A little over a month ago Google launched its latest competition to Facebook, Google+. Millions of users, including me, have signed up for this public trial.
But after poking around Google+ for a few days, I don’t visit it very often. Here’s why:
- I am bumping against the time ceiling for social media. Frankly, Facebook is enough. Google+ has no compelling features that make me want to switch. I don’t have time in my real-world-focused life to play in a second-tier social cloud that Google+ offers.
- Google+ is missing hooks for business and organizations. Even if I decided to use Google+ for my personal life, I’d have to use Facebook anyway in order to do work for my business and its clients.
Google promises that they’ll include their version of fan pages in the future, but right now my clients have no way to participate in Google+.
- Google’s generic Terms of Service for all of their products includes their right to perpetually use whatever you post (words, pictures, etc.) to promote that Google’s product. Using my stuff might be okay if I am a business using AdWords. Sure! Promote my business along with AdWords. But, I don’t want my great vacation photos to appear in Google’s ads for itself. Ditto for any essays or comments I write. (My blog post on this worry.)
- Google has a history of deleting accounts without warning or recourse. This man’s Google account was suspended after 7 years. Two weekends ago Google was on the top of blogs for systematically deleting “a striking number” of Google+ accounts and providing no customer support. (And, we all know that is impossible to contact Google. They may contact YOU, but it’s a one-way system.So, basically, I am not ready to trust Google with things I write or create and may want to see again.)
Google can solve my concerns over time. More features and a policy change or two will be enough. But, until then, I’ll keep blogging here for business and on my personal blog. And, I’ll spend time on Facebook who has already capitulated in the content ownership and privacy areas.