Those who say that Google+ is going to beat Facebook are just not facing this reality. For many Facebook is better than Google+.
- "Show geo location information from photos in newly uploaded albums" seems to be turned off by default. Good.
- By default, Google+ makes the identity of all your circles (including family and friends) visible to "Anyone on the web." Same with "Show people who have added you to circles," also selected by default. Not many people seem to have locked this down. Not sure whether this is a good or bad idea, but these defaults are Twitter-esque and will lead to a different culture than if they been reversed.
- Google+ has, by my count, 13 privacy settings, each with an average of a sentence or two of text to explain them. There's another page if you want to edit individual items. Facebook has far more complicated privacy options (in part because of Facebook apps) that are more difficult to navigate.
- FB says: "On Facebook, your name, profile picture, gender and networks are visible to everyone." Google+ lets users make gender and circles private, but it looks like your name and, if you have one, profile photo must (like FB) be visible to everyone on the Web.
- I'm not sure, but it seems like if you give someone permission to see a Google+ post, they can do the equivalent of forward it ("Anyone a post is shared with can see all comments to that post, who else it's shared with, and share the post with others.") What I'm not sure is if one of their recipients can forward it again, etc.
- Any member of any of your circle seems to be, by default, approved for this (though it's easy to change): "People whose tags of you are automatically approved to link to your Profile."
It's easy to see that much more thought and testing went into this launch than Google Buzz. Google+ is simpler to navigate, and I don't see any obvious privacy missteps that drew such (often unfounded) shrill complaints about Buzz. At launch, at least, it seems to give better privacy options than Facebook as well.
Anything I missed?
Update: There's a "disable reshare" option (in the top right of each post you own) that I presume does what I was speculating about above. And as Sajid said, I should have noted the clever decision to make circle identities -- the equivalent of Twitter followers/followees -- default public but not the actual names of the circles each person is in.
Here is a quick update on Google+ and businesses:
We have been watching Google+ take shape over the last week and we’ve seen some really great companies get involved. But frankly we know our product as it stands is not optimally suited to their needs. In fact, it was kind of an awkward moment for us when we asked Ford for his (or was it her?) gender!
How users communicate with each other is different from how they communicate with brands, and we want to create an optimal experience for both. We have a great team of engineers actively building an amazing Google+ experience for businesses, and we will have something to show the world later this year.
The business experience we are creating should far exceed the consumer profile in terms of its usefulness to businesses. We just ask for your patience while we build it. In the meantime, we are discouraging businesses from using regular profiles to connect with Google+ users. Our policy team will actively work with profile owners to shut down non-user profiles.
Over the next few months we are going to be running a small experiment with a few marketing partners to see the effect of including brands in the Google+ experience. We’ll begin this pilot with a small number of named partners. If you represent a “non-user entity” (e.g. business, organization, place, team, etc.) and would like to apply for consideration in our limited program (and be amongst the first to be alerted when the business product launches) you can sign up here:
Please keep all of the feedback coming, we are listening and really appreciate the time everyone is putting towards helping us build a better social experience through Google+.
Well, quick, find a way to build a circle where you will ONLY see friends of yours talking about Skiing, for instance. Not possible to build in Google+ yet.
Skiing is the interest graph.
Friends are the social graph.
Google+ has nailed the social graph part of this, but doesn't even try to do interest graph (well, except for "Sparks" but they aren't for stuff being shared inside Google+ yet).
I'm looking forward to seeing what Google does to mix Google Groups (interest graph) into Google+ (social graph).
This is why I say I wish Google+ got in bed with Quora and made a baby. Quora is mostly about interest graph, while Google+ is mostly about social graph.
By the way, this is also what I mean when I say that Google+ has poor noise control. If you can't find items you want based on your interest graph then you can't get rid of items you don't want (say my cute baby photos).
- University of Southern CaliforniaEconomics & Film
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