November 17, 2015, Google changed Google Plus. Currently, when you log in to Google Plus, you can use the original Google Plus or the “new” Google Plus.
From this post on Google Plus, “Today we’re taking a big step toward making Google+ an even better place for your interests. To do so, we’ve drastically simplified nearly every aspect of the product. You’ll see this clearly in our new navigation centered around Collections and Communities. ”
I decided to check it out.
My home stream still makes as much sense as a canoe made of chicken wire. I refreshed it 3 times and all 3 times I was given a completely different stream ranging from things posted 3 minutes ago to an hour ago. If it isn’t chronological posts from things I follow it is useless to me.
Next I checked out communities. I have a community which is extremely popular and has over 100,000 users. Each post is still getting 5 interactions. Oh well. The true home for communities on the Internet is niche message boards and reddit. I don’t see this changing anytime soon.
Next I moved on to collections, which, I just don’t get. Is there a way to follow one of these things? My animated cat GIF collection supposedly has 5,000 followers but if you are inactive for long Google throttles the reach of your posts. I guess I do not post often enough to please the Google+ Gods. I experimented with this for a while and used to be able to get ALL of my posts to “what’s hot”. It was interesting to get 1,000 +1s on each post, but what’s the point? Since my new posts are throttled without me spending a bunch of time on the network, it has become completely unusable to me.
Interestingly enough the announcement came with an animated GIF. The first thing I did was look at the interaction animated GIFs were getting. Well unfortunately they no longer auto-play. People all over the world DID like this feature, especially on weekends. It is gone now.
Business Google+ Local Pages
This is a nightmare. AGAIN! I swear to God there must be Facebook employees at Google+ that want to sabotage the place. GOOGLE+ Local Pages for businesses are so screwed up I will need to dedicate an entire article to the changes. To make a long story short business’s “stuff”, such as reviews, are now gone from Google+ Local Pages- I don’t even know how to wrap my head around this yet. It seems a business presence is going back to MAPS, just after everyone got done moving their stuff to Google+ and the nightmare of merging Google+ Social Pages and Google+ Local Pages and everything else. Unfortunately, there has been no major announcements about this, so 18 million business owners in the United States are left to wonder what the hell is going on with their pages.
Was this harsh?
I didn’t quit Google+, Google+ quit me. I have met a couple of good people via Google+. And, I still believe, aside from the massive amount of spam and nerds on the network, that, it is an interesting network. Then again, who cares? I know of articles which were read over 95,000 times last week and Google Plus articles I monitor online have a traffic count of about 4. I invested a lot of time into the network. I’ve gone to events. I’ve configured hundreds of communities. I’ve engaged. I’ve gone viral on there 100+ times. If you find value in the network, by all means, have a blast there. I’m not telling anyone not to use it. It has its place, I’m just not sure where it is headed. Sort of like Minds, Ello, or Tsu.
I do believe the “un-bundling” of Google+ from all things Google is good. It just never should have happened to begin with.
They need to unbundle it from Gmail next.
GIF credit: The official Google announcement on the new Google+.