posted at 00:50
Author: Chris O'Brien
Sat, 29 Nov 2014 08:20:37 +0000
In scathing critique, former Googler says Google+ "has lost its way"
That's part of the reason he got recruited to work at Google on a super-secret new project that came to be known as Google+. Messina spent more than three years working as a designer on the service until August 2013 when he left Google to pursue other projects. Of course, there's been plenty of debate about whether Google+ has been a success, a failure, or just something that's hanging in a puzzling limbo at Google. "I still believe that competition in this space is better for consumers, for startups, and for the industry. And Google still remains one of the few companies that stands a chance to take on Facebook in this arena - but Google+, as I see it, has lost its way." His major disappointment is that Google failed to seize the opportunity to rethink our notions of privacy and identity on the web. Instead, he argues Google took an uncharacteristically conservative approach to building Google+, worrying more that it would fail and simply trying to mimic Facebook, rather than trying to build something revolutionary. "Why did the world need another Facebook, unless to benefit Google by making their ad targeting more effective?" he writes. "Why wasn't Google+ one of Google's famous moonshots, intended to improve personal social networking by 10x? Why did they take a conventional approach to social networking rather than think about what controls people might need in the next 5-10 years in their digital lives?".

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