Marco Arment thinks that Google is heading down the wrong path with Google+:
But Google’s increasingly desperate push to cram Google+ down everyone’s throats hasn’t made Google+ any more relevant. It has only resulted in a lot of confused Google-account owners who inadvertently “upgraded” to Google+ while trying to do something else on a Google property, and who don’t even realize that they have this account on this social network that none of their friends use even though they all accidentally have accounts on it.
(via There’s No Avoiding Google+ – Marco.org)
I think Marco is missing the point of Google+. As the WSJ report he links to puts it:
“Both Facebook and Google make the vast bulk of their revenue from selling ads. But Facebook has something Google wants: Facebook can tie people’s online activities to their real names, and it also knows who those people’s friends are. Marketers say Google has told them that closer integration of Google+ across its many properties will allow Google to obtain this kind of information and target people with more relevant (and therefore, more profitable) ads.”
If none of those registered users actually posted a single thing on Google+, Google would still get something out of it. Google+ is all about tying together all your activity across the web into a single, coherent identity, one where it also knows who your friends are – which, of course, Google will track as you send and receive emails, comment on blogs, and so on. If you post and “+1″ things, all the better as it gives Google more data about what you like. But it’s not essential.
Twitter Continues to Gnaw On the Hand That Feeds It:
I’d love to stand on a soapbox and preach “BOYCOTT TWITTER” but let’s be serious – even if they shunned every last app using its service and forced us to either use the website or their own branded apps, we’d still use Twitter. The job seekers, the self-promoters, the celebrity-obsessed groupies would continue to announce to the world the availability of their new book or recently published article, as well as their drunken 2 a.m. quips with friends.
Harry’s right, of course: you can pretty much guarantee that all of the grumbling about what Twitter does won’t amount to more than a handful of users deserting it for other platforms.
Facebook? If there’s one service the Twitterari hates, it’s Facebook.
Google+? I like it – and I think that it’s actual target is Twitter, not Facebook – but the audience isn’t there (yet) and people are getting much more distrustful of Google.
Twitter is it. For better or worse.
(Via Curious Rat – the RSS Feed)
From Google to Add Social-Network Elements – WSJ.com:
“The best thing that would happen is for Facebook to open up its data,” Mr. Schmidt said. “Failing that, there are other ways to get that information.” He declined to be specific.
I think Eric meant to say “the best thing that would happen for us is for Facebook to open up its data.” Because it certainly wouldn’t be the best thing for Facebook.
And that “failing that…” sounds like an interesting threat to me, and suggests more clearly than ever that Google is determined to crack open Facebook for its own benefit.