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You know what, Google? Screw it. I’ll use Google+.

I really don’t want to – I’ve got enough things to check, and I kind of hate the social networks I’m already part of. But the YouTube thing means it’s pretty clear you’re going to chase me everywhere on the web until I submit to your will, so I might as well surrender. It just seems easier.

Man, this sucks.

Anyway, not everyone’s come to this consensus yet, but don’t worry, Google, I think you can get everyone onto your network in just a few months if you really push. Here are my suggestions.

Force Plus In There

You guys missed out on the social networking wave – Facebook and Twitter built up huge user bases before you noticed how important these networks would become. So now you’re playing catch up, by any means necessary.

You shut down Google Reader RIP Google Reader: Google's RSS Reader Will Shut Down On July 1st [Updates] RIP Google Reader: Google's RSS Reader Will Shut Down On July 1st [Updates] Google Reader, Google's popular RSS application, will be shut down on July 1 of this year. The company has revealed the news in a blog post that spells the end for another batch of Google... Read More , seemingly because you thought we’d just use Plus instead. Then you forced Google+ into YouTube YouTube's Comments Section Now Cleaned Up, Courtesy Of Google+ YouTube's Comments Section Now Cleaned Up, Courtesy Of Google+ Google has cleaned up YouTube with a new Google+ powered commenting system. You'll now see the most upvoted comments, the ones from people in your Google+ circles, and from the owner of the video. Read More , meaning anything I write in YouTube’s comments will now show up on my Google+ profile. The founder of YouTube certainly loved the idea:

Ads by Google

youtube-google-plus

I understand that a social network is only useful if people use it – I really do. So why not take YouTube’s comments section, a place where lots of people take the time to say things (usually vile, terrible things, but still: things!) and integrate that with a site most people never bother to say anything on?

Your logic is astounding, I merely propose that you keep going. Integrate more services. Here are some more ideas.

To Gmail

gmail-google-plus

Most people don’t check Google Plus regularly, but that’s just because there’s no content there worth reading. This is a problem you can solve instantly thanks to Gmail!

Why not make any email between two Google users a public Google+ conversation? That would add all kinds of interesting content to Google+, content I’m sure many people would find interested to read. Actually, why limit yourself? Just put every email we send from Gmail onto Google+, by default (leaving a hard-to-find option to turn this off, of course – you’re not evil, after all).

To Google Calendar

google-calendar-plus

Oh, here’s another thing: Facebook makes it easy for everyone to know when I’m going to be at a party, and no one seems to mind. Why not just make my entire calendar public, only on Google+?

To Google Maps

google-maps-plus

While you’re at it, why not broadcast my location at all times, to anyone on the Internet, using Google Maps? Broadcast any directions I look up, or just track my phone… whatever. If you turn Google+ into the place anyone can visit to violate the privacy of anyone else, anytime, you’ll have users.

To Google’s Homepage

Your front page is among the most popular on the web, iconic for its cleanliness and loved for loading quickly. Know what it could use?

google-plus-search

Yeah, perfect. Some of your hundreds of millions of users ought to feel bad enough to click that. Oh, and while you’re at it, publish all of our searches to the network – you’re already tracking them Google Will Share Your Browsing History On March 1st [News] Google Will Share Your Browsing History On March 1st [News] Read More , and it’s another fascinating bit of information you can add to our profiles.

Buy Twitter, Add Plus To That

Twitter-google-plus

Oh, and here’s an idea: why not just start buying other social networks? People love posting stuff to Twitter, and if you add a big enough button to the form for tweeting people may also post stuff to Google+. Accidentally.

See What Sticks

You used to be a company that threw several things at the wall and kept what works. An email client – why not? Buying an experimental word processor that works entirely in the browser? Give it a shot. Oh, and let’s see if we can make the best RSS reader in the world, because that sounds like fun.

Search was so insanely profitable that you could afford to try just about anything, and you tried just about everything. It’s why most of the services you offer today even exist (the ones you didn’t kill off, anyway).

From a user’s point of view, this can be frustrating: things we love could disappear. But it’s also what allowed your company to branch out from search into things like email, maps and mobile phones. You allowed your engineers to experiment, and your users to play around with the results.

But you know what? That was stupid. You’ve got a better strategy now: adding Google+ to products people love in order to someday turn that wasteland into a viable competitor. Stick with that.

  1. Ivan Miller
    January 9, 2014 at 12:43 am

    Totally- OMG!! It's like... "umm, Google, as if we'd share "twirking" on Google+ too... you're just not important like Facebook & Twitter. And BTW... we're not letting you know where the party is on Friday night either.

    LOL.

  2. Manny
    January 7, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    You know, I grew up with out internet, email, cellphone or social media and those years were my happiest.
    It is very easy for every one if you don't like it then don't use it. Far simple.
    However we are free to choose what we want to use, just let it be.

  3. dragonmouth
    December 22, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    Google hasn't gone far enough. It should make Google+ account a pre-requisite to use ANY Google products, even Gmail.

  4. Buffet
    December 21, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    Also, unlike several of the pencilnecks who commented above, I think this site rocks!
    Remember, there are only two opinions in this world - mine....and the wrong one!

  5. Buffet
    December 21, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    The hell with goggle AND YouTube. I can certainly live without both! Better I should think. I refuse, unlike sheeple, to be forced into anything!!

  6. Matt S
    December 21, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    Google's practices sketch me out some time.

    You really want to talk sketchy? Okay, how about this; Google authorship. You sign up, you get your name by things you make in Google search results, and your stuff usually gets better SEO juice as a result.

    Except it's all at the mercy of Google. You need a Google account to use it, so you have to buy in to their system. And if anything goes wrong, there's virtually no support. Changing my Google+ picture caused authorship to get kicked off some of my stuff for some reason earlier this year, and Google never answered a single request for help with the matter. Thankfully, after trying a few other photos, authorship magically started working again.

    Ultimately, I have a love-hate relationship with Google. Their integration is great, but when it's also a bit disturbing when you think about it, and there's virtually no support if anything goes wrong. After all, we're not really the customer - the "real" customer is the ad agencies that get all the data Google collects about us.

  7. John
    December 21, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    I hate google and dont want anything to do with that data mining privacy breaching shady company. Proud to be google free since 2010.

    • Buffet
      December 21, 2013 at 10:11 pm

      Amen brother!

  8. Ramandeep S
    December 21, 2013 at 7:22 am

    I really hate Google+. I don't know why it exists on earth. Google was much better without it and its shit theme.

  9. Jovan Philip
    December 20, 2013 at 11:31 pm

    Really, MUO? Really? Is this what you've become?

    This article is the final nail in MakeUseOf's coffin for me. What was once an interesting site has now devolved into a collection of rubbish click bait articles. I'm done.

  10. Tom W
    December 20, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    There are currently two things thaylt I really dislike about Google+.

    First, it seems to me that it is very slow. Every page load and every menu interaction just seems to crawl.

    Second, If I'm on YouTube and I notice a notification of a YouTube comment, I want to open it in a new tab, be taken to the video, and reply. I can't do that because it isn't a link that can be opened in a new window, and it takes me to Google+ with no links to go to the video. I don't want to reply on Google+, it just confuses matters.

    • Dave
      February 9, 2014 at 3:29 pm

      there is still a link to the video, the title of the youtube video should be in white, just click that. you can click it from the notification window too.

    • Tom W
      February 9, 2014 at 7:29 pm

      That wasn't working for me at the time. However, I did find out that you can reply through the notification box, which is good enough for most purposes.

  11. KeyboardFailure
    December 20, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    This is probably one of the worst articles I've ever written.

    If you're bothered so much by having to use a network 'that you never check', how do you not see the utility in rolling up YouTube and other pages into one account, so you don't have to 'never check' more than one? Or how about the ease of use of only having to remember one password?

    You also failed to notice the addition of Newsstands to the play store. On mobile platforms, it aggregates your feeds (Reader, anyone?) and is only a matter of time before it does the same on the desktop environment. They never expected us to jump ship to Google+, they were just slow at bringing Newsstands in as a replacement.

    You're obviously paranoid to think any of your moronic suggestions would ever happen, but really? You can't ever think of a time where it would have been more convenient to have all of these services under one account to easily share information you want to use to communicate?

    I'll leave you with this. Grow up. Think about the implications of the decisions behind the things you write about. No one wants to read bad journalism. Perhaps stop writing.

  12. Bumferry H
    December 20, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    Okay, you don't like Google (G+ whatever) and I get that is supposed to be a tongue-in-cheek spat at what has (in your opinion) wrong recently at Google (at least that's how you sold it to yourself before you started), But what I would like to see is, if somebody doesn't like Google as much as this article states, how easy would it be to stay off the Google mainframe as it were?
    Let's say email, search engine, watching videos, blogging, storing and syncing files, access to music streaming, apps, mobile phones/tablets/computers, travel maps, calendar, document creation and conversations.... FOR FREE.
    The fact that Google does all this in a manner that allows you keep everything together freely, or at least cheaper than competitors in the case of Nexus branded phones and tablets and the chromebook, seems like a no brainer to me.
    Yes, there are better products out there, but most come with a cost or fee or at least may not be compatible with each other.
    Google is NO LONGER the company it used to want to be. It's had a taste of power and likes and that has, in some peoples view, made them bad. I don't disagree with them. However, What Google does well - it does best.
    and I can have it all on a high end phone and tablet that costs less than some laptops out there.
    I don't think there is one right or wrong answer to this article, but Make Use Of is not the place for this sort of article IMO.
    It has no merit and adds nothing to the debate.
    That is my rant over. Thanks for reading. :O)

    • Will
      December 22, 2013 at 5:33 pm

      You win the rational statement of the day award. Well done.

  13. ReadandShare
    December 20, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    Probably like most, I detest being force fed anything. I am sure Bing is a fine search engine, but it's the first thing I rip out. Because it's there in my face -- without my say so.

    I was an early participant of Google+ -- but I closed my account very soon after. For the reason cited, I am very unlikely to sign on again, ever.

    But I am not anti Google. I use Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Voice. They are great. They are free. And they weren't foisted on me.

  14. Db
    December 20, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    wow, we are all now stupider for reading this article. Next time, think through your article and offer up something besides tears & anger. I bet, if you took the time to think through possible improvements to the G+ integration etc you might have written something worthwhile. Here hoping the "opinion" posts are few & far between.

  15. smaragdus
    December 20, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    I have already stopped commenting on Youtube. Thank goodness I deleted my Google+ account, I am not sure whether this would be possible in the future.

  16. Sheesh
    December 20, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    What a load of whiny amateur hour BS. Just another reason why this site is an utter joke of a tech blog.

    Your articles are moderately useful. This sort of crap belongs on Tumblr.

    • Ivan Miller
      January 9, 2014 at 5:33 am

      Seriously. Or trending in Facebook right along side twirking & Justin Beeber

  17. catester
    December 20, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    Nailed it. Absolutely. Although pretty ironic coming from a guy who writes on a site that was completely overhauled for no good reason and is now still a train wreck. ;-)

    • Aibek E
      December 23, 2013 at 1:27 pm

      There were a lot of good reasons to overhaul this site )))

      Is there anything specifically you don't like in the new design? Do let us know! We didn't remove any features that were available in the previous theme.

      Aibek

  18. Alexis C
    December 20, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    I only have Gmail account because of Youtube and Playmarket for my smartphone and I really hate that I can't comment on videos because I refure to show to the word my real name in youtube.
    BTW, how I can change my name here? :P

  19. Greg
    December 20, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    Don't mind what Google is doing and I for one love to use Google+. I deleted my Facebook account as it was getting out of hand with messages and notifications from people who are hardly relevant to me. I like how G+ is organized into circles by interests.
    I also know countless people who have G+ account to use Google 'other' services but they have absolutely zero information there, just a blank placeholder.
    Do they collect my personal info, of course they do...so does everybody else on the net. I try to keep as much things offline as i can, but in this digital age there is only so much you can do.

    • Tim
      December 20, 2013 at 7:39 pm

      Just the opposite with me, never could figure out Google+, totally rely on the greatness of facebook. Forcing me to use it all the time makes me hate it even more. I can't find anything, anyone of interest in it at all and can't figure out the UI. (I'm a web page designer)

    • Joyce T
      December 20, 2013 at 8:01 pm

      Agree!

  20. Erwin V
    December 20, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    So sad, most of the time MakeUseOf contains interesting articles, why now do you give the floor to someone who just whines without giving a single interesting argument?

    Yes, Google wants you to use your Google+ profile to log in on its services, but no, you are not forced to use it as a social medium: you can easily have a Google+ profile and just use it to log in on services like Youtube etc, while never ever posting anything on Google+.

    They kept just one service for pictures, but that seems only logical to me. Yes, they integrated it with Google+, but if you do not want to share your pictures that way, just don't, by default your pictures remain private. If you want, you can just pretend it is picasa, you only have to keep a blind eye to the +.

    On Jack's comment: what has that to do with this??? Whether you use your e-mail address in all services or just your Google+ profile, you are just as easily trackable. Nothing changes there... or for any other non-Google service on the Internet. The only argument here is that Google offers so many services, that they know a lot more if you use all these services.

    In short: Google+ provides convergence between the Google services and it is a social media platform, IF you want to use it. Otherwise, just don't use the social media features and quit whining.

    • Ramandeep S
      December 21, 2013 at 7:28 am

      How can I downvote this comment? @MUO

  21. RWDriskill
    December 20, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    I agree Ago. I don't want to lose my gmail address either. But Google is making it very tempting to switch to something else. The big problem is that there isn't anything else, that is as good, that doesn't try to do the same thing.

    • Eduardo
      December 20, 2013 at 10:41 pm

      Zoho has potential but doubts about privacy will always come up. Besides, their integration with Google leaves anyone wondering to which extent may the G+ guys be in control of Zoho...

  22. Ago
    December 20, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    Couldn't agree more. I have deleted Google+ account few times and it still crawling somehow back. I already moved my photos to another site, after Google forced Google+ on pictures. I just do not want to loose my e-mail address, but looks to me that Google tries hard to get rid of their product (us, users).

    • Ramandeep S
      December 21, 2013 at 7:26 am

      Now the next axe of Google will be on Picasa Web Albums.

  23. Jack
    December 20, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    I'll be short - Google wants to be Big Brother more than others

    • Eduardo
      December 20, 2013 at 10:35 pm

      Spot on.

    • Ivan Miller
      January 9, 2014 at 7:09 am

      Despite how special your mommy said you were-- Google doesn't give a damn about you, your worthless data, or if jokers stay on Facebook.
      Google+ is personal identity > credential > validity > value online.

  24. Murat Lazarev
    December 20, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    The problem is we do not want a social network. We want all these services separated.

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