Google+ is Facebook Without the Agenda

At least, without the same agenda.

Mark Zuckerberg has made no secret that he considers privacy a quaint idea. In the world he is pushing towards, our lives become increasingly public. It’s a an important idea, and it shouldn’t be treated with the knee-jerk fear of privacy advocates nor unthinkingly accepted. Facebook is trying to bring about a very specific utopia, and it should be embraced or rejected thoughtfully.

Have you used Google+ yet? It borrows a lot from Facebook (and it’s predecessors), but innovates in some areas as well. The “Circles” system lets you group your contacts by arbitrary themes, and then limit access to particular items to just the groups you want. It’s a boon on several fronts– the most obvious being privacy, but as Jeff Jarvis points out, it’s also a great tool for sharing things with the “circles” who would find something relevant or interesting. In fewer words: I like it.

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I know several people who have kicked the tires on G+, appreciated its unique features, but instantly assume that Facebook will “steal them”. Google took some of it’s ideas from Facebook, and features like Circles and Hangouts are certainly fair game. Facebook has never been bashful about absorbing the best ideas from other sites, and there’s no reason this should be different.

I’d argue, though, that the idea of selecting who you share with isn’t compatible with the Facebook agenda of “personal transparency”, and that we’re unlikely to see such a feature from them.

3 thoughts on “Google+ is Facebook Without the Agenda”

  1. Facebook has had lists for a while that allow you to do the same thing as circles.  All Google did was make it easier to set them up.

    1. Hi Renee! 

      You're right– and you can even do the post-targeting thing, but it's obscure and kind of clumsy. I just think Facebook will continue to encourage sharing as much as possible with as many people as possible.

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