It’s getting harder to see the stuff I want to see in my Facebook News Feed without the aid of third party browser add-ons. And maybe I’m getting old — well, I guess it’s a fact that I’m getting old. But I’m having a hard time understanding how Facebook’s “Frictionless Sharing” is supposed to be a good idea. What’s more, I haven’t taken the time to really understand all of the ways that Facebook tracks my behavior on other sites, but people whose instincts I trust have been expressing alarm about recent Facebook privacy developments. It seems like Facebook is getting more and more aggressive about capturing and commoditizing my data while offering less and less to me in return.
Since I am probably on my way out the door at Facebook, I’m going to stop expending the (admittedly tiny) effort to double post at Facebook and at Google Plus, and will from now on just post at Google Plus. I will still read and comment at Facebook. But if Google keeps up the pace of development of Plus, and if Facebook continues to be creepy, I imagine I will eventually opt out of Facebook altogether (if opting out is still allowed when the time comes).
Why would I be more comfortable with Google, who is also extremely eager to capture and commoditize my data? There’s the fact that Google already owns my balls. I am only partly kidding. There is something to be said for minimizing the number of media companies with total visibility into my electronic life. Google is already in my email and on my phone, so advantage Goog.
More relevant to this post, Google Plus seems to work more like Facebook used to: it allows me to decide what to share and when. Google knows every song I listen to through Google Music, just as Facebook now apparently knows everything I listen to through Spotify. Facebook’s default assumption going forward seems to be that all of that data should be shared, whereas Google assumes I don’t want to share that data unless I decide otherwise. In general, I am finding that my news feed at Google Plus is higher quality than my Facebook news feed, and I assume that is related to the fact that every Google Plus post I see is the result of another user’s conscious decision to share the post with me (or to share it with a group I have opted in to).
Anyway, to those of you who decide to investigate Google Plus, look me up when you get there.