Hated Facebook. On to Google+?
July 8, 2011 11:19 AM   Subscribe

I hate Facebook and quit it ages ago. Now I've got a Google+ invite. Should I use it?

I never really 'got' Facebook and never really used it much. I only logged in when it sent me emails. Then that university email address self-destructed, so I stopped getting emails from them and only logged in when someone told me they'd butchered my security settings again. Eventually, I got fed up with that and the fact Facebook would tell my best friend to 'reconnect' with me--i.e. trigger an email to induce me to log in--which seemed obnoxiously stalker-ish of Facebook.

I have no reason to believe that Google will be any less obnoxious than Facebook with their newfound data-mining source and yet I'm tempted anyway. Should I join? (Yes, I could just join under a fake name. Perhaps I will.)
posted by hoyland to Computers & Internet (15 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
I don't know if anyone else can answer this for you. Read their privacy policy and contact settings and decide for yourself.
posted by Aizkolari at 11:21 AM on July 8, 2011


I think we need more information about what you didn't like about Facebook. Google Plus is essentially very similar to Facebook, it's just that no one's really on it yet.
posted by sweetkid at 11:21 AM on July 8, 2011


I don't know if anyone else can answer this for you. Read their privacy policy and contact settings and decide for yourself.

That, too, just test drive it. Also, setting up a fake name for social networking defeats the purpose a bit.
posted by sweetkid at 11:25 AM on July 8, 2011


Why the hell not? Just assume that everyone with an internet connection can see your info, and you'll be fine.
posted by lobbyist at 11:26 AM on July 8, 2011


I suppose I liked the idea of Facebook, but never really figured out how to use it effectively. I realise people do things like talk to their friends via Facebook or keep in touch with people who have moved far away, but I use AIM and e-mail for that. (I stopped logging into Facebook before chat was introduced. I think I was still logging in occasionally around the start of the newsfeed, so I've never had the 'oh, I should email so-and-so' benefit it might have.)

The fake name thing sort of works, if you're not interested in having your public web presence be Facebook/Google+/whatever.

I suppose I'm curious whether anyone can come up with a compelling argument either way, rather than 'Eh, might as well.'
posted by hoyland at 11:29 AM on July 8, 2011


The thing Google+ allows you to do that is interesting and good is that when you add a friend, you add that person to a circle. You share things selectively by default -- there's a drop-down that asks if you want to share something with all your circles, or with any variation of your multiple circles.

So, if you've got something you think your college and high school friends will enjoy, but that you don't want to specifically share with people from church and work, you're all set. You are also asked as you create your account to make simple decisions about your defaults. So you can be not publicly searchable by email address, for example.

One minor annoyance you will need to adjust for: the service automatically sends you e-mails every time someone comments on a post or adds you to their circle or whatever. This can be easily managed by filtering those e-mails, but it's the only drawback I've found so far.

You may be hindered by using a fake name. There's a post on the front page of the blue right now about pseudonyms on Google+, and you might want to take a look at that before you decide one way or another how to proceed on that front.

Overall, I'd recommend it. I think it's easy to use, nicely configured -- like a clean, sensible version of FaceBook that has built-in functionality surrounding how you organize your personal contacts.
posted by brina at 11:40 AM on July 8, 2011


The post on the blue.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:44 AM on July 8, 2011


I have no reason to believe that Google will be any less obnoxious than Facebook with their newfound data-mining source and yet I'm tempted anyway.

So far, one of the only real advantages Google has is that people are sick of Facebook's obnoxious practices and chomping at the bit to find a place that isn't so cavalier towards its users' privacy and preferences. It's why most of my friends who have joined Google+ have done so. So, it's possible they could become Facebook-obnoxious, but they have a very strong incentive not to. I don't think it will happen in the near future.

the service automatically sends you e-mails every time someone comments on a post or adds you to their circle or whatever

You can adjust your notification settings by clicking on the gear icon at the top right of any Google+ page.
posted by grouse at 11:46 AM on July 8, 2011


The circles thing is very, very slick. If you use gtalk, it is well-integrated with that. In many respects it is otherwise very similar to facebook, with the interface a little better in most cases I've encountered. One thing I've noticed is lacking -- a major use of facebook for me is keeping track of people's birthdays, but google+ doesn't seem to even have a field for that.

the service automatically sends you e-mails every time someone comments on a post or adds you to their circle or whatever. This can be easily managed by filtering those e-mails, but it's the only drawback I've found so far.

This is the same as facebook by default, and can be turned off in settings.
posted by advil at 11:47 AM on July 8, 2011


For me, things like facebook are "useful" in that I can keep in touch with people in ways that just don't work well for IM or email. Like, I'll see that my friend Chuck has posted a photo of a delicious-looking burger. Chuck lives near me; it's unlikely that he'd bother to email me or mention in IM that he ate that delicious burger. But he put a photo of it on facebook, and I can comment to say "I want that burger. Where is it? Want to come eat one with me?"

I've got a g+ account now, and so far it's working in a similar fashion. It's entirely too soon to tell if it will be plagued with the same kinds of issues that have bugged me about facebook ("we're changing who gets to see your stuff, but you'll only read about that when one of your friends posts something about how to change your privacy settings back to how you want them, rather than how we think they should be!").

So far, it's pretty clean and intuitive in ways that facebook wasn't for me initially. I know that Google is going to mine the hell out of the data I put there - they already do that with email and so on. They're not charging me any money, so I know they're going to recoup their bucks from something. I'm just hoping they'll be a little more transparent about the process.
posted by rtha at 11:50 AM on July 8, 2011


For ages I've been frustrated by the very poor options for multi-way video chat. Today I had a three-way video chat on Google+. It worked great! The feature is called a "hangout". It prompted me to send invites to my parents even though they never even made it onto Facebook.
posted by ootandaboot at 2:03 PM on July 8, 2011


My rule with these things is to grab an account under my name, so I have it in case the stupid thing takes-off and I'm forced to actually use it in order to communicate with friends, family, my job, etc.

So, take it. You don't have to use it. Maybe just log-in once in awhile to keep it active. That's how I treat Facebook.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:26 PM on July 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


I hate facebook. But I got a G+ for some reason. Worst case, I'll just let it sit there (as I did with buzz.)
posted by Obscure Reference at 2:35 PM on July 8, 2011


I suppose I liked the idea of Facebook, but never really figured out how to use it effectively.

The first thing I noticed when I signed up for G+ was that it was Facebook (only not as elegant). There are some other features, and it lacks a few, but it's extremely similar. If you didn't find a reason to use Facebook, you probably won't have one for G+.

I still can't figure out a reason to use it in tandem with Facebook. Many people want to leave FB theoretically because of privacy settings or whatever. Privacy and social networking will always be an evolving issue, and, these people will have the same "problems' with G+ in time, no matter how good Google is (and, well, there was Buzz that annoyed all these people).

In any case, you have nothing to lose by signing up. It's free. You can walk away if you don't like it. If it turns out useful, then awesome.
posted by General Malaise at 3:24 PM on July 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Elgan: How Google+ ends social networking fatigue (ComputerWorld)

I saw the article described as this guy deciding he was giving up all other forms of online commmunication and only using Google+ and thought yeah right.

Then I read the article (3 pages) and he talks about different ideas of things you can use it for and goes down a list of how it can replace Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and so on. I was surprised to find myself agreeing with much of it.
posted by cashman at 3:26 PM on July 9, 2011


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