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.

Filed Under: google+, walled garden, wil wheaton
Companies: google, youtube

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  1. icon
    techinabox (profile), 4 May 2012 @ 6:33am

    Re: Re:

    That is not what is going on here. Youtube accounts used to be separate from Google accounts but you could link your Google account to Youtube. I am betting a lot of people do this because it means just one login or all Google services. Now Youtube accounts are being slowly migrated into full Google accounts, no more special Youtube accounts. At some point in the future it will just be one single sign on for all Google services including Youtube.

    How is this bad? I don't think it is at all.

    What people seem to be getting confused about is Google re-branding and integrate the social features that already exist in their products into one service that exists across all products and the new account is called Google+.

    Youtube has likes/dislikes, comments, subscribing, and messaging.
    Reader has subscribing and recommending.
    Picasa has friending, subscribing, and messaging.
    Docs has sharing and collaborative editing.
    Latitude has check ins and friending.
    Google Profiles had a bit of everything.

    The new G+ account replaces the old Google account even if you don't make a profile, and you don't have to, so that all it is is a name change.

    To sum up:

    Youtube accounts are becoming full Google accounts that are now called G+ accounts.

    Really tiny mostly insignificant change.

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