Almost 10,000 1-star reviews are listed in the Google Play store for Facebook Home, which is more than all the other reviews combined. How is it that Facebook’s latest venture has fallen short? The company focuses its efforts on what other people are doing instead of on the user. Google has taken Google+ in the opposite direction.
What Has Google Done?
Google has created a social matrix. It’s not your standard social network. It’s a culture of me.
As the recent I/O conference demonstrated, Google is feverishly adding to Google+. The social platform is making waves as Google makes it into much more than a platform. The Guardian points out Google pushes users to sign in to Google+ whenever they use a company product. Considering the ubiquitous nature of Google products, it’s likely you are prompted often. New Google (and YouTube) users automatically get a Google+ account, which has boosted the platform to over 500 million accounts.
Google+’s culture of me means users can add content to their Google+ accounts without even trying. Google Maps, YouTube, and other Google applications all connect to Google+. This matrix creates a personalized, yet unobtrusive base of passive contributions. Users actively contribute only if they want to.
Facebook Home Made Your Friendships Complicated
Facebook, on the other hand, is a culture of YOU. It’s about users’ friends and what those people are up to. As Forbes explains, Facebook jealousy of connected friends is a proven phenomenon. For good or bad, we become fixated on the lives of others when using Facebook.
Facebook Home takes this integration and connection to friends to a whole other level. Users don’t even have to open the Facebook app anywhere to find out what their friends are doing. Simply wake your phone up and your News Feed is right there. Facebook chat (with the new “Chat Heads” feature) intrudes into other apps. You have to tap an extra button to get to your apps. The list goes on.
Facebook might be the top social network for now, but the launch and subsequent negative reviews surrounding Facebook Home are a harbinger of Google+’s future.
What do you think? Have you downloaded Google+ or Facebook Home?