Another Rant About Google+

I generally enjoy using Google+ – I find it serves a different purpose than Facebook. Facebook is all about friends and family swapping pictures and gossip, while G+ has evolved into a sprawling market of pet projects and technical discussions. With a little bit of work you can find people and communities whose interests match your own, and either passively follow or interact as you please.

But Google has got to do something about the Explore feature. This is supposed to show cool posts that many people have commented on,reshared, or +1ed. All sorts of random, interesting stuff shows up here. Unfortunately, so does a lot of “+1 if you like cookies” rubbish does as well, and it makes G+ seem like a bunch of idiots.

An example of an image being used to display a quote on Google PlusPart of the problem is an interesting difference between the design of G+ and Facebook. On Facebook it has become common for people to use a Facebook app to post a large picture to containing a (usually inane) slogan to their wall for anyone to see. These are hard to ignore in your news feed, but since they are posted by a third party app you can easily block them and all future posts from the same source without un-friending the sender. Almost nobody manually posts these pictures since the app is easier and doesn’t pollute your own photo albums.

But on G+ it is easy to attach a single photo to a single post, and G+ will helpfully show a very large version to all your followers. Unlike Facebook apps, there is no way to block similar posts except by unfollowing that user or at least moving them to an out-of-the-way circle. And there is no way at all to disable these posts in the Explore section of the site, which has become a bit of a bore now that it has been invaded by self-promoters posting unoriginal content as large images.

If Google really want to improve G+, they should take a look at curating the Explore section to discourage posts of low value, even if they have many comments or +1s.

Or perhaps I am just bitter because nobody +1s me.