using Google+ for about a week, and so far I’m unimpressed. Sacrilege, right? Maybe. But that’s my opinion and I’m sticking with it. It seems like every social media guru has jumped on the bandwagon and is singing its praises right now. And they are some very big names in the industry. Folks like Chris Brogan. Michael Stelzner. Mari Smith. All people I admire. And they have their right to their opinion. I just don’t share it. Here’s why.
Why Google+ Doesn’t Impress Me
#1 – Circles = Clutter?
So at first blush, it seems like a good idea to categorize people into “circles.” You start with friends and family, and expand to co-workers. I’ve set up groups into SEO, Social Media, and Networking, etc. making 9 circles in all right now.
When I click on the “circle” tab, Google+ gives you the option of viewing “People in your circles,” “People who’ve added you,” and “Find and invite.” That last category contains nearly 500 people! Somehow Google decided these people were relevant for me. Does this all of this sound familiar to you at all? It does to me. Reminds me of a certain networking site called Twitter. But the labels there are a whole lot simpler: Followers, Following and Who to Follow.
I just see the potential for this to get VERY cluttered, if you like to have a lot of lists. If you don’t, no worries. But here’s an area that Twitter has an advantage. Number of followers. You see with Google+, you can only have 5,000 people across all your circles. Hmm… where have I heard that before? Oh yeah, Facebook limits you to 5,000 friends. Which brings me to reason #2…
#2 – Spam, privacy and other issues
Do you love spam? I doubt it. And I’m not talking about the canned meat product here. In my excitement about getting started with Google+, I neglected to check out the privacy settings. My first clue that something was off came in my email box this past weekend. I was getting tagged in photos by strangers and receiving emails about it. Strange thing was, I wasn’t actually tagged, so I don’t know why I received those emails. But it was annoying. I get enough email as it is, I don’t need more.
One of my social media buddies, Gwen Morrison, has put together a good primer on adjusting your Google+ profile settings. I used it this morning to adjust mine.
Other folks in the industry are raising concerns about privacy issues too. (Which Facebook knows all too well.) I read an article today in PC World in which the author noted that Google+ users retain the copyright to their content. However, in that same paragraph, Google also says:
By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services.
That doesn’t make me feel a whole lot better, but on second thought, I think Facebook says the same thing. Oh well… Here’s my final reason why I’m not gaga over Google+. (Sorry, I just couldn’t resist!)
#3 – It’s another social networking site to deal with!
Just what I wanted in my life, another social networking site to check into each day and monitor traffic. Oh goodie! (You did catch my sarcasm there, didn’t you?) While I can appreciate Google+ circles and being able to chat with friends and hangout — I can do that on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn now! Ok. I can’t do video on Facebook yet, but it’s coming soon. And Twitter already has a way to create lists. Although there is that 140 character limitation to deal with, but there is a virtue in getting right to the point.
As a small business owner and a social media consultant, I’m going to take a “wait and see” attitude towards Google+. I’ve got my profile there, and I’ll check in from time to time to see what’s new, but I think I’m going to stick with the social networking sites I’m most familiar with. And I’ll advise my clients to do the same. Of course, when Google+ adds business pages, my attitude may change.
In the meantime, you can check out my Google+ profile here – but please, no spamming!