Google+ Still Sucks: 4 Things Still Wrong with Google Plus

So I called a doctor’s office to make an appointment. They were missing a form. They asked me if I had a fax machine. I said, “No, but I will gladly scan and e-mail the form to you.” They said no. Really? Because it’s 2012 and most humans don’t own fax machines. And I personally don’t/can’t/won’t fax because it’s archaic. (No, I do not care that ‘Internet Fax’ exists. Not even a little bit. That’s basically the same as scanning and e-mailing it.) I get it. I’m a technology snob.

Google Minus LogoBut this pretty much sums up how I feel about the flailing Google+ social media platform. It fails to innovate, or even make sense in a digital age and completely ignores obvious, low-hanging fruit. So for now, Google+ still sucks, and unless it integrates better with their existing properties, it will continue to suck for the foreseeable future. Why not just not use it, you ask? Because they’re continually integrating Google+ more and more with the rich media in their search results and they’re essentially forcing us to use it or get left behind, whether or not it’s a garbage social media platform right now.

Here are just 4 of many things I see as woefully wrong with Google+. If I feel like continuing the rant, I’ll add more in later. But for now I think this is enough complaining for all of us!

#1 – GOOGLE+ VS. THE WORLD

My target audiences are not present and active on Google+, plain and simple. This, by far, is my biggest hesitation to spend any time on Google+. Unless you’re into web, tech and interactive careers, Google+ isn’t particularly useful and doesn’t do much that Facebook and Twitter can’t. The only people I see actively using Google+ are marketers and promoters just like me. The Washington Post reported today that Google’s social network has 100 million “active monthly users.” That’s an announcement straight from Google, and naturally, it’s completely vague as to how “active” these users really are. The announcement simply states that the 100 million active users come from those who visit Google+ online or on their mobile app. (For reference, Facebook has 955 million active monthly users.) Even if Google+ really does have 100 million active users (not bloody likely if you consider active users to be people actually engaging on the site), not many of them align with the target audiences of my clients, and the ones I do find aren’t active or engaging with other people.

#2 – GOOGLE+ VIDEOS VS. YOUTUBE

This one has baffled me since the day Google Plus launched on that not-very-fateful day in June 2011. Why on earth would I bother to upload my videos to YouTube (800 million unique visitors per month) and then wander over to piddly little Google+ to then have to upload it again into the Videos folder on my profile or page? Answer: I wouldn’t. I don’t. I won’t. Google owns YouTube. My Google+ accounts are all registered to the same Google profiles my YouTube accounts are. I’m sorry, only having a YouTube URL share link in a status update just isn’t good enough. Don’t make your social media platform a pain to use. Integrate YouTube and Google+ profiles already. This one is so simple and obvious.

#3 – GOOGLE+ VS. GOOGLE+ Local

The Google+ Local roll-out was a total farse. It was a botched, janky roll-out that only served to confuse people. My clients were outraged as we watched their photos, videos and content not make the transition, as their map listings suddenly pointed to the wrong businesses, they temporarily lost access to edit and update their Google Places listings, and there was a complete lack of communication to name a few problems. The Google+ Local pages look almost identical to Google+ pages, and yet Google insisted in support tickets that they are separate things – even if they are confusing to users and business owners alike, and at this time it’s impossible to connect them. So there are two virtually identical-looking and virtually identically-named Google+ WHATEVER profiles out there for many clients. Again, integrate Google+ and Google Places profiles already. This one makes me so furious I’m not even going to continue talking about it.

#4 – GOOGLE+ EVENTS VS. GOOGLE CALENDAR

Setting aside that Google Calendar is mostly only valuable for personal use and not public use, Google+ Events are painfully limited. Great idea in theory for the occasional one-off event, especially if it’s a Google+ Hang Out or event on the web. This one wasn’t of particular importance to me, until a Google+ rep in my vertical called to suggest that I use Google+ Events. I thought, “Gee, this would be great to connect with the public Google Calendar I have for industry events, conferences, shows and competitions.” Well too bad so sad. There’s no easy aggregate of non-online (Nonline? Trademarking!) events – similar to what Google Calendar offers. Yet another case where integration could make me not hate it. And one more small beef with Google+ events – you can’t select “All Day” as the timeframe of the event.

What it all boils down to is… don’t make me work twice as hard to be a valuable, optimized member of your social network that hardly anyone wants to be on anyway. I already have 800 things going on with the various Google properties, the last thing I need to do is duplicate my work after years of cooperation with new Google services just to get on yet another redundant, only vaguely useful social media platform. So Google, until you fix a handful of these things, I’m just not that into you.

Heather PhysiocGoogle+ Still Sucks: 4 Things Still Wrong with Google Plus

Comments 3

  1. jack paar

    If you were sending a signed document, your doctor’s office probably understands that a faxed document is legally binding in a court of law. The intrinsic nature of the fax transmission protocol makes it extremely secure and it’s the primary reason why the technology is still around today. Many business processes like transferring financial and medical records are linked exclusively to fax.

    Perhaps you should have done your homework first before arrogantly blowing off an universally accepted technology as “archaic.”

    1. Robert

      “legally binding”? What mumbo jumbo is this. As if it is more difficult to get a handwriting expert to say, “yes this looks like it was signed by so-and-so” versus getting a tech expert to say, “yes it looks like it came from so-and-so’s email after so-and-so requested the record in an email, and was returned by so-an-so with either (1) an electronic signature or (2) a scanned signature in which case you could just use the HANDWRITING EXPERT ANYWAY. So don’t tell me that “legally binding” is an excuse to say in the paper age. Once the post office crashes, lawyers and judges will have to jump on board this email thing too. Some more enlightened courts do all filings AND signatures electronically now. And not like you can’t spoof a phone number just like you can spoof an email. So PLEASE spare me the lecture of the security of fax machines–a technology that just like email–is inherently insecure.

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