Where is Facebook? Falling behind! Google Plus steps forward.

Where was Facebook when I needed it? Falling behind. I’ll admit it I have I have religated Facebook to sitting in the Dunce corner. The one I look at when my inbox says HEY – someone who is still on Facebook wants you to know see <insert picture of their spring break trip, their 40th high school reunion or even their newest photo of the little rug rat playing in the sand>. Isn’t he so cute and he is <insert line that could be taken as referring to an animal or to the other persons partner> and so on… and most times I either hit archive or delete. Most often delete. Yes there are a few people that I happily check in on, but I’m not that interested in everyones daily updates.

As I have continued using Google Plus, my usage of Facebook has dropped. I am using add-ons for Google Chrome that allow me to do all of the things that I did when I used Facebook. Some of the early add-on I used have now been replaced by features incorporated in to Google Plus. They listen.

I can cross post to Twitter very easily, even Facebook, and that has made the transition to Google Plus easy and painless. What I like most about Google Plus is that I can follow people who share quality content. The exchange of information is free and open. I don’t miss the forced communication of Facebook, my ribs aren’t hurting from all those pokes and no Farmville request.

I don’t get request to come to events I don’t want. Best of all is I can see all the stupid Gifs I want when I want. I’m still learning how to use the Circles feature of Google Plus. Being able to sort and filter content was something I could not do on Facebook, until they copied the idea from Google. I chuckle at the thought of the late night meetings those Facebook engineers where having. I’d have enjoyed being a fly on that wall.

“Damn it, GIVE ME CIRCLES. Just don’t call them that. Why didn’t we think of this? Make sure we still have a way to control those ‘CIRCLES’. Our users are so stupid we better just sort their friends in to ummm… ‘Smart List’, then tell them it has happened. We will put it out as an upgrade to privacy, a feature that allows you to share cute cat photos with grandma and not share all those spring break photos. WHY didn’t we think of this?” – imaginary product manager.

NPR covered this story yesterday, spoke to a few Facebook users. Every last one of them commented that it was a feature that they were glad to have and that it should have happened earlier. What I noticed was that the two people NPR featured in snippets were both wanting to keep family from knowing what was going on.

Facebook is playing catch-up in some areas. For me, Facebook is like a light-bright. It was cool when I first started using it. After a while it just did the same thing, let me poke people, mutually stock people, forced me to publicly ignore or lie about my attendance at events, be annoyed by Farmville and see those stupid photos of people on spring break. I’ve gotten older and my taste have changed. Facebook isn’t keeping up with those changes. I’m not a fan of the New Improved Facebook, nor was I a fan of New Coke. Coke did it right the first time and Facebook should have also.

Google Plus is still developing features. Features that are being driven by user request and they address those request openly. Their not pre-sorting our friends, family and acquaintances. They don’t assume they know our taste better than we do. 

Google Plus didn’t try to free up my saturday by guessing who went in to which Circle. Google Plus didn’t try to guess what I wanted to do with my saturday. 

Facebook on the other hand.

“It is silly for you to spend a Saturday afternoon categorizing your friends on Facebook,” Facebook director of product management Blake Ross Blake Ross said. “We want to make it as easy as possible to organize your friends.”

That really is a great idea to let me organize my ‘friends’. Why did it take so long? Why is it that you think you know how to organize my ‘smartlist’ better than I do?

Facebook needs to be more open and listen to users more, but I degrees. I need to get back to my email and search for all those ‘pokes’ and delete them. Oh – wait, I did that years ago with filters Gmail provided. Just one more reason I love Google.

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