I was thrilled today when Google Plus employee Dennis Troper announced Pinned posts, a feature other social networks have had for years now.
The first thing I did was share the news on my feed. Almost immediately, someone chimed in asking what the new feature meant, and trying to figure out how to use it.
I figured it would be common sense, but the user is very intelligent, and knowing how Google Plus operates, I went to try it myself before explaining it. Unfortunately, the feature doesn’t work on mobile. At all. Just like many other Google+ features. You have to go to a desktop and log in to Google Plus to use the feature. So, on my phone, I wasn’t able to use it. I felt like an idiot. To test it, I pinned a cat GIF to the top of my feed. People on Google Plus love animated cat GIFs.
It is December 2014. If a social media app doesn’t work on mobile, why bother releasing it? In fact, many new social networks do not even have a desktop functionality; they are app only, such as Yik Yak, 2014’s most explosive social network. November 18, 2014, Google announced “mobile-friendly” tags in search. The point of this is to keep people from clicking onto websites that are not mobile friendly. Why? In their own words, it provides users with a “frustrating experience”.
I am a fan of Google Plus. I think it is the perfect social network, and I truly want them to succeed. However, at this point I’m not sure what their mission is, or what their problem is. One thing is for sure; if I were running Google Plus I would make sure any changes they made rolled out on mobile first, or at least worked on mobile when they were announced. There are a plethora of problems with the Google Plus mobile app. The very last thing we needed were more features on it that create a “frustrating experience”.
I do see the value here. If you sell cookies and have a Christmas cookie special, maybe you want to pin those fresh, yummy, gingerbread cookies to the top of your brand’s page. That is wonderful, and if more people used Google Plus, this would be a fantastic feature.
What do you think? Should a social media network run by a giant like Google create a “frustrating experience” on mobile?