Google+ Already a Tumbleweed Town?
This week's Linkbait Prize goes to Paul Tassi, blogging at Forbes.com, who has kindly penned a euology for Google+, a service he obviously despises that launched June 28.
As in 6 weeks ago. Tassi noted:
My profile tells me everything I need to know about Google Plus, and I suspect the same is true for many others. As active as I am in social media and the latest and greatest internet trends, I have 26 people who have added me into circles, only 8 of them being people I wanted to add back, as for all Plus's claims of privacy and intimacy, I don't know most of the others. Out of those, only two post anything at all to the site, and the majority don't even have profile pictures yet, an indicator they haven't returned since day one. My recommended friends list is filled with people I'm actually close with, presumably pulled from my Gmail contacts, but the fact that we haven't added each other yet describes just how little we care about this new network.
If the majority of the 30 million or so Google+ users were having a similar experience I suspect that the service would indeed be in trouble. But I now have more users on Google+ than I have on Facebook and Twitter combined.
Sure, I don't know a lot of the people following me, but we occasionally engage on posts. It's a fine place to make acquaintances. Never on Facebook would I make contact with video game developers, doctors, college football players and other personalities. It's pretty cool.
Tassi suggested Google+ fails to compete with Facebook similar to the way Bing fails to compete with Google.
Bing is competing with Google, just not at the same scale of users. That's really no fault of Bing's. Microsoft has had FAIL written all over its Internet services for years. Bing is a good product cursed by a bad Internet brand.
Similarly, Google+ is competing with Facebook, but nowhere near at Facebook's scale of nearly 800 million users. But Google has the benefit of being a top Internet brand. Equating Google's brand online to Microsoft's brand online is a fallacy.
But Facebook Says Google+ Sucks
Another fun, Google+ hateathon came out of Fortune yesterday, where a blog post quoted Facebook director of game partnerships Sean Ryan said Google has emulated Facebook in its approach to payments for games on Google+.
Google is taking a 5 percent cut of what developers make, 25 percent less than Facebook's fees.
Ryan apparently said: "Google is at 5% because they don't have any users," said Ryan.
First, when you have almost 800 million users, it's pretty easy to look at a rival with 30 million and be dismissive.
But, yes, as a matter of fact, the 5 percent fee is low because Google wants developers to get in early and start adding apps. More games means more users.
Google Mobile guru Punit Soni stressed the 5 percent is a promotional offer and didn't commit to that fee for the future. Finally, Google can afford it.
Facebook Blocking Google+ Invites?
One more interesting Google+ versus Facebook story bears noting.
CNET found this Google YouTube video that shows some possible mischief when users try to share Google+ invitation links on Facebook user news feeds:
Facebook appeared to hide the invite posts. I asked Google, but Google couldn't tell me why this happened. Facebook in its quote to CNET cited some possible spam issue. CNET summed this up thusly:
The problem, in this case, is that the link urges users to come try out Google's flashy new social network, which competes directly with Facebook, leading to speculation that Facebook would somehow be hiding these links intentionally. Speculation on the other side suggests that the complaint is part of a Google gimmick to have users mistrust Facebook while giving Google+ some free marketing.
I had no such trouble a little awhile ago this morning:
I think Facebook did it to be snippy and clever and changed it when Google pointed it out. Why do I suspect this?
Supposedly the issue has been fixed, according to Google+ Product Guy Bradley Horowitz. It's certainly fodder for future Google+-Facebook animosities.