Last week I’ve got an invite to Google plus last week (thanks @iein) and had a chance to play around with it. We have gone through many waves of social networks. Friendster, Orkut, MySpace and every new social graph addressed a major annoyance of the previous one.
I used Friendster and Orkut for a bit, but both of those didn’t catch people’s attention enough to keep them sharing information every day. MySpace saw real mass adoption but it completely failed with its design. I remember being frustrated with people’s pages, the auto playing videos, bulletins that were over run by club promoters and the rest of cheap design. Then came Facebook and it addressed some of the things that MySpace refused to fix.
For me Facebook was a big winner because you had to prove your affiliation to a certain college. You also didn’t have crazy designs on people pages. You didn’t have limitations on pictures and you had the news feed. MySpace reacted to those features way too late and it was probably afraid that it was going to lose some of its users if it became more strict and less customizable.
Now we are seeing people’s frustration with Facebook. The number one frustration is privacy. If you let people into your network they are free to see everything. If you don’t then they feel like you don’t want to associate with them.
People have gone around this issue by creating several profiles. Some just stopped sharing personal information altogether. Facebook has continuously erred on the side of overexposure of your data. Overexposure of your personal life is what kept people who are in your circle coming back therefor Facebook had no reason to fix it.
Google Plus holds a promise to fix the oversharing mess. Alexia’s Tsotsis’ article describes the difference between Facebook social networking and real world social networking. Facebook better react quickly or soon I will only share my personal info only on the network that promises to keep it to my inner circle of trust.