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Inventor of the hashtag breaks down how Google+ has failed

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Developer and former Google employee Chris Messina recently posted a brutally honest article about Google+ in which he breaks down the social network’s failures, as well as his own. Rather than serving as the “social backbone” that it was designed to be, Messina believes that Google+ has become the antithesis, according to Fast Company.

Messina, who is considered by most to be the inventor of the hashtag, worked on the Google+ user experience for almost four years before leaving the company to join a startup over a year ago, meaning he was helping design the social network since the beginning. From its first steps to its solidification, Messina was there for most of its history, according to Mashable.

Google+ was initially meant to be something like a home base for users where they’d be able to decide which information they want to share about themselves as well as whom they’d like to share it with, according to Messina.

“It was like Google was saying, ‘We’re going to be your trusted partner in cyberspace, and we’ll help you surface the right information to the people you choose, at the right time’,” Messina wrote, as quoted by CNN. “It was a functional search-oriented value proposition, rather than a social networking one.”

Instead, Google turned the social network into “a kind of Facebook-lite,” says Messina. Rather than offer a different experience from Facebook and creating healthy competition in a market that’s currently dominated by a single company, Google opted to turn the social network into a tool for it to make its advertisement targeting more effective, according to Slash Gear.

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