As a member of Google AdSense, I’m contractually forbidden from saying anything bad about Google, but seeing as how, if I don’t, they won’t be around by the time AdSense pays out again, and therefore won’t be able to hold me accountable, I think I’ll make an exception just this once.
Google Minus (often incorrectly called Google Plus or Google+) was a short-lived massive failure of a project. It could have succeeded if mistakes weren’t made. In fact, it has a very interesting history.
It all started a couple years ago when Google tried to buy Facebook, but Fuckerberg refused to sell. That’s our loss because, instead of one shitty data farm posing as a social network, we got two. Google, unable to acquire Facebook, started Google Minus. It lasted a few days before members started deleting their profiles en masse. It wasn’t so much that the interface was bad (even though it was comparable to Facebook, so it really was), but the policy was. They had the same vaguely defined “real names only” policy that Facebook has, but the only difference is, they actually enforced it. People’s accounts were deleted because, according to Google, those people weren’t using their “real names.” That’s like deleting someone’s account for posting a fake favourite colour. In retaliation, almost every member, within a couple days, deleted his or her account, most of whom left a message to the effect of the enforcement of that policy as the reason, and that was the end of Google Minus.
Except, it wasn’t. It should have been, but it wasn’t. Google apologised for the scandal, but made no effort to change the policy or the way it was enforced. As far as I know (although I haven’t checked in a while), they still haven’t. So, the apology was basically empty, and no one bought it. The only way to legitimately salvage the product was to change it to something people would actually want to use, and they chose not to. Instead their plan was to force people to use it against their will. That’s right. Google are digital rapists.
So, the first plan was to tie all Google accounts together into a single account. YouTube, GMail, Blogger, and all that other stuff they bought and/or stole from other companies now had the same log-in information, and you couldn’t be signed into one without signing into all of them. Or, at least all the ones you had. I don’t know about the others, but YouTube began relentlessly pestering people to create a Google Minus account, and even making videos not load properly when it did that. Sometimes it went so far as to sign people up for this account without their consent and then link their YouTube account to it, making them think that they couldn’t delete it without deleting their YouTube account too.
This fooled a lot of people, as you could tell by the increased use of Google Minus ID’s on YouTube recently, but it also spawned literally tens of thousands of video tutorials on how to undo this crime against you committed by Google without deleting your YouTube account. It fooled a not insignificant number of people, but not an adequate number for Google Minus to become even remotely financial successful. On the contrary. It backfired and made people want Google Minus even less, as if that were even possible.
So, basically, now we have a product of comparable quality to Facebook where you get banned if you’re even suspected of violating a vaguely defined (but completely unenforceable) policy, whose creators constantly pester you about how you had better get it. And don’t even think about dismissing the message because they’ll “ask you again later.” You may be forced to sign up for it, and then have it attach to a product you do want like a parasite, making it a bitch to get rid of, even though you never even wanted it in the first place. I can’t imagine why that business model is failing.
But, today was the last straw. You can’t comment on a YouTube video or a YouTube channel unless you not only sign up for Google Minus, but link it to your YouTube account. Really, Google!? Really!? And, to add insult to injury, the Google Minus comments suck, according to the people who have actually done this. I’ll admit I didn’t, so I’m taking their words for it.
I know what they’re thinking. They’re thinking, “People don’t hate this product so much that they’d stop using YouTube to avoid it.” Well, if they didn’t before, they do after this move. YouTube is effectively dead. But, when Google bought it, we knew this would happen eventually. I’m just surprised it took so long.