Saturday, 9 November 2013

Why do people whine about Google services so much?

It's increasing. More and more and more people seem to be having a moan and a whinge and a whine about Google's products and services. In the last few months, topics have included the closure of Reader, the introduction of tabs in Gmail, the rolling out of custom URLs for profiles and pages on Google+, and now the introduction of G+ comments into YouTube.

Why do people moan so much about a free service? And before you hark on about advertising, stop: you don't pay a single penny directly to Google so it is a free service. I'm not going to cover each of these topics in detail but suffice to say that I don't have any moans about Google's services, and can see that there is a strategy at play. 

At the heart of that strategy is G+. G+ has been positioned as the social media network of choice, regardless of your interests, age or nationality. It has truly become the central hub of the various Google services, with others such as YouTube being one of many spokes. Google are giving you the chance to occupy a small part of their big house with a custom URL. Share videos and share photos and share links and share your blogs: everything you share is channelled back through G+ via the linked comments. If you want to build a name for yourself on the internet today, you cannot do it without having a positive presence on G+. A lot of YouTube users have complained about the imposition of G+ far as I can see the people whining are the ones who fear being exposed as cyberbullies and trolls. I intend to post my videos on YouTube now and use them to engage with like minded G+ users, I feel assured that the integration with G+ comments will make this a far more enjoyable experience.

As for the tabs in Gmail, am I missing something? I mean, it's really not that complicated to understand, so why does it get people's backs up so much? I have switched from using Yahoo and Hotmail accounts to a single Gmail account for all of my correspondence and do not regret it all. The customisation options far outstrip anything it's rivals can offer, but by far the most valuable feature is that it build yet another bridge between my Macbook and my Android phone: no more iPhone-esque mass delete of contacts and loss of valuable data.

So as you may have gathered, I love Google. My love for Google has increased since I got my Android phone. Life is made so much easier. I have websites hosted by Google on Blogger, I talk about those websites and other techy and radiology things on G+, I organise my life with Google Calendar and I navigate my way to new places using Google Maps, and occasionally Google's recent purchase Waze. I accept that this is all free and they may decide to shut down any service at any time: but I trust the fact that there will be a huge deal of thought behind that decision and it is more than likely that that product was coming to the end of it's natural life anyway. Whatever you think of Google, it is here to stay, and it is the single most important account you will have on the internet.