Dear Google: People Like You Because You're Not A Walled Garden; Please Don't Put Up Garden Walls
from the thanks dept
Wil Wheaton is getting some attention for highlighting what appears to be a pretty ridiculous trial balloon on the user interface design of YouTube: requiring users to be signed in to a Google+ account to up or down vote a YouTube video.
Now, it appears that this is just a test, but just the fact that Google is thinking about it seems like a bad idea. Wheaton makes the point pretty clearly: even though he’s a regular Google Plus user, he knows that this will decrease overall engagement:
Oh, go fuck yourself, Google. This is just as bad as companies forcing me to “like” something on Facebook before I can view whatever it is they want me to “like.”
Just let me thumbs up something, without forcing me to “upgrade” to G+, you dickheads.
The worst part of this? For a producer like me, I’m going to lose a crapton of potential upvotes for Tabletop, because the core of my audience is tech-savvy and may not want to “upgrade” to yet another fucking social network they don’t want or need.
At this point, it’s well known that Google is betting heavily on Google+, but it may be overplaying its hand. A key reason why people like Google is that it didn’t seem heavy-handed on such things in the past, and focused on having as open and permissive a solution as it could. Yet, in this case, it appears to be doing the opposite just to drive more (unwanted) usage toward Google Plus. Of course, the reality is that people who don’t want to sign up for it won’t sign up for it… and that will just lead to less engagement. And that’s probably exactly the opposite of what Google really wants.
If you feel the need to force your users into using your own social network, perhaps you’re doing it wrong.