Google+ has started offering suggested user lists, and already the complaints are rolling in after the model rankled users on Twitter two years ago.
Cribbing notes from Twitter's playbook, Google+ has begun
offering a suggested user list and it's already causing quite a stir in social media circles.
Bradley Horowitz, vice president of product management
for Google+, tipped his hand to the effort in a tweet on Twitter
Sept. 2, noting: "We're about to pilot a
'suggested user'-like mechanism on Google+. If you've got more than 100k
followers on Twitter, DM me - let's talk!"
And here is the link to get started cherry-picking from
Huffington Post Senior Editor Craig Kanalley found this list of famous folks
. It includes Dallas
Mavericks owner and Web pundit Mark Cuban, actor/businessman Ashton Kutcher, singer
Britney Spears and the indomitable actor/pitchman William Shatner.
When Twitter launched its list two years ago, it made
life easier for users who wanted new people to follow but didn't know how to
find them. It also jacked up follower rates for popular people such as the
celebrities listed above.
The result was that it made Twitter noisier, and left
others wanting more followers at a disadvantage. Suggested user lists, after
all, don't contribute to a level playing field.
Already the skepticism is rolling in on Google+. Kanalley
"I don't think this is a good idea. It's going to alienate people
and lead to an inevitable followers war that can hurt the health of the social
network and inflate people's egos. As the famous get more followers, the
non-featured fall farther behind, and a giant gap is created between the two.
This is what happened on Twitter."
The Blog Report Executive Producer Zennie 62, who is black, complained the list is "overwhelmingly white."
"The Google Suggested User List reads like the typical San Francisco
Bay Area tech firm's view of the World: most of the "interesting and
famous people" are white, and if they're black, they're male rappers or
athletes. Hello, Snoop Dog, Chamillionaire, 50 Cent, Dwight Howard, and
Zennir 62 further wondered whether Google didn't believe black women were noteworthy enough to put on its suggested user list.
Horowitz posted this list of suggestions
for leveraging the suggested user list on Google+, noting
that users need to be interesting if they want to get followed.
He didn't address Zennie 62's complaints of racist actions by
Google, but did addressed Kanalley's concern of favoritism, which is
shared by many in the social media sector:
"Today's list isn't yet personalized. At first personalization will
be "lite" - users in different regions and languages will get different
recommendations. But per above, we intend to allow people to deeply
personalize and connect with like-minded people that create great
content around almost any topic they care about.
He added that popular people must retain their position on the list by creating compelling content.
The bigger story is how Google+ is becoming more official
leaning. In addition to suggested user list, there are verified accounts
and serious consequences for users
who don't use their real names on the social