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Ex-Google Employee Says Google+ Ruined the Company, Social is the Only Focus

Google+ has certainly marked a change in how Google is looking to do their business, but has the social networking attempt ruined the company? One ex-Googler says so. James Whittaker, who once worked for Microsoft before going to Google, has recently spouted off about his last few months at Google before returning to Microsoft, and it doesn’t sound good:

“The Google I was passionate about was a technology company that empowered its employees to innovate. The Google I left was an advertising company with a single corporate-mandated focus.”

Whittaker went on to describe two Googles, the one before Google+ and the one “after.” After the “social” battle cry went out, Google’s famed “20%” went down the drain as the company was single minded in their focus. All doom and gloom for sure, but not too hard to believe. Google+ has been a huge push for Google as of late so this isn’t too far out of the realm of possibility. One interesting note though, Whittaker posted his scathing comments on a Microsoft blog, rather than a personal one. We know that a lot of the community here uses G+ heavily, but how about your friends and family? Is Google+ already a sinking ship?

Via: MyFox8

Cheers GreeKNastY!

  • Michael Salinger

    MySpace did catch on.  In fact it was the Facebook of 2005.  Facebook only caught on later and took market share from MySpace.  

    • Will Frame

      And Facebook is going down the same road with overbearing and intrusive advertisements that drove people from Myspace.

    • dk81

      I don’t think its all that similar actually. MySpace was used by a lot of people to create kind of a alter ego of themselves where Facebook keeps u a lot closer to reality. They are very different products and Google + really isn’t that much different from Facebook in that regards

  • fvqu

    This would make a sense atleast if there was actually people using Google+.

  • tjpeco

    I’d rather G+ remain as it is. 
    The signal/noise ratio on it is much better and much more controllable than it is on FB.

  • BiGE9

    Google+ is drawing the company’s strategic focus where it needs to go as their main revenue generator of paid advertising is already shifting to social.

  • Mikesevenfold

    The only reason I have Google+ on my Gnex is because it linked HD pictures of my contacts to my phone.  And that was before i found out about HaxSync.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Pengwnmastr Mitchell Johnson

    I really want to use G+ but none of my friends want to make the switch from facebook.
    I’ve got maybe… 7 people on G+, only 1 of them actually uses it, versus the ~150 people I know on facebook..

  • Buzzy42

    We were talking about this at work recently, the last time anyone I know posted anything to G+ was like back in October.

    Tumbleweeds, anyone? 

  • Jake

    I used to check out G+’s “nearby” posts on my phone. I liked discovering interesting people and events nearby. All of that changed about a week after Thanksgiving 2011, when suddenly the “nearby” page became a long list of stupid location check-ins and spam.

  • Manny

    Maybe goggle needs to learn a little something from Steve Jobs. Instead of trying to focus on 10 mediocre projects. Stick to 3 or 4 that you can possibly Kick ass in.

    • http://twitter.com/savagejeep SavageJeep

      Does that include Apple and PiNG?

    • Gunther

       Maybe you need to learn how to spell check, goggle, really?

  • Earleepa

    I have a page on google+ but i never go there. All my frirnds, past and present still use facebook. Google plus just never caught on with me. I think its googles version of myspace. Something that never quite caught on.

  • waveGuide3e8

    I think many of us still like social networking, and like how we can learn and gain from it, but at the same time we also know better how to use it, having made all of our mistakes on FB (letting them have so much information and only realizing the privacy situation way too late). G+ is a chance to do it all properly and use the features in a more mature manner.
    That, and G+ integrates a bunch of features I already use, rather than FB slowly adding them and trying to get me to switch.

  • zach471

    For me, G+ is the superior service when taken in conjunction withe seamless Google integration.  I love the automatic photo uploads, the group chat features, etc.  The obvious problem that I have with it is the lack of people using the service, at least, for me, compared to my Facebook friend network.  I DO know there are a lot of users, but I’ve had 4 years or so to build my Facebook network.  I hope Google continues the service, because a lot of the features are thoughtful and extremely useful.

  • patapongirl

    I actually like G+. It’s the ONLY social network with intuitive layout and great control of what i can share with people.

    I mean look at FB, I can’t even hide my own friends list from other people. Dafuq?!

  • Gunther

    Wait, so he berates Google for becoming a company solely interested in making money, and he moves back to Microsoft? Hmmm…if his promotion didn’t tip you off that he was a hack for MS, then his career move should have done it. Sounds like someone is looking to get a raise at MS. 

  • http://profiles.google.com/adamtruelove Adam Truelove

    “single corporate-mandated focus”

    Is this a bad thing?  Perhaps Google should be evolving and pick a “core compentency”.  Someone needs to “drive the ship” and perhaps having a bunch of beta projects that don’t go anywhere isn’t cutting it anymore.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joseph.a.yager Joseph A. Yager

    I only use Friendster.  Actually I haven’t ever jumped on G+.  I’m “on it” but I rarely check it.  I suppose if my friends all jumped ship and went to G+, then I’d jump too.

  • http://twitter.com/Justinwrites Justin True Anderson

    I still use it G+ but not many I know do.  The number one thing for me is the ease of syncing my family’s photos and videos from our phones to the cloud without having to stop by the PC or Laptop first.  My wife can see the pics I take on my days out with the boy and so forth.  It is a pretty important part of our lives in a way Facebook just can never be.

  • http://twitter.com/DroidBricker Droid Bricker

    I really like G+ and love being able to  separate the old highschool drama queens on facebook from my online contacts of whom I share mutual interests with.
    G+ is a party to mingle with like minded new people while FB is a trailer park.

  • GNEX(MOTOX)

    i see the point of google plus. It does have some nice buisness chat and etc features we could use but facebook honestly has all of my friends already added. It does have different and more personal features but its already setup and no one i know really has google plus so yea it was a fail to me..

  • http://twitter.com/gcpettit GCPettit

    I tried getting friends to use Google+ when it was new, but no one would.  I rarely even look at it anymore, but when I do there is no activity at all for a long time for any friends, just spam from a TV show page I had followed.

  • http://twitter.com/onelegchair Adam Neighbors

    Another thing to take into consideration though is this; It’s Google. They’ll be okay.

  • Andrew Elliott

    Google + is nice but not as many people on are on it.  I would love for people to switch over but Facebook and Twitter are kind of killing them right now.

  • http://twitter.com/JohnnyACE562 GRAND MASTER SEN$Ei {{-_-}}™

    This dude obviously came to Google with an axe to grind. While he’s not all the way off about Google Plus, we still have to take what he says with a grain of salt. {{-_-}}

  • Dshudson

    I can’t stand Facebook or Google+ I hate them both, I enjoy my privacy. 

    • Kernschatten

      Agree completely.

    • CIA

       Too late Dan S. Hudson, they are already watching you.

      • Dshudson

        HaHa.. 

    • Liderc

      I hope you don’t use google search, or even this site, because they’re taking your information as well.  How do you think they supply you with relevant ads?

    • CORYK333

      Im sure you are at the top of every gov agencies watch list & anyone that has ever came into contact with you wants to know your every move/like/dislike/etc. You showed them!!!

  • Smeckle

    I can’t convince any of my friends to join Google+, as much as I’d like them to. As a result I really only use it to follow certain people, like koush.

    • Michael G

       Same here.  I live away from home and had a hard enough time getting my parents on Facebook.

  • jcorf

    Definitely a sinking ship. But this is definitely an example of them wanting to take over the internet and for that matter have a reach into each portion of our lives and social is the way to so that.

  • OFD

    I’m not a huge fan of the Google+ facebook/twitter-like stream feature. In fact, I never use it anymore, but the hangouts & photo syncing ability are great innovations. I use hangouts weekly to talk with my family members simultaneously even though we are spread out across the country & love knowing my photos won’t be gone for good if I lose my phone before i can save them to a hardrive.

    • Dshudson

      Just use Dropbox. 

      • OFD

        Doesn’t dropbox have a 2.5 gb limit? I’d rather keep that space for documents. I don’t really need dropbox for photos. I think Google+ works well.

        • Danny Alvarez

          Just use Mediafire. No limit whatsoever, and it’s free.

          • Beardslicer

             until mediafire, like megaupload and however many others, gets shut down for “DMCA violations.”

      • D3nkianma

        Box offers 50 gigs of free spacejust for signing up its almost exactly like dropbox

        • CORYK333

          True about the free storage, but isnt Box also the 1 that limits your file size uploads unless you pay?? Ive been using dropbox since day 1 & im happy with it, so i have no idea what the deal is with the other similar services but i do know its either Sugarsync or Box that has the larger free storage, but burns u on the file sizes. Any1 know which 1 it is??

      • Droidzilla

        Why? I can store all of my photos seamlessly in Google+, share them if I like, and it has a great, integrated album browser. It’s so much more than a dumb data box (which has its use), but it also fulfills the purpose of simple backup. Why would you want less? I have Dropbox, but never use it because the only things I back up I already have auto-backup for with Google services (documents, photos/videos, music).

  • http://twitter.com/MastaMarc Marc C.

    I use Google everything, except Google+ .   I don’t like it, I don’t like how its synced to Picasa.  Maybe the app is different on Android (i have an iPhone now) but… im not a google+ fan.  I think Facebook is so big that nothing can really outdo or get on the same level.  Twitter & Instagram’s success are due to it’s “new thing” factor lol…  Google+ is like a twitter/facebook integration right?

    • CORYK333

      I really think Twitter got past the “new thing” vibe a few years ago

  • http://www.thinkgeeks4u.com Hiral Patel

    Google+ needs a dfferent niche to facebook – facebooks target is anyone and everyone – G+ should cater to all Android Users since we are power users, more tech savvy add in there as a benefits like Free Solar Panels or Wind Generators or even special technology (Examples only possiblities are endless) only available to this niche and watch G+ destroy FB. Peeps will flock to where the cool stuff is happening.

    • CORYK333

      The users that frequent DroidLife & similar sites might have a better grasp on technology, but the average Android user is just like the average iPhone user (web/texts/mail/camera), sorry dude.

  • Dlongb13

    The only people I know on G+ are people I know from the online android world. I literally know 2 people in my real life world that are on G+, and they don’t ever use it. G+ is a failure for sure. It will never be used as much as FB or facebook even though I find it superior to both.

    • Letz_Shake

       Uhh, FB and Facebook are the same thing.

      • Dlongb13

        Meant to say FB and Twitter…ooops!

  • RufusX

    Don’t ues it at all.
    I don’t “social network” because no one forces me to. It better stay this way.
    If Google’s focus is ad $$$ and Google Plus is the way to do that, they better not “force” me to use it just to make $$$ for them… because I refuse.

    • Droidzilla

      Then I take it you also piously refuse to use anyone else who does ads, like Facebook, Twitter, Apple, Microsoft, Mozilla, etc.?

  • Fable322

    I tried Google + and kinda liked it.. unfortunately none of my friends or family welcomed a change.  So Facebook it is for the moment.  Keeping up with FB and a little Twitter is bad enough, I just don’t have room for another primary site that is not gaining wide appeal from the masses.

  • http://twitter.com/NovembersDirge The Observer

    With G+, you get out of it what you put into it. If you find that it’s a ghost town, then you aren’t circling the right people, or interacting with others. You know, being *social*.

    I only have a couple of pre-G+ friends and family members that actually use G+, however, i’ve made many new friends simply by interacting within people’s posts, which in turn led to meeting said people in real life. G+ takes a little more effort to use than Facebook, but the rewards are far greater.

  • Leroy1983

    It seems like mOst of the techie people, a few photographers & the people who work at google uses google plus. I don’t think it suck, I just don’t have a need for it when most folks I know don’t use it or haven’t even heard of it. In my opinion of I can get most college kids to use it I bet you will see more people on it

  • ddevito

    Although I’m not a huge fan of G+, I do think Google is using it as an engine to unify its products and services, which is a good thing.

    • CORYK333

      Im in the same boat as you, not the biggest g+ fan/user, but unification of the services is def not a bad thing. Now when are they gonna merge gTalk with Messenger? IMO, that should have been 1 of the 1st things they should have done. I also feel the invite/beta period was way too long & exclusive & prob hurt them more than anything, but thats just me. They are doing a great job on the commercials promoting “hangouts” though, dare i say “Apple-ish”. Before clowns start flaming bc of the Apple comparison, they do marketing/ads better than 99.9% of companies, its the truth.

  • Michael Salinger

    I think in time it will take off.  Google is not going anywhere and neither is Android, Google+ is positioned to be the glue that binds all Google services together.  It took Facebook and Twitter a couple of years each to take off and become popular beyond the early adopters.  I remember people saying that they liked facebook but didn’t use it because all of their friends were on MySpace.  Things change.  G+ is a far better software platform than Facebook.  Facebook has the inertia and the user base.  It takes more than a year to change all of that.  

    As far as the blog post from the Microsoft troll, take that for what it is.  Remember, Microsoft has been orchestrating a coordinated campaign against Google lately, and this was published on an *official* Microsoft blog, not a personal blog.  

  • Ecrunion

    I haven’t been on G+ for months.  Nobody I know uses it.  At all.  I would love to be able to use it, but like others have said, no one will switch from FB.  So in that regard, yes, G+ is a sinking ship.

  • http://www.thinkgeeks4u.com Hiral Patel

    You go where you can socialize or where your friends and family are, where there is gossip and mad status timelines to view – Sadly they have already been brain washed by Facebook. Number one fear of these peeps is learning something new regardless if its better or not. Whats to learn from this once you capture these half wits they are drones for you to control and manipulate they will not go anywhere else at least a majority wont.

    • Droidzilla

      Tell that to MySpace. Then tell it to Friendster.

    • CORYK333

      Why are the status timelines you view so unhappy????

  • edaddy

    I can’t get most of my friends to use G+, the few that do are photographers like me. IMHO G+ is a far superior social networking site.  Better features and certainly a different clientele.  I hope it continues. 

  • RadicalPie

    I use it everyday. What’s hot section is interesting and nearby can let you into things that are happening in your city. Not a ton of people in my circles but those that are we g+ hangout almost everyday. Especially easy since my family lives in Maryland and I live in California . G+ is awesome in my opinion. :)

    • Towelie420

      I live in Maryland. This state is just plain awful. 

      • RadicalPie

        Lol

  • Michael Forte

    I really like Google+, I just wish I could get everyone to switch from Facebook.

    • zach471

      Exactly!

      • http://www.facebook.com/5.second.minute Kit Tihonovich

         I’ve become the geeky kid on Facebook with the weekly “FKING ADD ME ON GOOGLE+ HERE’S THE LINK” post.  Nobody ever signs up.  I have all 14 of the local town members added <_<

        • Michael G

          lol  I do the same thing.

    • LiterofCola

      Yep

    • SH

      Social sites are a waste anyways. I just don’t care how many times your baby pooped today, or how you like to take pictures of yourself in the bathroom mirror.

      Twitter is gold tho. Best place to get news, or actual interesting updates.

      • Matthew Rosidivito

        You should be more selective of your friends (or start taking advantage of Google+’s “circle” system which lets me filter out annoying people into a circle called “annoying people”)

        • Mike

          Why are you friends with people who annoy you?

          • Matthew Rosidivito

            Because you can’t always get what you want.

      • FortitudineVincimus

        Regulars here have seen me write this 50 times.. 

        “the social networking attempt ruined the company” no I think “the social networking  ruined the world”

        social networking is sick, evil, disgusting, pathetic, waste of time that is ruining the world.

        • Matthew Rosidivito

          Well, I agree with the “waste of time” part, at least…

  • Robsmith Nikon

    I am on Google+ because I am a photographer and many of the photog community has taken to it.  I don’t really get on Google+ very often and admit that I don’t really know how to use it.

    • Michael G

       The photo editing you can do on there is phenomenal.

    • John

      Don’t know how  to use it? I’ve seen elders be able to navigate around…just takes a little getting used to – LIKE ANY site

    • Droidzilla

      I really love how Google+ has been adopted by the photography element. Google’s already made some improvements to the album handling, which is really nice.

      I personally think Google+ is totally worth it for nothing other than photo backup and sharing. Same for Google Music. If these services never “take off” and stay as they are, I’ll be very satisfied with them for my usage. Oh, and hangouts. That’s been my preferred method of video chat, and it integrates perfectly on my phone.

  • Mordecaidrake

    Google + is my preferred social network, but it is a sinking ship. No one uses it because everyone’s afraid of change. That’s why the iPhone will stay dominate and why Facebook isn’t going anywhere.

  • Michael G

    Here’s the thing, has anyone been trying to get their friends to sign up? I have and have been successful in doing so.  However, they still don’t use it.  But remember, Facebook was off the radar for a long time due to MySpace.  I signed up for FB back in early 2005 when it was still only for college students.  I used it for a few months then I don’t think I signed in ’til 2007 and it seemed all of a sudden FB took off.  Give Google+ some time.  I’m hoping people will realize how great it actually is.  The only reason it “sucks” is because no one is on it.  Sure, there are a few things that can be improved on but hopefully that will come in time.

    • Leroy1983

      How do U think that can change, because right now the people I follow on Facebook don’t even use Facebook like they used to anymore, they still use but not they did before. Most of them moved over to twitter

      • Michael G

        There are different types of “socialites”.  Some people lean towards Twitter, some towards FB, some a blend of both.  I, personally, use Twitter for news updates.  I don’t Tweet.  I like Facebook because it’s more personal.  You’re right though, I haven’t been using FB like I used to either.  That’s mainly because Fb is so damn intrusive nowadays. 

  • RumbaCembe

    I really like the features their hangouts have. Screenshare allowed me to show pictures of my thriving yam field to my parents without having to take raft to america

  • EC8CH

    Google+ by itself is a hard sell.

    Google+ with Android & Google services… no that might be interesting.

    • Rafikki

      The day G+ is integrated with Android OS is the day I switch to iOS or WP7.

      • Michael Salinger

        Well, I guess we’ll see you later, because it already IS integreated into Ice Cream Sandwich.  

        • EC8CH

          That’s what I thought. But it’s pretty unintrusive, you use the features you want and the rest is pretty invisible.

        • RufusX

          Have a GNexus… somewhere… in a drawer I think. I have never integrated my Google account with Google Plus. Never had to deal with Google Plus on my GN. Might be integrated with ICS but was “dormant” I guess. Never had any prompts or options related to Google Plus on my phone with ICS.

          • kulanapan

            You don’t have a GNexus.

      • PuzzleShot

        Different from iOS integration with Twitter how?

        • iWebDroidBerry7

          Twitter has more users than you can count on your finger with.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=606160104 John Burke

    *Bing* and WP7 are done

    • http://twitter.com/JohnnyACE562 GRAND MASTER SEN$Ei {{-_-}}™

      So is IE. {{-_-}}

    • CORYK333

      Until it starts to show up on Android phones again!!!

      • feztheforeigner

        WP7 will not show up on Android phones…I’m pretty sure…

        And Bing received such a large outcry from the people I highly doubt it will ever reappear – unless the phone is made by Nokia

  • ceejw

    This guy worked for Microsoft before and after two years working at Google he returned to to Microsoft with a promotion.
    Just saying…

    • 1MPR0BUS

      He seems to be a little out of touch the CEO he referenced has barely been the CEO for a year and with Google announcing semantic search capabilities and constant development on the Android platform his statement becomes kind of moot considering he is a former employee and seems like he has a bone to pick.  Otherwise he would have kept to himself and went on his merry way not make a point to talk about his past employer to the press.  Microsoft probably gave him an incentive to bad mouth Google.  I agree that Google should focus on web services, Android, and search algorithms but “Ruined” the company is a bit out of place considering their 5+ Dollar gain on the NASDAQ just today projected to hit $1000 per share by the end of the year.  This is just my opinion of course.

    • jas

      Way to copy and paste the top comment from reddit…

      • Lacokanostra

        Haha total fail! Trolls suck. Thanks for pointing that out!

    • http://www.facebook.com/joseph.a.yager Joseph A. Yager

      Just saying…

      Just saying

    • WillyGatez

       One thing we know for sure about this employee…both Google and Microsoft think he is a loser.  Once Microsoft is finishing using him they will dump him.  Is Steve Ballcheese stoopid enough to think people care what a disgruntled employee thinks?   In the mean time, hopefully old Softie will get this top notch employee working on Windows 9 because Windows 8 is Windows 7 with a lame skin.

      • Michael G

        “Is Steve Ballcheese stoopid enough to think people care what a disgruntled employee thinks?”  The answer…  Yes, he’s stupid enough.

      • sandyvag

        It is on this blog. So apparently, we are stupid enough to care.

  • Binglut9

    Google + does suck but there is more to this story because the guy was a spy for microsoft

    • http://twitter.com/starnovsky Stan Tarnovsky

      So, why does it suck? Because your friends are not using it?

  • JasonSCarter

    I haven’t signed in for months, and I just did after I saw this article.  Doesn’t look like anyone else I know has been signing in either.