Thursday, August 11, 2011

Now let's watch as the early adopters flee Google+ because of the G-word

Back on July 1, Robert Scoble wrote a post entitled Why yo momma won’t use Google+ (and why that thrills me to no end). While he received some grief about his use of the word "momma," the main point of Scoble's post needs to be examined a little more closely:

So, what is Google+ for then?

It’s for us!

Come on now, we geeks and early adopters and social media gurus need a place to talk free of folks who think Justin Bieber is the second coming of Christ. That’s what we have in Google+ right now. Do we really want to mess that up?

Plus, let’s just be honest here. There are pieces of Google+ that are mighty geeky.

On that same day, I wrote a response post that made a few points:
  • Most Google+ users are not Google's customers. Google's advertisers are Google's customers.

  • For Google's customers to be happy, Google+ needs to attract a lot of eyeballs to Google ads.

As I said in my post:

Expect Google to incrementally add features to Google+ that will draw more eyeballs to Google. That's how Google will keep its true customers happy.

Well, Google+ has just announced a new feature - one that will not please Facebook-haters.

Are you ready for games?

Today we’re adding games to Google+. With the Google+ project, we want to bring the nuance and richness of real-life sharing to the web. But sharing is about more than just conversations. The experiences we have together are just as important to our relationships. We want to make playing games online just as fun, and just as meaningful, as playing in real life.

That means giving you control over when you see games, how you play them and with whom you share your experiences. Games in Google+ are there when you want them and gone when you don’t.

I first learned about this from my Google+ stream. I didn't see the announcement itself; I saw all of the negative reaction to the announcement.

Things along the lines of "if you invite me to games, I will block you." And "this is the end of Google+."

Please remember that Google has a fiduciary duty to make money, and Google isn't going to make money off a a million people that hate advertisements. They're going to make money off hundreds of millions of people who don't mind advertisements if it funds content that is compelling to them.

And if you're horrified by this change and are ready to quit Google+ right now (if you haven't already quit due to the haphazardly-applied real names policy), perhaps you can go and join The WELL.

Which, incidentally, is now "a community."

And doesn't allow members to be anonymous.
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