Google today announced that an exhaustive analysis of metrics collected over decades of internet usage have demonstrated conclusively that social media users respond positively to simplification of the user interface, and generally find features to be confusing and distracting.
Consequently, they will be removing the following features from Google+ on April 2:
- post searching
- post reading
- displaying of any sort of "content"
When asked if this wasn't taking things too far, Google+ engineers noted the popularity of a theoretically infinite number of other "featureless social media" sites. "You don't hear people complaining about sqrzggklfku.com, do you? That's because they don't have a "registered domain" feature, upon which rests the ability to navigate to their site with a web browser -- resulting in the fundamental beauty of simply not having a site in the first place."
This act does answer long-standing questions about the ethics of Google's questionable practices with regard to social media -- the unfortunate (and ultimately discarded) "Real Names" policy
being perhaps the most significant, having driven away many of the most interesting early-adopters of Google+ who were long used to the common internet practice of having a recognized "user handle" that might have little or nothing to do with the user's legal name. Supporters of this policy often argued that "it's Google's sandbox, they can do what they want with it."
It would seem that ultimately, they decided to take their sandbox and go home.
Crossposted from: Google+