[Info] Why I Left Google+

DVGANN0008lgAs part of my long-delayed migration away from all of Google’s services, which turns out to be alot trickier than I had expected, about a year ago I removed my Google+ page and posts, replacing it with a nonsense page. The Google+ mobile app is long gone too. In brief:

Reasons why I liked Google+

  • Robust photography community, good photo gallery integration.
  • Google+ Photo Storage is generous. This makes the above easier.
  • Some of the most intelligent and insightful people in the world post some in-depth stuff on G+.
  • Privacy controls are reasonably straightforward. At least compared to Facebook.
  • It’s not Facebook. This is worth at least 10 points.

Reasons why I disliked Google+

  • Google went WAY too far pushing Google+ integration into everything. Search results weighting, Youtube comments, circles in GMail, red numbers everywhere.
  • Even my regular phonebook was filled with random Google+ people I had never met. This is entirely unnecessary, it’s actually a bit insulting.
  • The website is extremely Javascript-heavy and slow. If my laptop’s fans spin up alarmingly, it’s either Flash in Youtube or Google+. Cards. More Cards. Animated Cards.
  • No RSS feeds. This would have been trivial for them to implement, adding immeasurable convenience.
  • No API, and thus no third-party clients. Probably for the same reason as above, keep everybody nicely coming back to the webpage. Well, that backfired. Twitter (which I believe shares more with Google+ in nature than Facebook), was built on the back of third-party clients.
  • No way to easily search previous posts, either for yourself or anybody else. If you want to find something you wrote a few months ago, be prepared for alot of scrolling, animations, cards and fans spinning up. Because UX.
  • It’s yet another network/service to maintain.
  • No easy way to transfer your data out in a standards-based format.
  • The pros list is nothing that can’t be fixed elsewhere. More on this later.

Bonus: Youtube is losing features

  • Google really wants you to go to Youtube all the time
  • RSS Feeds have been removed from the API, as of a couple of days ago, this breaks many third-party things
  • Preload videos have been removed from the Android app, you now can’t cache videos for later
  • Watch Later Playlist has had the ‘select all’ checkbox removed, relying on the ‘watched’ cookie, which is not 100% reliable

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