I’ve been giving Facebook a lot of love in my blog posts recently. And its true, I do love Facebook. As much as I love Facebook, though, I have to admit, I was very excited when Google launched its own social network, Google plus (or Google+ if you prefer).
Lately, however, I’ve noticed a large number of Google+ users abandoning ship (myself included). Last week X announced that following its public launch, Google+ traffic fell 60%. While the math involved there may be a little distorted, it does appear that the only people who have really taken to Google+ are techies and social media enthusiasts. In fact, as I browse through my own Google+ feed, the majority of posts come from the same three people.
So Google+ isn’t a viable alternative to Facebook, at least not yet. But Google+ has three things that Facebook doesn’t that keep me rooting for it.
1. Clean interface
Lets face it; as much as we all love Facebook, its ugly. It was ugly when it first launched and has remained ugly through all of the updates.
Google+, like most Google products, is crisp, clean, and thoughtfully designed. One of my favorite designers, and arguably one of the greatest designers of our time is Jony Ive, Senior VP of Industrial design at Apple. In the movie, Objectified, Ive described the design of the iPhone saying,
“A lot of what we seem to be doing in a product like that is getting design out of the way… with that sort of reason, it feels almost inevitable, almost undesigned and it feels almost, like of course it is that way. Why would it be any other way?”
This is the feeling I get from the design of Google+. Of course it is that way. I don’t have to think to use it. All of the tools are exactly where I want them, and I don’t even notice the design.
2. Complete integration
I’ve said this before, but one of my worst nightmares involves Google suddenly disappearing. If Google were to vanish, my life would quite possibly fall apart. I manage so much information through Google: my email, my contacts, my schedule, several documents, just to name a few.
Should I be worried that one company controls so much of my information? Probably. But for the convenience, the risk is worth it. Sure, Facebook has messages and events, but compared to Gmail and Google Calendars, these features suck. And of course Facebook search doesn’t even compare to Google. Facebook isn’t bad, but I’d much rather have the integration of Google.
3. Doesn’t bug me
I love that Facebook wants to make sharing content as easy as possible. But enough with the pop-up prompts to tell all of my friends every action I take.
I have yet to receive a pop-up from Google+. No, Google+ is too classy for that. Its there when I want, conveniently waiting for me at the top of my window.
So maybe Google+ isn’t as popular as Facebook. But lets give it another chance.