1. You think it has better privacy controls
This is number one, hands down, the biggest reason its a problem waiting to happen. The pure enthusiasm for a new product and your belief that you are “safer” will lead to you to share more believing that you have better control.
2. It’s still in Beta.
Beta means beta, which means there are bugs that haven’t been worked out. It also means that this isn’t the finished product, things could change.
3. The follow vs friend vs circle confusion.
Anyone can “follow” you by adding you to a circle even if you don’t reciprocate. This is weird hybrid of Twitter & Facebook. We already know people don’t understand complicated privacy settings.
Twitter: your account is either public or private and you know which one it is. Yes it’s possible on Twitter to repost a tweet from a private account.
Facebook: you must request a reciprocal agreement of friendship. If I deny that request you can’t follow me.The default settings for posts and status updates is “friends only”. So let’s say I intend to post my “party friends” but inadvertently post to all. Eek! Yep that’s bad, but it still only goes to the people I’ve allowed to be my friend. Let’s say even worse, I don’t notice that I’ve shared that post with all of my friends, its still not indexable by Google or other search engines. Facebook does make it easy to share (repost) photos and other links posted to the wall but not status updates.
Google+: there is no approval process so anyone can follow me without my approval, similar to a public Twitter account. But Google+ stresses the privacy aspect and many people are comparing it to Facebook, so people will use it like Facebook. Now let’s say I make an error there and while intending to post to my “party friends” only I accidentally post to the default setting which is “public” eek! Now the whole world can see it, and if I don’t notice and correct the issues it IS indexable by Google. Google+ allows people (repost) share your photos, your links and your status updates.
Plus anyone a post is shared with can share that post.
3. Google isn’t up front about how they are using and storing your information.
I talked about this when I wrote Google’s Social Circle & Social Search May Not Violate Any Privacy Laws But It Gives Me The Creeps. Google states they were basing my Social Circle and Social Search on my Google Profile, except I didn’t have one and the instructions they gave to change settings & content did not work.
And I’m not the only with concerns about what Google says versus what Google does
“[Google] made fairly significant verbal assurances that they would improve their behavior but apparently that’s all they did,” Barton said. “They really didn’t change their business model and it appears to me Google had adopted a model of saying one thing in Washington and doing another in their business practices.”
4. Google+ For Mobile – which according to the site allows for:
Instant Upload for Android. Upload every video and picture to your own private album in the cloud. From there, just edit and share them with whoever you want.
Which is awesome until there is a glitch in the system and all of your photos go public for 15 minutes and everyone can see those phones you took for sexting with your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife/stranger-you-met-on-a-plane which were automatically uploaded thanks to Google+ for Mobile, but you didn’t bother to delete because A) You forgot it did that or B) they are private anyway.
5. You’re putting all of your eggs in one basket
There is a reason for that old saying about not putting all of your eggs in one basket. I don’t think Facebook is better or worse than Google, I don’t think they have better motives or privacy or are using my data in better ways. But I KNOW both Google and Facebook are using my data and for right now I think its best to put that data in as many separate baskets as possible.
Let me be clear I’m not saying Facebook or Twitter (or Friendfeed?) is better than Google+, I’m just saying Google+ isn’t better than any of them, especially for the Average Joe (which is probably not you if you’re reading this blog btw)
PS: Dear Google, I love you, please don’t take away my Gmail, or Google Reader, or Docs, or my Android phone. Love Bobbi
- The Line Between Personalization and Creepy
- You’re Not Google’s Customer — You’re the Product: Antitrust in a Web 2.0 World
- It’s Google Plus vs. Twitter, Not Facebook
- Google Plus and the Future of Sharing Educational Resources
- Google+ Privacy: A Closer Look
- As Google+ Gets Going, Confusion from the Marketplace
- Google vs. Facebook: Which Can You Trust?
- How to Set Google+ Privacy Settings
- Proceed With Caution: Google+ Is Forever
- A metaphor to understand Google+