10 May 2014
I have been using the Google + app for a while now, trying to give it a shot and find some sort of usefulness for it. It's not working out very well.
I decided to follow several groups, mostly science and sci-fi stuff and while I didn't expect to like even ½ of the postings there, it is all the other crap Google forces me to look at that really gets me angry. I know not many people (relatively) use Google + but I find it impossible to believe that stock photos of flowers or rivers are "popular on google" by any definition of popular. They also force you to receive posts from discussions you have no interest in, like "caturday" gifs. The only thing you can do is mark things as spam or ignore the post. I find I do both of those actions a hell of a lot more than I read posts I've actually requested to see. I did complain several times that being forced to see full screen images with horrible graphics proclaiming "Jesus is Lord" every 3 posts is verging on criminal harassment. What algorithm decided I wanted to see that? It's insulting.
The amount of tacky "funny"gifs is another issue, who posts these things? I have a feeling it's Google itself trying to puff up how many people are using the service. At least I hope it's Google and there really aren't that many mentally deficient people online making these insipid images and posting them 100 times a day for all to see. Opening the app is like the end of Clockwork Orange but instead of being forced to watch violence until it makes us vomit, we are forced, with no option otherwise, to have religious, love and "funny" gifs burned into our defenceless minds.
The saddest thing is the structure of the app is not terrible and works fairly well. If they want to have people use it, there needs to be more control over what comes in and ways to not just "+" things but "minus" them as well. There is a lot of bad information and abusive people, as with all social media, but no way for the community at large to control the abuses.
I do not use anything other social networks (Facebook included) and I imagine they aren't much better. As it is I am looking for ways to limit my use of even this service as much as possible. The annoyances still outweigh any benefits in my view.