Google Admitting It Can’t Compete With Facebook On Social Media?

29 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Google Admitting It Can’t Compete With Facebook On Social Media?.

Company vice president Brad Horotwitz, who’s been running Google+, said in a blogpost that users will no longer need a Google+ account to chat with others on Google products like YouTube. MOUNTAIN VIEW (California) — Google is limiting the reach of its social network, planning to make it simpler for users to log in to the company’s many Web services without Google+.

Bradley Horowitz, VP of streams, photos and sharing at Google, goes to great pains to explain what Google+ will be and won’t be from now on in a Radiohead lyric-misappropriating blog post entitled Everything In Its Right Place. “People have told us that accessing all of their Google stuff with one account makes life a whole lot easier. Google+ was launched four years ago with the hopes of competing with Facebook, but whereas Facebook has 1.4-billion active users worldwide, Google’s best estimated number was 300-million, and the Wall Street Journal says there have long been questions about the activity level of Google’s users. By harnessing people’s real identities and reputations, the thinking went, the most toxic and spammy of commenters would sink to the bottom, and the cream of the comments would rise to the top.

But we’ve also heard that it doesn’t make sense for your Google+ profile to be your identity in all the other Google products you use,” Horowitz wrote. “So in the coming months, a Google Account will be all you’ll need to share content, communicate with contacts, create a YouTube channel and more, all across Google. The American Customer Satisfaction Index has posted its latest ratings survey, and found that Facebook’s ranking jumped from 67 to 75 on a scale that tops out at 100.

YouTube will be one of the first products to make this change, and you can learn more on the YouTube blog.” “As always, your underlying Google Account won’t be searchable or followable, unlike public Google+ profiles. And for people who already created Google+ profiles but don’t plan to use Google+ itself, we’ll offer better options for managing and removing those public profiles,” he said.

The real surprise was that after generating so much angst, Google+-powered YouTube comments never really got much better: people continued to say terrible things under their real names; vibrant conversations rarely surfaced; and popular accounts still found their comments bombarded with links to giveaway scams. Google has until now made certain services, such as YouTube channels and accounts, inaccessible to those without Google+, ostensibly under the guise of providing users with a more seamless experience. The company wanted it to be a “platform layer” that unified Google’s sharing models, as well as a product and a mobile app, Horowitz explained in a (yes, you guessed it) Google+ update.

This linking of accounts in a public way allegedly led to the outing of a transgender woman who had not previously revealed to colleagues that she had undergone reassignment surgery. Google is at fault for a lot of that, since when you’re launching something, it’s easier to treat something like a “thing” rather than something abstract to make your life better in the future.

A grand solution, built at incredible scale, that wound up solving very little: the story of Google+ comments is the story of Google+ writ small, and now another chapter has concluded. Google+ will remain, but changes will mean Google users will only need a basic account in future to access services, rather than having to sign up to the social network.

How long that will last remains to be seen but, with the failure of Google’s third social network after Orkut and Buzz, you’ve got to admire Mountain View for plugging ever on. µ In its current incarnation, the Google+ stream has become “a place where people engage around their shared interests, with the content and people who inspire them.” Strip away the marketing-speak and it starts to sound a lot like a message board: a place where people share things and discuss them, often is mesmerizing detail. Photographers, Android partisans, and a handful of other interest groups have developed relatively vibrant communities on Google+, using them to share links and discuss news much as you might find on Reddit or another web forum. If Google has a unique twist on all this, it’s a more modern, visually pleasing design, at least compared to the free forum hosts it is at least nominally competing with.

What Google tried to do was attempt to (not maliciously, mind you) trick you into tying your data together instead of explaining why it would benefit you in said future. This Google+ represents a radically scaled-down vision of a service that even today still houses events, Hangouts, and the somewhat indistinct “communities” and “collections.” But better to start there than keep bolting on new services in hopes a coherent story will emerge. Last year, our editors gave the best description of Google+ that I had ever heard…even better than the people who were paid to market Google’s social efforts: If Google had stuck with that description, instead of ducking and jabbing over whether it was a social network or not, the outside aggression towards it wouldn’t have been as intense.

Business types call this type of use case “the wedge” — it’s the pointy bit that inserts itself into your everyday behavior, and which can be leveraged to push more features at you down the road. To the extent Google+ had a wedge, it was privacy — the idea that sharing to small circles of friends would make you feel comfortable sharing more. (It’s a blind alley many startups have wandered down. When I’m logged in, Google knows what I search for and click on, who I’m connected to, where I am at any given time and what I spend most of my time doing on the web. The truth is that even though it’s a big forum, Google+ Photography isn’t a good forum — it’s a confusing mass of photos in reverse-chronological order, most of which have sparked no discussions whatsoever.

Schmidt: Our view of social is a little different than what everyone has been writing. we want our core products to get better from social information. The best thing that could happen is if Facebook opened up its network and if we could just use that information…Failing that, there are other ways in which we can get that information.

But it requires too much work on the part of the person casually browsing the stream, and strikes me as just one more doomed twist on private sharing and circles.

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