Why Google will never have a successful social network

The first reason is competitive. It hit me while reading a Nick Carr piece from back in July, when Google had recently lost its deal with Twitter to provide real-time information in Google’s search results.

Of course Twitter didn’t renew their deal with Google. Google Plus is now treading on their own territory; they pissed off the wrong company. (Again.)

The second reason is personal. Google has enough of my information, thankyouverymuch, and as their sweeping new privacy policy reveals, they aren’t going to give me control over my data that they’ve collected if I still want to use their services. In other words, I can opt out of their new rules; but I can’t have a YouTube or Gmail account. (Android users face an even simpler choice: agree to Google’s new terms or buy a new phone.)

Which brings me back to my original point. I like that emails to my family and Facebook Likes are kept separate. If these companies have no requirement to disclose what information they’re keeping and for how long, at least I can make their job (selling my info to advertisers) a tad bit harder by diversifying my social holdings (if you’ll accept my mixed metaphor). If that’s the deal we have to accept as users of a free service, we can at least make it harder for them to consolidate the various compartments of our lives. And that’s what’s creepy evil about Google’s new policy.