Google’s Google+ “problem” isn’t a problem, even if Googlers say it is.

This is a link to an article by a former Google employee:

In it, he has received notoriety specifically for his derision of Google+ as Google’s new focus, something other Google employees, current and former, have also complained about:

“I think Google+ is an effort that does not deserve the engineering minds at Google. This is mostly a personal bias. I see Google as solving legitimately difficult technological problems, not doing stupid things like cloning Facebook. Google, in my opinion, lost sight of what was important when they went down this rabbit hole.”

I’ll say I was among the first to make fun of Google+ when it came out – and I still think it has a long way to go. But it has also come a long way in a very short time.

The more I listen to Larry Page talk about the future of Google, of the web, and technology, the more I think those who criticize it just hate the idea that the web is becoming socially driven, instead of query/tool-driven.

It makes sense – Google has traditionally focused so hard on those products, and now people working on them (and being made to work on making Google+ work with them) feel like they’re being manipulated into a project they don’t care about, or want to have to think about.

But every single day the internet becomes more about the people and organizations you know and follow directing you to information you didn’t know you wanted. Social is a legitimate, technically difficult problem – in the sense that making it into something truly useful for all aspects of our use of the web is something no one has accomplished. Social is this giant mass of information about people and the things they do, places they go, their interactions, their friends – leveraging this information is the next “quantum leap” – it’s Web 3.0.

And that’s what Google is doing with Google+. Facebook will never share the user information it has with Google, so Google had to come up with something themselves. Google needs this information to push its existing products to the next generation. It’s the exact opposite of “losing sight of what’s important.” Google+ is the means – not the end. Google doesn’t want to be Facebook, it just wants to have the information Facebook does, because that information is unique, and it is invaluable to advancing the usefulness of Google’s core products.

Google, as it always has, is looking to the future. It seems this guy is stuck in a Google that was looking to a future that happens to be our present.

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