable.
If Google+ is adopted by geeks and other such fashion icons ;) , then it will become a success.
So many people around me bought an iPhone because they found it "great" before having any idea of what that "greatness" was - not much really IMHO.
Now, Google is beating Apple with Android in spite of coming last to the game.
They got the attention and the hype.
Also, let's not forget that Google has a much better ecosystem around Google+, with GMail, Apps, Android, etc.
Mmmmh, promise of another era of company lock-in.
One of the problems with this nomenclature is that it looks stupid with punctuation marks after the name:
Are you using Google+?
I love Google+!
I just sent you an invitation to Google+.
So now I have to watch out for prepositions and Google+. Cripes.
My two sons lied about their age to sign up. Since then they've spent literally hours using Hangout to video chat with their mates. This is the killer app - Facebook's hurriedly bolted on skype client only does two-party video chat, and doesn't cut it.
I think that Hangouts plus all the other facebook fuctionality done right will get Google significant market share.
Explosion because that's what'll happen to our bandwidth when everyone's kids are hangouts 24/7.
.. its Apple. Here's why: with the success of iphone and ipad and the seamless integration with the apps, Google sees the exclusive ecosystem of i-everything as a real threat to their business. Android was the answer to the mobility threat and more importantly as a platform for google apps (existing and new ones). I've seen G+ on my iphone and it dawned on me.. if Apple approves Google's G+ app application (it's not only circles there mind you) in its apps store then nothing will prevent Google from going in from the backdoor and running other google apps in that G+ app, it'll be like Android within iphone. A modern Trojan Horse so to speak. I dont think Steve will like this at all.
Google+ didn't significantly erode FBs userbase after, what, one week; therefore it is a total F41LUREZ!!!111!!!eleventy!!!111!!
Personally I prefer it to FB, I'm not getting 20 invitations to stupid flash games every hour, and it seems to be entirely ad-free (although that might be Adblock doing a good job)
I think G+ is what Buzz should have been - that died a death for me after less than 2 hrs of bothering with it. G+ with its tight android integration is a complete win for me, and I'm looking forward to it taking a large slice of FB pie.
Facebook has been great to me, but I can't be arsed with it these days - bloated, slow, and full of crap I'm not interested in... no thanks!
I have the feeling that people are getting disappointed with the concept, myself included. People don't really interact, unless they use the chat function. And once in a while you want to met new people. The way these social things work is flawed. You send an invitation and that's it? I've been testing Omegle in the last days, and despite the teens, the horny dudes and bots, you will end with a good conversation after a few tries. It takes you to the good old days of the internet, simple anonymous text chats (you have the video option but that is for the people that like to live on the edge :-) ). People has a need of interaction, and that you do by *talking*, not posting...
Matt Asay is caught by his own argument. He can't see the fact that most of the startups he talks about ("Project Diaspora", "Identica") are things that a lot of techies have never heard of, let alone normal.
If you've never heard of it, how can you sign up to it?
Google+ has the advantage it is by Google, you know that firm that everyone knows about and most people use at least some of it's products. They will integrate and advertise this with their other products and people will sign up out of curiosity.
Also many people are connected to multiple networks: Facebook, linkedin, twitter etc.
Of course this may not be enough to make Google+ the hit that it could be.
Personally I hope Google+ just goes away again, as I can well do without yet another site to have to keep up to date. The only thing Google+ has going for it (as far as I can make out from the comments; creepy Google refused to let me join in without giving them my mobile number, which I'm certainly not going to do, so I haven't been able to try it myself) is the ability to put contacts in groups more easily. Well I'm sure it won't be long because Facebook has improved its groups feature to make it similarly easy to use.
Here's what you're missing (as far as I can see where it's going), these are the URLs for Google+:
It really seems as if this isn't an attempt to launch a new Google product, it's Google linking everything it does together.
Yes the features of Google+ are all, individually, better than their Facebook counterparts. But there's more to it than that. Google's famous argument with Facebook over the ownership of data should mean that, once Google+ is properly up and running, it should integrate with my Gmail contacts. Properly. So if a friend of mine changes his mobile phone number, BAM, it's updated in my contacts.
Facebook insist that, although my friends have all made conscious decisions to share their phone numbers, email addresses etc. with me on Facebook, I'm not allowed to download that information. Google have long been arguing for portability, and Facebook have long refused. So features aside, Google+ is a winner simply because when you share information on it, you really do share information on it, and when you want to keep things limited to a certain group, you can do so easily. That's not just a matter of a feature that's missing from Facebook, it's a whole philosophical difference, and it's why I for one am looking forward to leaving Facebook behind.
Been using G+ for a few days now and rather impressed with it. I enjoy looking through others public posts and feel that it's more about the content rather than who you want to spy on.
I feel like people are talking sense, about sensible subjects, such as discussion on the recent phone hacking scandal or e-zone eco climates affecting non e-zone countries. Frankly i don't find it interesting that someones mother is watching dating in the dark while they are playing cityville or whatever on facebook. Nor do I care about seeing pictures of someones uncles brother's little cousin and their 4th birthday party :/
G+ is about integration, content and social circles based around similar interests. This is what I love.
Facebook is just another bubble, soon to burst, their userbase will peak in the next 6 months and begin to flail. Unfortunately I'd rather not have man + dog join up to G+, I don't want to see imbasile comments, leave it to the teenieboppers. - Zuckerberg should get out while he can, he isn't that dumb.
FORTUNATELY G+ make's it easy for me to pick and choose what I want to see, so it doesn't really matter anyway :)
loudspeaker for rant.
I'd wager that if g+ is better at the moment, it's because not everyone is on it.
When it goes public (or maybe is forced on the public - or was that only it's little brother?), if people sign up, then the "horrible" things from facebook, will be moving too.
I don't really get what the big problem is for people with those games on facebook. When you see an update, just click the little "x" and block the app.
Since there are only a few games popular at a time, the updates will all go away. -problem done!
FB will soon introduce something similar to those circles, simply because they have to. If g+ doesn't manage to get public soon enough, then people will just be like "I get that on FB already"
I just don't see g+ as something I would want.
In the interest of fairness I should mention that I've decided to be extra paranoid with google, than with all other companies that I know what to exploit my information. I base the added paranoia on the fact that they claim to do no evil, which just cannot be true.
For me, it looks like one of the great features on Google Plus is that you can add people to a group (circle) even though you know they're not going to get a Google plus account.
When you create a post it has a checkbox to send a copy of the post to those who are not a G+ member - which means you can still communicate effortlessly with them. They receive a copy of the post complete with media.
This is so much better than those annoying "You have notifications pending" emails that Facebook uses because they want to force you into their world...
I took a look at Google+ and was instantly reminded of what facebook used to be, back when I liked using it.
Don't underestimate the general public. I think many would love to start fresh, and they're sick of a lot of the negative aspects of Facebook too. Facebook has gone unchallenged for so long that it gets away with doing some things people don't like.