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    • G+ completely missed the trend of moving towards much simpler social communication tools. Instagram, whatsapp, snapchat, are products that Google could have made with <1% of the staff they had working on G+, but their vision was to make a better Facebook (already very complex) rather than building the next big thing.

      Using G+ today, you can still see how much better their interface and reading/privacy controls are than FB, and how they have search that actually works, but that's not what most people really cared about.

    • I was part of the Beta in 2011, and an evangelist for the platform practically right up until the final death was announced. The single biggest lesson I learned was that you can't trust a company the size of Google or Facebook to do what's good for the users.

    • Ow, I'm sorry. I had my own shocking dramas with Facebook Groups.

      First, someone invited me to a closed group and I got auto-added. I figured the auto-add feature was a product of the growth at any costs team. It wasn't a group I wanted my name associated with but I was busy and anyway, it was closed, right? What could go wrong?

      I didn't realize that closed meant open as far as being able to see who was a member and a few days later I was embarrassed in a meeting when someone called me out for being a member of the group. It's the first time I really became aware of how important online privacy could be.

      Second, some wonderful gay teens I knew had joined a secret group as they struggled with what to do about coming out. They didn't know that, until a group has 5,000 members, the admin can change the group to be closed or public, which this one did. And that's how their parents found out they were gay.

      The product manager for Slack explained why you can't do that in a private Slack channel: it's about values trumping growth at all costs. That's why the default at Slack is to not notify you of activity when you might be sleeping. Big data would say do it, more engagement. Values would say let them sleep unless they explicitly tell us they want notifications at night.

      I hope we will always be like Slack and put values first, growth second.

    • Indeed. Elsewhere I speculated that G+ was axed because Google could not sufficiently monetise revenue from it. Whilst one might imagine that the likes of Google have so much cash that they did not need to worry about such mundane commercial considerations, the fact is that this is a listed business with publicly traded stock. That changes a lot of things. I remain of the opinion that the platform succumbed to the old fashioned problem of being unprofitable.

    • I remember a friend telling me that your privacy settings in FB got reset to public after every version update. I thought at the time that this was probably a willful action by FB to create more engagements, even by questionable means. The disregard for the potentially catastrophic consequences of this deception - if true - is breathtaking. Would be interested if anyone can corroborate this practice. ..

    • Thankful I have not succumbed to signing up for FB for a multitude of reasons.

      My wife shares with me a few nuggets from time to time, and I'm sure the FB shadow profile on me is highly suspect. Too bad the only solution it would seem would be to sign up and never use the service using a virgin email account and provider.

      I never had that concern with G+ - I mean, you already knew that they had your information, simply by owning and operating an Android device/being in their ecosystem for a decade.

      Water under the bridge and all of that...

    • I think G+ was axed because it was basically a visible Google failure. As long as it existed it would be a public reminder that Google tried to compete with Facebook and gave up and failed. By killing it they probably hope that it fades from view in our public memory. There was little upside to them to continue offering it. Without promotion and sponsorship from Google it would never grow. And Facebook is now too formidable a competitor for them in social.

    • I apologize if this is slightly off-topic, but dredmorbius<at>protonmail<dot>com would be grateful to hear from you about setting up an "Ask-me-anything" (AMA) Q&A session about if you are interested. It would be publicized on G+ as a way to inform about the relative merits of this platform. I believe Edward Morbius has a considerable audience regarding these matters.