Cock Blocking and Other Reasons Why Google+ Fails as a Social Network

It was with eager anticipation last week that Google quietly

rolled out its new Google+ social network. Currently in exclusive invitation-only mode, Google+ is limited to approximately everybody on the Internet.

There

is plenty of speculation with the launch of Google+ about whether it can be a

Upcoming Events

"Facebook killer" with its more appealing, streamlined form of communication. We here at Cultist have performed several crucial tests and have all the

answers for you. (Spoiler alert: It sucks.)

Circles
One of the real selling points of Google+ is the ability to sort your social network into various "circles" that easily define your relationship with a person and then share information based on that definition. Which sounds great in theory.

In practice, it causes anxiety while you try to determine if someone is a "friend" or an "acquaintance." Should you make a separate circle for people you know from high school? What about the people you met in that book club you were in for a month? Google+ also has a "family" circle, forgetting that most people use social media as a way of avoiding family.

Self-Promotion
Using social media to stay in contact with friends and family is a myth. You already stay in contact with the important people in your life. Social media exists to spread awareness of how cool you are. Google+ seems to impede self-promotion; as a result, it fails as a social network.

There doesn't appear to be an event invitation function. How can you invite a thousand strangers to every one your ska band's upcoming shows? You can't. Google+ wants to take promotion back to the dark ages, when you had to chisel show flyers into slabs of granite and hand them out at the town stonings of local harlots.

Google Ads
Google+'s main function isn't to become the next great social media website; it's to become the next great way to gather a massive amount of personal information so that Google can charge more for targeted advertising.

You post a YouTube video of two cute white kids with ukuleles covering a Kanye West song? Guess who'll receive ads for "How to Play the Ukulele" and the new Jay-Z/Kanye collaboration album? Hey, we don't like ukulele or rap music -- only when those things intersect! Facebook shows us ads for discounts on wine and Christian dating web sites, never assuming more than our alcohol problem and loneliness.

Cool Names for Features
The branding of the various Google+ features leaves a lot to be desired. Fan pages are called "sparks." Unless Google+ has a sponsorship with our third favorite caffeinated alcoholic beverage, the term sparks just makes us feel even lamer when trying to join a Real Housewives fan group.

Where are the "walls" where we can write and feel like cyber-graffiti artists? You don't even get to "like" things on Google+; you click on a "+1" button, conjuring up terrible memories of every time your friend promised to get you in somewhere as his plus-one, only to find out you're not on the list and will need to go to the back of the line for Weird Al's book signing (you're still a real prick for that one, Kenny).

Cyberstalking
We know what you're really waiting to find out: Can Google+ help you get laid? No. Owing to the slow beta rollout of Google+, it lacks Facebook's best feature: allowing you to gather information about people you want to sleep with. Facebook allows you to see profiles of friends of friends and learn what kind of music they like or if they have a boyfriend who could beat you up.

Google+ encourages you to place people you don't know well in an "acquaintance" circle, which limits the information they can access about you. Which means you can kiss those revealing photo albums goodbye. Google+ seems to want to bring social media back to the basics of sharing information with close friends, whom you've already tried to sleep with but couldn't. Google+ might call it intimacy, but we call it what it really is: cock blocking.

Follow Cultist on Facebook and Twitter @CultistMiami.


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