I’ve been thinking about this post for about a week, but getting the new Facebook features which are trying to replicate Google+ caused me to write this list last night of 7 things I hate about Google+ for sharing today.

The 7 Things I Hate about Google+

1. The incredibly low on-screen information DENSITY (grey area)

Google+ Screenshot (Sept 20, 2011)

I usually love white space, but Tweetdeck has trained me to want (and Edward Tufte has made me come to expect) much higher on-screen information density than Google+ delivers. There’s just WAY TOO MUCH white space begging for something on-screen to read.

2. The incredibly low on-screen information DIVERSITY (red area)

On Twitter, I hate when someone dumps so many tweets at one time that they occupy a disproportionate amount of on-screen space. That happens on Google+ all the time. And it doesn’t count to say that lots of the room is taken up by comments or shares. They get no diversity credit from me. That screen space all gets charged to the original person sharing the content (see number 7).

3. Google+ has clearly gotten inside Facebook’s corporate head

Facebook Screenshot (Sept 20, 2011)

As I updated on Facebook Tuesday night, the introduction of Google+ actually caused me to spend MORE time on Facebook to understand the differences and roles of each. Now that Facebook seems hell-bent to close the gaps, my intrigue for Facebook is “going down, down, down” at an alarming rate. I mean look at the two screen shots: other than I went to high school with one of the guys on the Facebook screen, they’re nearly identical.

4. Sparks, from a search perspective, suck

I don’t quite get why a company that lives and dies by search, puts Sparks forward under its brand. Sparks searches are like the results from the ultimate in an unsorted, very dated, off-topic search engine. Sparks are so far off-brand, it’s pathetic.

5. Google+ is still pimping invites

As I’m writing this, Google+ is now open to everyone, but real estate on my screen is still being taken up with an invitation to send invites. I don’t need to send invites; get the text off my screen.

6. It appears to be blocking terms

I tried to write an update last week which mentioned Facebook twice in a couple of paragraphs, and Google+ wouldn’t let me share it. When I removed the Facebook mentions, the update was published with no problems.

7. Google+ has turned the user experience into a rock concert

You know how at a rock concert a singer will yell something like, “How you doin’ tonight Kansas City?” The singer doesn’t care about how any one person is doing. The singer just wants a lot of cumulative volume with unintelligible individual responses. Doesn’t that sound exactly like a high profile social media rock star asking inane questions on Google+ to trigger bunches of comments they never respond to. Yup, it’s all the same.

What do you think?

Where do you come out on this battle? Do you care? Are you a Facebook user who’s having to deal with the collateral damage of the war with Facebook? If so, what do you think about that? – Mike Brown


If you’re struggling with determining ROI and evaluating its impacts, download “6 Social Media Metrics You Must Track” today!  This article provides a concise, strategic view of the numbers and stories that matter in shaping, implementing, and evaluating your strategy. You’ll learn lessons about when to address measurement strategy, identifying overlooked ROI opportunities, and creating a 6-metric dashboard. Download Your Free Copy of “6 Social Media Metrics You Must Track!”

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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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7 Responses to “The 7 Things I Hate about Google+ (and May Soon Hate about Facebook)”

  1. careersherpa says:

    OK, I agree with your assessment of Google+ weaknesses.  It could be so much better. 
    I will say that the online collaboration/video-conferencing capabilities of Hangouts is slick and could really help to make it useful for professional development/learning and oh, marketing.

    We will see where it goes, right?

  2. ed han says:

    My experience differs and I wonder how much of that is due to the differences in the people we’ve added/friended.

    • Mike Brown says:

      Some of it may be because of who we’ve added/friended, Ed, but I really don’t think that’s a major part. #7 is driven by who has been circled, but I’ve seen even local social media celebs share what they’re having for lunch and generate 15 comments about it. That’s just wasted space on my screen. Most of the other complaints are either design related (the low information density and diversity) or more tied to what we expect out of a social networking platform. I like diversity of thinking and input, and don’t like having to give up too much screen space without getting enough of the diversity I’m seeking in return.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Great, now you’ve totally ruined my experiences by pointing out the flaws. Actually, my experience is continuing to be ruined by the lack of feedback as people just gloss over whatever I post, wherever I post. And I’ll now blame the UI (not my writing).

    I really crave a place where online conversations will and do happen (not ‘could happen’).

  4. what I hate the most YES is the low on-screen information density, it only takes 2 pictures to fill up my screen. If I want to see the big picture I’ll click on it!!! And Facebook is now copying exactly that! 

    They should be adding new features, improving the old ones, or even more important solving issues, but noo they just roll out the new crap profile: http://www.vectorash.ro/facebook-new-crap-profile-reloaded/

  5. Jessica says:

    Changing their UI is not a new thing for Facebook, but changing it to look and act more like another site is.  If it becomes just like Google + then many users are just going to pick one, and I’m already getting bored of Facebook just like I did with myspace.  If they were to keep their individuality and capitalize on the things users don’t like about Google + then people would either have both accounts, or might be more likely to continue to stand by Facebook instead of jumping ship.

  6. In my opinion, Facebook has what it takes to stick around for the long run. They do have things we all dont like to well, but they are truly innovative and that will always bring them to the top. 

    Google+ is suffering from what I feel like is a totally unoriginal copy of Facebook. I (and all of my friends) have a G+ account. The truth is however, non of use use it. It just doesn’t draw people in. I’ve had some many conversations with folks who havnt logged into there account in months. 

    My rant is now done 🙂