Google+ 'too male focused' apparently

Google+ 'too male focused' apparentlyAre you a lady? Do you use Google+?

Well if a new piece on Wired is anything to go by, then you're in the minority. It reckons that the network was likely designed by blokes who've never lived with the fairer sex and is not very female friendly.

A couple of months back, Emma asked me and the guys to make sure we put our Google+ profiles up here. I made the point that I never use Google+ but was happy to do it anyway. And in not using it very often at all, I don't think I'm the only one.

OK, so it's not as spectacular a turkey as, say, Google Buzz or Google Wave. But the fact of the matter is, does anyone actually bother with Google+? Apparently, of those that do, the composition is double men to women.

This all came out of a panel at Google I/O last week which was set up to look at how web pages should be designed to better appeal to women. Jess Lee, a web entrepreneur had this to say on the matter:

“I think the seed of that community is very very important. Polyvore was seeded on fashion forums. Google+ was actually seeded with Google employees, so it was tech, and honestly mostly male. That’s part of how it grew —  those people invited their friends. Facebook started at colleges… It’s all about the seed, and the seed for Google+ was different.”

“It probably just needs an overhaul.  It’s a UI thing.” added another.

And Pinterest employee, Tracy Chou said: “You have to start somewhere. And if you do well with it you can start figuring out  adjacent areas to move into and grow from there. I’m sure when Wikipedia started it was not a comprehensive collection of articles about all topics.”

To be fair to Google, it has tried to aggressively push Google+. But it's trying to survive in a world that is already saturated by the two big social networks. Even with the clout it has, Google will struggle to get to that level in the current climate.

What do you reckon? Time to ditch it? Or do you actively use Google+? Let us know.

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8 comments

Gurgle  Jul. 5, 2012 at 22:21

Google+ Meh
Facebook Meh

Too busy with real friends to bother.

JanSt / MOD  Jul. 5, 2012 at 22:33

Good for you, Gurgle ;)

On topic:
Are there statistics regarding gender-split of Android users? Google+ must profit from Android, and I'd assume Android is a bit male-centric? The odd period tracker aside, my impression is iOS has loads more female oriented apps than Android. The whole tweak and personalise and root and cook ROMs...instead of ACTUALLY using the phone?
I could be way off. But I see a lot more women with iPhones than Android phones.

matt101101 / MOD  Jul. 5, 2012 at 23:52

Good for you, Gurgle ;)

On topic:
Are there statistics regarding gender-split of Android users? Google+ must profit from Android, and I'd assume Android is a bit male-centric? The odd period tracker aside, my impression is iOS has loads more female oriented apps than Android. The whole tweak and personalise and root and cook ROMs...instead of ACTUALLY using the phone?
I could be way off. But I see a lot more women with iPhones than Android phones.

Fettling with gadgets is a typically (though not solely) male pastime. I have no data to back it up, but I think you're right that there are more male Android users than female ones. Though I think the numbers are becoming more balanced as Android phones become the non-iPhone smartphone (hell, make that mobile phone) standard across the price range.

JoeHindy  Jul. 6, 2012 at 01:56

My experience supports the stats. Out of a couple hundred people I have in circles, maybe 40 of them are women. I don't believe it's a UI thing or even a saturation thing. I believe it's a content thing. Facebook has more "woman-likable" content. The women on my Facebook are always sending me Farmville or other Zynga based invitations. There's more fluffly content like this:
http://data.whicdn.com/images/11181007/leilockheart_tumblr_lcwcistiGb1qb13xjo1_500_large.png

On Google+, the shares are predominately tech or science based whereas on Facebook the shared content is typically fluff like that picture. Between the games and the fluffy content, it's not a hard leap of logic to imagine that Facebook is more woman-friendly than Google+ is.

I can't believe I'm still a mod here. Hi guys! Long time no see :)

JanSt / MOD  Jul. 6, 2012 at 09:44

Hi JOE...

BVT  Jul. 6, 2012 at 10:05

The difference between Google+ and the other social networks is that businesses that as listed under the traditional "Places" under Google Maps are being migrated into Google+ for business and appearing in what they're calling Google+ Local Listings, so they're all getting the same look, if you add your business to Google then you are automatically roped into having a + account, complete with gmail, picassa and all their other products.

My feeling is that while still growing, businesses will drive the use of the social network before enticing individuals to come on board.

While it's a late addition to the social media scene you have to have a look at some of the innovations it has going for it, with Google Business Photos for example (the addition to Street View that allows you to walk in to business premises and explore the shop, restraunt or salon etc) you can see the advantages it has for local businesses.

JoeHindy  Jul. 6, 2012 at 10:34

The difference between Google+ and the other social networks is that businesses that as listed under the traditional "Places" under Google Maps are being migrated into Google+ for business and appearing in what they're calling Google+ Local Listings, so they're all getting the same look, if you add your business to Google then you are automatically roped into having a + account, complete with gmail, picassa and all their other products.

My feeling is that while still growing, businesses will drive the use of the social network before enticing individuals to come on board.

While it's a late addition to the social media scene you have to have a look at some of the innovations it has going for it, with Google Business Photos for example (the addition to Street View that allows you to walk in to business premises and explore the shop, restraunt or salon etc) you can see the advantages it has for local businesses.


There's a lot going for Google+. I yearn for the day I can say goodbye to my Facebook page for good. +1 > "like"


Hi JOE...
Hi Jan! How are you?

krogothnx  Jul. 6, 2012 at 13:20

Things i think would make g+ successful:

1 - allow it so you can simply drop a message on someone's page
2 - somehow make facebook nonexistent

it's just a facebook clone to me, and i think it probably is to quite a few others. i'm no fan of facebook, but it has the userbase, and thus the content.

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