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Time and time again we see Google make the same mistakes. They are tone-deaf as to why Facebook is successful.

Sure, circles will get plenty of usage in the Bay Area, where the people who built it probably felt if only they could build this one extra feature then people would come flocking to them away from Facebook. But this misses the point.

Nobody on Facebook, other than techno-geeks, have been clamoring for this. Are you the type of person who would consider deleting your Facebook account? You're probably also the type of person that will be interested in Circles. But, you also are the type of person that, unlike 99.99% of the rest of the population, can comprehend having a social life without Facebook being the glue.

Facebook is cool. Facebook gets people laid and lets you participate in more debauchery online once you have stumbled home drunk from the bar. It doesn't feel like a hospital room or a bathroom, it feels like a party.

If Google wants a chance to usurp Facebook's dominance, it needs to do so under a different brand. Repeat after me: the Google brand will never be as cool as Facebook.

More importantly though, it needs to figure out what Facebook is missing. No, Circles are not what Facebook is missing. There's certainly something that Facebook is missing, that the cool kids would want, but odds are whatever it is wouldn't pass the smell test of the type of things Google would consider building.

Imagine you are at a party. It's fun, the music is good, there is booze, and the people are good looking. What's missing? Google's response would be: "The music is hard to hear, we should upgrade the speakers." Facebook's response would be: "cocaine."

The reason Facebook has come up to where they are, after all, stems from the big brass balls they've had for pushing up against the standards of privacy and even decency held by society today, something Google has never and will never be able to (or should want to) do in return. This is why Google will keep fumbling around trying to "out-innovate" Facebook, and will fail again and again in spectacular ways. It's sad, but endearing.

This might have been true when Facebook was young and (somewhat) exclusive. But now when I think of Facebook I think of my dad looking up his old high school friends to see who's gotten fat, or my aunt posting baby pictures, or some guy I don't know posting links to youtube videos I don't care about.

"Cool" is the last thing that comes to my mind when I think of Facebook.

Sounds like you need to defriend some people

I guess what I'm getting at is that it would take an awful lot of cocaine for me to think of my parents as the "cool kids."

I do agree that it'll be tough to get luddites to jump ship -- but I see that as an overwhelmingly positive thing.

Facebook got cachet in the first place because of the early adopters, the same ones that are leaving it in droves.

Personally, I hope you're right and the coked-up party bros stay on facebook. Because I'm interested in using technology for reasons other than simply facilitating my offline social life.

But it seems unlikely. Imagine transposing your argument onto Facebook and Myspace just a few years ago.

Is that why your mom uses Facebook? Because it's so extreme, debauched, and envelope-pushing?

I actually have to agree with him to an extent. Most moms will sign up for pretty much any website that her kid is on (unless its some gangster rap forum or something). Similarly I think most 13-17 year olds will pretty much sign up for any website that the college kids are on. Popular social media site choice is really dominated by the decisions of 18-25 year olds.

The generation that matters isn't my mom's or my own for that matter. It's my younger brother's. And, yes.

I don't know why you're being downvoted since what you speak is the truth, but have an upvote.

Anyone who thinks the average person is going to start using Google+ instead of Facebook is delusional at best.

Just listen to those Google+ introductory videos. Who the hell talks like that? Friends being worth your time -- what? "Adding people to your life"? Are these people real?

Here's the real deal: Google+ is sterile and lacks originality -- it's just Buzz and GTalk with a new uninspired interface.

Being able to group people in circles with JS animation is only exciting to geeks. No one else gets off on contact/group management.

And i want to get away from this football field of people to a house with many rooms. G+ is the first social network i would consider to add my parents/relatives but i would never do this on facebook it is too open for that. And managing lists on FB is a pain...

Circles is one of the features that will get me away from FB. And i dont really care about the "cool kidz"

edit: what i forgot we will get away from the auto opt-in google will never do this again since the buzz-fail. Because everytime FB rolls out a new shiny feature i have to look around how to disable it like "auto tagging" ...

I can't say whether Google+ will "win", but your comment doesn't address the group video chat feature ("hangouts"). It's easier and better than anything else like it. I think that alone has the potential to get a huge number of people using the site.

Huddle is cool too, but requiring everyone to have an Android phone (and later iPhone) is probably a dealbreaker for most groups.

What circles enables is selective sharing and private groups in a less painful way. The larger my facebook circle is with a mish mash of people from different parts of my life, the less willing I am to share in general.

Young kids will want a way to do private groups as both 1) they get older 2) their parents and other adults hop on facebook--since it's not socially acceptable to say no to your mom on fb. And if google nailed that, I think they have a good shot, as what teenagers, rap artists, and technorati do now is what everyone will be doing in the future.

That said, facebook is a fast follower. Their response to how private groups and sharing could be enough to stave off google.

Here is a good follow up article about Myspace.


Article gives a good overview of the type of corner both Facebook and Google don't want to be in.


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