Friday, July 08, 2011

Google+ = Facebook-

Everyone's beginning to join Google+ this week. Why? Well The brilliant xkcd summed it up well:

So I've been wandering over to G+ now and again to see who's showed up, and so far I am really, really underwhelmed.

The one notable thing about Google+ that I've seen is circles. Circles is a way of organizing your friends according to categories. You can categorize friends in FB, but it's a bit of a pain. G+ has a fairly simply system that seems to work well, at least when you've only got 10 friends. I have no idea how easy it is to manage once you have 100s.

Outside of circles, the main thing I've heard people like is chat. G+ really wants me to like chat too, as every time I went on the site it demanded that I click a button that said "enable chat." I clicked cancel each time, since I hate chat, but finally clicked enable without giving any circles chat permissions, in hopes that would stop the pop up. It didn't. I think I may have to create a circle with someone in it who would never chat with me, like Barack Obama, and try again.

People say G+ has a better chat than FB, that you can do audio chat and group chat and whatever, but I don't give a shit.

Outside of circles and chat, G+ is so far notable for how much less you can do on it than in FB. Take something simple like sending a message to a friend. In FB you go to a friend's profile page and click send a message and then you write your message and send it. But you can't do that in G+. You have to go to your homepage, write a message the way you write a status update in FB and then choose the person you want to send the message to.

Status updates are also a pain. You can't just click post. Instead you have to select what circles you want to share with. Every, single, time. You can't just create a default, you always have to choose. The first couple of times I couldn't even get my status update up because I didn't understand the three step process in which you write your message, choose your circles and then send. It's not difficult, really, it's just not intuitive.

Of course, it's nice to have a simple system in place that allows me to post specifically to certain circles. It's a good idea. It's just I generally don't post things to just certain groups, I just post things to everyone, and I'm content with that.

Photo sharing seems alright, if you don't mind the slideshow presentation people complained about when FB added it, but once again FB has a simpler way to do something; to make a photo your profile image in FB you can just select a photo, but in G+ you have to go to your profile, start editing it and then get the picture you want. Is this a choice, or just something they haven't fixed yet?

That last question is key, because I have no idea how much google is going to add to this. But right now you've got something far less useful, intuitive and user friendly than FB. Like most people, I would love to give FB the raspberry and move to something better, but at the moment, far from being better, G+ isn't even as good.

But then, to be fair, I didn't like FB when I came over from MySpace. Ultimately what's important is how people wind up using G+. I just don't see that there's anything you can do right now on G+ that you can't do on FB, making switching utterly pointless.

1 comment:

  1. A friend of mine says you have to forget FB when talking about G+. He says G+ is more like a Twitter replacement. Personally I never got Twitter, and my understanding is there are already a couple of better takes on Twitter out there, so right now G+ strikes me as something I will quickly lose interest in.