Google Plus: the penny drops; Facebook announces it’s taking away a feature it took away two months ago

Looks like people are now being more fair and balanced about Google Plus, instead of drinking the Google Kool-Aid as they did at the site’s launch.
   Farhad Manjoo, in Slate, writes:

Even Google’s own executives seem to have gotten bored by the site. After several public posts in the summer, co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin dropped off the site in the fall; they only started posting once more when bloggers began pointing out their absence. Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman and former CEO, posted his first public message when Steve Jobs died. That was three months after the social network went live.

   If the leadership has little faith in the product, and in this day and age, when we expect flat, transparent management structures, in some companies, we can watch the leaders as effectively as front-line staff.
   On this note, Google Plus seems to be heading toward a ghost-town existence.
   At least I was consistent, being Google Plus-sceptical all along.
   What interests me, however, is this assertion, and it is by no means unique to Farhad:

And apart from the Circles feature—which Facebook quickly co-opted—I didn’t think Google+ distinguished itself from its rivals in any compelling way.

   I’ve no great love of Facebook, either, but a site having a feature and a site promoting it are two different things.
   From my use of Facebook, it always allowed, at least since I joined in early 2007, two groups—full access and what it called ‘Limited Profile’. Some years later, Facebook extended this, so you could assign a multitude of ‘Circles’. For years—I’m pretty sure for at least the last two—I had five, and different privacy settings for each.
   The only change in these groups, as far as I can tell, is Facebook formally creating extra ones with names it assigned, which meant it was a pain in the neck to those of us who had parallel ones for friends, family, acquaintances and restricted. We either had to move people over, ignore them, or merge them—with no information on what would happen to prior privacy settings if we took the last option.
   Facebook, meanwhile, announced on my home page today I could no longer import notes from this blog as of November 22. My experience is that this feature actually disappeared between September 15 and October 1.
   I have not been able to find—and I looked last month—any way of adding a RSS feed URL into Facebook, and any information regarding that was deleted from its help pages.
   So, Facebook doesn’t seem to know its own features.
   I reckon my upgrade to Timeline on September 25 removed this function—and Facebook’s announcement makes me suspect that November 22 is the changeover date for everyone going on to Timeline.

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One thought on “Google Plus: the penny drops; Facebook announces it’s taking away a feature it took away two months ago

  1. Well, it’s still quite simple and consistent for me– the Zuckerbergs broke my trust, and the company I had on Facebook I found to be quite rude.

    So while Facebook may still be operating from a much greater base of strength, and seems to be the more practical for the masses… well, I said it before.

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