Almost two years ago, I wrote a post hoping that I could change some of the popular mindset about Google+.
I was obviously naive. Google+ may have gained many new users since then, but the bashing has never stopped.
At first sight, the article looks like what a typical author at The Onion would put together. But satire is not TechCrunch’s forte. The goal of the site is to provide “news, videos and events about IT companies, technology-oriented blogs, and other web properties.” In a nutshell, they call themselves journalists.
Here are some extracts from the article:
- “What we’re hearing from multiple sources is that Google+ will no longer be considered a product, but a platform — essentially ending its competition with other social networks like Facebook and Twitter.“
- “According to two sources, Google has apparently been reshuffling the teams that used to form the core of Google+, a group numbering between 1,000 and 1,200 employees.”
- “We’ve heard that there were tensions between Gundotra and others inside the company, especially surrounding the “forced” integrations of Google+ into products like YouTube and Gmail. Apparently, once each of those integrations was made, they were initially being claimed as “active user” wins until Page stepped in and made a distinction.”
- “It’s not clear, according to our sources’ intel”
Looking for links to those sources? Good luck finding them, because there are none.
Trained journalists know one thing: You should never make a statement if you cannot back it up with valid evidence. Otherwise, you are asking for trouble. There are exceptions of course. In some fields, revealing sources can endanger lives. But it is not the case here. We are talking about Google and the future of its social platform.
What I can tell you about this article is that it is everything but journalism. The authors have not used Google+ (at least publicly) since 2012. Worse even, they are both co-editors at TC. Fact-checking is one of their responsibilities. As a result, their claims are as credible as the ones made by a man who is supposed to predict the weather while living in a dark cell, but has no contact at all with the outside world.
Yes, Google+ is not for everyone. That’s an undeniable fact.
And yes, having reservations about the platform is ok.
What is not, though, is trying to turn speculations into absolute truths.
Google+ is NOT a ghost town. Just because your friends and family are not there does not mean that it is useless. Actually, the whole purpose of Google+ is to allow you to connect with new people who share your interests.
And by the way, Google is not forcing you to do anything either. You are the one who chose to give away your personal information because you wanted to use its services. In fact, don’t we have to do that with every social media site ever created? To take part in conversations, you have to sign up for an account…
So, as fellow social media pro Stephan Hovnanian says,
It doesn’t matter what happens in the end with the G+ platform, what matters is what we can take away from it when the proverbial cheese does finally get moved. We don’t control this platform, so take it from a guy who actually makes a living talking to people about how to use Google+ when I tell you that as great as this place is, there’s more to life and business. [...] Today, and from here on out, use this platform to connect with people and build your business. That’s what Google wants us to do on Google+. Exchange email addresses (a form of communication which will never go away). Follow them on another platform. Shrink down your activity to build those connections one at a time so that, should there be enough of a shakeup here on G+ to make the social part of the platform unusable, life and business can go on.