Google+ still looks like Facebook

Perfectly reasonable article on gigaom this morning: 

What Google was thinking when redesigning the new Google+

Except for this amusing gem:

Yet, I can’t help but admire the newly announced version of Google’s social network. It is a much needed improvement and Google has finally developed an aesthetic that is visually different from Facebook.

Really? The cards aesthetic that Google+ has just introduced that Facebook essentially invented via their mobile apps is visually different from... Facebook?

Here is Facebook's new news feed design for the desktop, announced earlier this year:

And here's Google+'s new design, launched yesterday:

There are certainly some functional differences - Facebook's new design is essentially a single column feed, versus Google's two columns, and Google now has all the clever auto hash tagging... but to claim that they are strikingly visually different simply isn't true.

Let's see...

Card-style stories: check.
Small user portraits and names top left: check
Likes, shares and comments as well as participating other users along the bottom: check
Extremely similar colour scheme throughout: check

Their interfaces are broadly identical.

As I posted a couple of days ago: Everything Is A Remix - so I have absolutely no problem with these two platforms sharing ideas and inspiration... but let's not pretend one has struck off in a bold new direction.

-

Update: it's possible that the first big hitter to use cards was actually Google with Google Now... or maybe Pinterest... or Tumblr - I've heard a number of options when I asked the question on Twitter; but my point still stands - it's not about who got there first, more about the fact they are The Same.