I don’t use Google+ much. Techzim does have a page on which we share story updates, but personal posts are few and far between. And it’s not that Google plus is a ghost town. No. There’s a flurry of activity from the people I follow – Zimbabweans, Kenyans, Googlers in Africa, and Robert Scoble. The decision for me boils down to one practical thing; page load speed.
See, like millions of other internet users on this continent, I don’t have a mega fast internet connection. Forget speed, connectivity is an up and down experience no matter which provider I try (save for the fibre I can’t afford of course). And I’ve been through a number of them.
Now, despite Google’s work in Africa, the company somehow still doesn’t seem to get that we have internet speed and stability issues on the continent. The Google+ default page loads so slowly most times one has to leave the tab to do other things (like post and share stuff on Facebook) while it loads. Sometimes it fails to load all features on the page and you find the +1 buttons don’t respond to clicks. And sometimes, like this morning, it’s even worse; the page just fails to load.
Facebook.com on the other almost always loads very fast and works smoothly regardless of the quality of connection. In fact, Facebook works so well, if it fails to load a page that’s usually a sign the internet connection is totally out.
What I don’t get about all this is, how does Google manage to make Google Search load so fast, and then fail to at least just make Google+ as fast as Facebook?
If Google is looking to improve the Google+ experience for users on the continent, they should look first to tuning up that speed. Maybe providing a ‘Google+ Lite’? I’m a fan already. I’m sold on the need for a +1 button to improve search. I’m not even mad at them anymore for not acting in our best interest with that infamous Search plus your World. Google, just fix the speed, please.