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Google+ circle shenanigans

I gave up and reinstated my Google+ account because Hangouts is the only way I can chat or video with some people, including my highly untechnical parents with a Nexus 7, gifted by a friend.

I haven’t posted anything to Google+ in the week since I reinstated my account, yet dozens of people are once again adding me, just as they have since about six months into Google+’s existence. This is not a humblebrag, it is a resurrection of my investigation into this phenomenon.

Same as before, almost none of these people seem to do anything with their Google+ accounts. Most barely have any profile details beyond a name and have never published any photos or text posts publicly.

I’ve never put much effort into my Google+ account. More importantly, I have been openly critical and skeptical of the service—initially on Google+ but continuing on the other platforms I care about—since Google started shoving it down our throats. In other words, I’m pretty sure I’m not on any of the “Featured Users!” lists.

Same as before, I call shenanigans. I got $10 that says these are fake profiles invented by the Google+ team to create the illusion of growth and interest in what is ultimately a “social layer” dud.

You, the users, are just along for the ride. You’re just eyeballs. Body parts and ad-targeting data. Google doesn’t care about you at all. You’ve tolerated enough already that it’s pretty clear you’re not really going anywhere.

Marco Arment on Google’s latest terrible Google+ idea: Hey Let’s Make It Easier For Complete Strangers To Email But Totally Not Harass You

I did it. Day-to-day, I am Google-free. I’ve found alternatives for everything I used to use at Google and I am largely happier for it. My Google Apps account for personal work projects is still laying around, but it’s not doing anything and as soon as I’ve squared everything away, I will delete it.

You deserve better. We all do.

On Friday, Google announced an update to its terms of service that allows the company to include adult users’ names, photos and comments in ads shown across the Web, based on ratings, reviews and posts they have made on Google Plus and other Google services like YouTube.

Talk about beating Facebook at its own game, a game Facebook no longer plays after users cried out and Facebook shut the plan down. Instead of using your Google+ photo, name, +1s, comments, and other Google product activity in ads within its own social network, Google will begin using all those things in web ads across the entire internet, on every blog, publication, and corporate site that uses Google ads.

The only reasons I bothered updating my Google+ account every now and then were to let the handful of people who sought me out there know I’m still alive and to ensure my profile thing stays in good standing to appear in search results when people Google things I’ve done on the web. That profile thing, by the way, is an entirely separate load of anti-competitive, proprietary Google bullshit for a different discussion.

But forget that noise. I just deleted my Google+ profile "downgraded" my Google experience, recreated my profile, and left a single message for people to find me elsewhere. I’m tired of this abuse of us not simply as “users,” but customers and human beings. So very goddamned tired.

FUCK OFF WITH GOOGLE+IFYING EVERYTHING GOOGLE.

Honest.
Head out to the store.
Find some sort of a fuck, they are offered in sizes and prices to fit every budget.
Keep it close, keep it safe.
Then head off into the wild blue yonder with it and never fucking return.

FUCK OFF WITH GOOGLE+IFYING EVERYTHING GOOGLE.

Honest. Head out to the store. Find some sort of a fuck, they are offered in sizes and prices to fit every budget. Keep it close, keep it safe. Then head off into the wild blue yonder with it and never fucking return.

ATTENTION: Could everyone who took up pitchforks when Facebook and Tumblr introduced in-stream ads please dust them off? Google+ just hopped on board and, to be honest, we’re running a little short on feigned outrage this week so we could use all the help we can get.

ATTENTION: Could everyone who took up pitchforks when Facebook and Tumblr introduced in-stream ads please dust them off? Google+ just hopped on board and, to be honest, we’re running a little short on feigned outrage this week so we could use all the help we can get.