Google’s obsession with a successful social network

I`m still really pissed that Google Reader is going away.  Reading all the news on the subject this week, made it even worse. The most ironic finding of the week was a post at the Google Reader blog from 2010, talking about how it was sad that Bloglines was shutting down and welcoming their users, as well as celebrating with dataless graphs the vertiginous growth of Google Reader users over the course of 5 years.

Google Reader users over time

Very different from this week’susage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company we’re pouring all of our energy into fewer products. We think that kind of focus will make for a better user experience.”

Declined, you say? Well, why the hell could this be? Perhaps because since 2010 you’ve been repeatedly screwing it up? Like when in one of your many dick moves you removed the Sharing features from GReader so people would feel forced compelled to use your thousandth attempt at a social network that is Google+ to share links with friends?

Orkut, Google Friend Connect, Wave, Buzz, Plus. You really need to get a successful social network, don’t you? So much that it’s ok if you automatically enroll all of your users, leaving their privacy to be dealt with if they sue. I remember the case of a woman that had been suffering from abusive behavior of her ex-husband, and thanks to this automatic enrolling into Buzz, the guy managed to find not only information about her, but about who she was currently seeing as well.

After a shitstorm of cases like this, Google came out an apologized for this dick move. But I guess that it wasn’t that much of a lesson, as they did the exact same thing with Google+, then ridiculously boastered about how much the social network had been growing. They even included actual numbers this time.

You can’t justify killing Reader because of declined usage if you were the ones who caused this in the first place. If you break something, you fix it. Don’t believe me? Ask Eddy Cue. But I get it. Google Reader drives traffic to websites, while G+ drives traffic to, well, G+. But hey, Google Reader doesn’t make any money at all, so why keep it, right?

Google’s obsession on making Plus work has always been borderline dishonest. But this week they really outdid themselves. When a company cares so much about making one of their products work that they don’t let a silly little thing like their users stand in the way, this really makes you think how they ever had “Don’t be evil” as their motto.

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