Perfectly reasonable article on gigaom this morning:
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.
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.