Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Picnik Closes To Move Users To G+

Photo editing service website Picnik has announced it will be closing on 19th April. Tech blog CNet reports that more than 1200 users have already complained in response to their blog post dated 20th January.

"But now we get to focus on even awesomer things," they declare. In an attempt to mollify their angry users they have offered to make their premium service available and refund premium members' fees in full and helpfully suggested that they move their files to Google +.

The response, it seems, has been overwhelmingly negative, with users complaining about the "clumsy and unwieldy" nature of Google +.

Google officials have downplayed the furore, saying in their company blog,

"Resolutions can be hard, and changing products that people love is hard too. But we’re excited to focus on creating a beautifully simple, intuitive user experience across Google—an experience that will change the lives of millions of people."

They've failed to mention the loss of ease of use that made Picnik so popular. They seem to be determined to get more people on board with their cheap Facebook knockoff whether they like it or not.

Google Plus allows nicknames

Meanwhile, the number of Google + users is increasing in response to the recent changes. Recently, they permitted Apps account holders to join, so I did, and made company pages for each of my websites. Now they're letting us have nicknames to protect our online privacy, according to a report on CNN. However, critic Anna Helm says that the new system will allow all our contacts see our full name and nickname, but every single person we will email... with Gmail will also know because when you change your name in Google+, you’re changing it across all services that require a Google Profile.

The solution to that has always been to have separate email addresses for public and private use, then configuring your email account to "send mail as." Since I have four websites and don't want the inconvenience of having to access each email account individually I've got them all set to forward to my personal account. The "send mail as" feature then lets me send emails to people according to which account I've received them from, which overrides the profiles settings. However, if you click the down arrow next to Reply the headers come up, revealing the originating email address, that is, my personal one. My personal email address is not some deep dark secret, but for those of us who wish to protect our privacy, that's the problem.

This disclosure, says Helm, may well result in Google + being a secondary social network because Facebook is better developed and has more apps to integrate with other services. To date, Google only integrates with Google services. Now they're centralizing them.

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