“Don’t Be Evil” was the slogan that Google brandished for the past decade, as the company crept its way onto everyone’s computer screen, and into their personal lives.
The negative attention directed at Google for what it was doing with user information also threatened to eat away at its goodwill as a search engine.
From the stealth Street View car taking shots of people’s homes without their permission and linking it to their names, to the Google Buzz service that tried to force a Twitter killer by automatically linking people to their Gmail contacts, the services were at the risk of seeming like a necessary “Evil” rather than what users would visit on their own terms.
Google+ has been part of an effort to change that, in tandem with Google co-founder and new chief executive Larry Page’s determination to get “social” after the flops of Google Buzz and the more complicated disaster Google Wave.
With some help from early adopters in the tech industry, though, what might have been perceived as a gratuitous attempt to topple Facebook piqued curiosity on a qualitative level. The surge of enthusiasm focused on the idea that a more qualitative conversation was capable on G+, compared to the birthday greetings, personal photo albums and other ways designed for college students to compulsively check Facebook while bored in class.