Short Takes: Betaworks’ John Borthwick is Down on Google+

Can a social network be too refined? John Borthwick thinks so.

Borthwick, the founder and CEO of the technology investment firm Betaworks, believes that Google+ was launched with too many features, before the company was able to see how people would actually use the product.
“I’ve been fairly bearish on Google+,’” Borthwick said on Thursday (Sept. 22) at the Digiday Social conference in New York. “I don’t think its working. I thought it was over-architected. Usually you start small and design the experience with your users.”
Borthwick drew a contrast between Google+ and Twitter, which saw many of its more popular features, like the retweet button, come from users.
Google+ for the time being, seems overly designed to keep users on Google’s pages, rather than send them out across the Web (a very un-Google philosophy). And the participation numbers don’t look good at the moment.
But Borthwick is willing to be patient with Google+. “They are a startup in a sense,” he said.

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