Google+ is a disaster, says Chris Messina


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Everybody who uses Facebook could just as easily use Google+. But they don’t – well, some do but… Facebook is still dominant. Google+, “is so far behind, how can it possibly catch up?”. These are the words of Mr Chris Messina, a Silicon Valley developer who was recruited in 2010 to work on Google’s social networking project which became Google+. He left Google in 2013 and started up a blog and a recent posting on that blog criticizes Google or at least the executive who manages Google+.

Before I go on, I’ll just say that my profile on Google+ has received over 20m views. I’m proud of that and I am boasting, I suppose. However, it has little value. I wish those 20,000,000 views had been directed towards PoC, instead πŸ˜‰ .

Mr Messina has criticized the senior executive at Google+, David Besbris. He criticizes David for saying nothing of value in a recent interview. We are told that he says that David has no vision and no insight and simply recites platitudes. David has not responded to that criticism at the time of writing this post.

Google together with Apple and perhaps Amazon on are in the best position to compete with Facebook in β€œdefining the future of digital identity” (quoting Nic Fildes, the Technology & Communications Editor at the Times).

These companies are in a battle to know us better than we do says Mr Messina. However, Google+ has continued to fail in that battle and is becoming confused and disjointed, Mr Mussina believes.

Facebook is too dominant. A lot of Facebook users are unaware or don’t care that in some ways they are being used and exploited. FB users are more aware of this these days but the preferences, likes/dislikes and personal information of Facebook’s users are known to the company and this information is very valuable. It is perhaps the major reason why Facebook is such a valuable company.

In addition, the vast hordes of people who use Facebook a lot, and I know that PoC users visit Facebook a great deal, are indirectly weakening the impact of independent websites. It is almost as if a website owned and managed by a single person is impractical and nonviable. It is almost a case that you have to be a company to own and run a website. The big boys are killing off the little boys. It is the nature of unregulated capitalism. Facebook is like a big supermarket which takes away business from small shops in what we call the high Street in England.

Facebook has many positives. Facebook has the power to change things because it provides a powerful voice for its users. Perhaps this is the major reason why people use it because they feel that their voice can be heard. They feel that their voice can make a change. At the same time, however, people should support the corner shop. It is better that way. I know that PoC regulars do, for which I am very grateful.

As for Google, generally, I personally feel that they have lost their way, somewhat, not only in respect of their social media experiment, Google+, but also with respect to their search engine. In my opinion, it is to highly qualified and no longer always finds the best information on the Internet, which is its sole purpose. It has been messed around with too much. At one time, for example, it was meant to be linked with Google+ but that idea seems to have faded away and I’m pleased by the way.

I genuinely believe that, today, the better search engines are Bing and Yahoo. I like the Google employees and I like the Google offices which I have visited on a number of occasions. I’m not criticizing Google. I’m more concerned about them and where they’re headed. There was a time when they said they would do no evil. There was a purity of vision. That, as far as I’m concerned, no longer exists and it has spoiled their search engine.

Even, in respect of advertising, Facebook is now starting to make inroads into Google, I believe. Facebook provides many advertising services which I think are more user-friendly and flexible. Google is famous for its advertising on websites called AdSense together with the service which is the other side of the coin to AdSense, namely Adwords. Adwords is used by advertisers. I have a feeling that more and more advertisers are now starting to use Facebook instead of Adwords. I don’t know for sure and I’m guessing but of course from the standpoint of Facebook they also need to compete and the one area where they need to compete and beat Google is in advertising which is the cornerstone of Google’s vast income.

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