Noise per post on google+

I’m always intrigued by how the Big 3(fb, twitter and g+) display each user post within their product.

I rarely find myself on Google+. Personally, it is a scary product for me because it always seems to want information out of me for purely selfish reasons, without providing me a clear benefit.

Tonight, I did find myself on google+ from a link on Hacker News. At the end of it, I thought I’d click around. Before I knew it, I found myself staring at this point:

If you are a facebook addict like me, just a quick glance at this point makes a few things stand out, namely the presence of the plus symbols when referencing “Good Morning America” and the hashtag before “internet2012″.

It made me wonder what a similar post would look like on facebook. So I actually tried to make a similar post.  And it appears similar to this:

Notice the absence of “+” symbols and other noise present on posts on Google+ and Twitter. Twitter is even bigger failure than Google for the noise in their posts because of their refusal to translate usernames into names.

I have always felt that one of the keys to facebook’s success has been their willingness to not shove their own branding for the sake of it and willing to adjust when they screw up. For example, the facebook “poke” feature used to be a big deal during their early days. You could see facebook taking pride in that feature and mentioning it in their PR efforts early on.  The poke feature continues to live on facebook but it more so as a novelty than anything that is shoved in your face.

My advice to Google would be to do away with the “+” before the names. Sure it may take away from their branding efforts but if they feel the idea of “plussing” things is ever going to go mainstream, good luck to them. Instead, they should take a lesson from Facebook. Facebook could have easily chosen a term like “Poke” instead of “Like” to strengthen their branding but they didn’t. Why? Because facebook understands that when people see things they like, they are more likely to click on a link that says “Like” than “Poke”. Similarly, Google should understand that when people read names of people in a post, reading the “plus” symbol adds no additional value. Moreover, it adds negative value. It is distracting. And it makes me conscious of the fact that I am on a niche social network struggling to find its identity.


Google+ vs. Facebook Noise Per Post

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