Despite my criticisms of Google+ last week, I hope it does well. In fact, the recent changes to Facebook have made me all the more hopeful.
I’m not happy with Facebook’s decision to remove the option to view the news feed in reverse chronological order; the ‘Top News’ view is now the only option. Whilst initially I was okay with it, now I’ve found it rather annoying, especially as some things that Facebook considers to be ‘top news’ are things that I’m not that fussed about.
Facebook is also starting to get a bit creepy. For example, the ticker in the top-right of the screen, which shows you basically everything that your friends do. Not only is it full of information that I don’t care about (friend A liked friend B’s status… so what?), and the animation is distracting, but it also feels stalker-ish, if you know what I mean. And, again, you can’t hide it.
Plus there’s the increased integration from the likes of Spotify and the Guardian which is forthcoming. Whilst I think the new profile looks good, I don’t want my friends to be constantly notified about each song I listen to or news articles I read. I may be more amenable if these features are opt-in, but knowing Facebook they’ll be opt-out at best, if at all.
So, back to Google+. It does now have an API but it’s read-only, and not yet well-supported – only a few other sites will work with it at present. Plus, with it being read-only for now, there’s no way to post something on Facebook or Twitter and have it cross-posted to Google+ as yet. But, the inverse is possible, through browser addons like SGPlus or automated accounts like Rob McGee, where posts from Google+ can be cross-posted to other sites. I may be swayed to use Google+ primarily in future, and relegate Facebook to a secondary service, but will need more friends to join in the meantime – right now, that’s the biggest issue for me as most of my friends are still on Facebook.