The questions come from both veterans users of G+ and beginners. The most asked question has to be the most interesting since it concerns one of the most controversial features Google+ has released. Here is a paraphrase of the question in the form I receive it the most.
How do I turn those #$%^ing Autoawesomes off?
This is backed with the secondary question.. How can I stop getting the Autoawesome?
If you are not familiar with Autoawesomes, well, first, they are not as awesome as Google thought they would be. Autoawesome is a feature Google+ release a few months ago offering user the ability to set in motion a series of photos they post in their Google+ Photo Album.
The controversy over the value of Autoawesomes surrounds the same controversy on the value of the animated .gif files Google+ thought would be a good idea to allow on their platform. The popularity of animated posts took off and as a result nearly everyone..including myself..has tried them. Many Plussers have now made it the only thing they posts…many post them and really do not understand the negative impact they have to their image these animated posts are giving them.
The most voicetress complaints about the Autoawesomes ..as well as the .gif files..has to do with the non-stop looping of the animation. All who have contacted me to assist them on what to do to get them out of their stream agree that many of the animated posts are creative, but after going through the loop of animation twice it becomes very..very annoying.
Compound the fact that most Plussers have several thousand people in their Circles..many who also post non-stop Autoawesomes…the experience of opening up their G+ stream to view what is going in their Circle becomes a very nerve racking experience when most of the posts are jumping round the screen like a Make A Million Dollars in 5 Minute web-site.
No Stopping Them!
To answer the question many of my posse ask me about stopping Autoawesomes..and .gifs..there is no stopping them from being received. That probably is the most annoying part of the controversy. If you have a large number of people in your circle who see the Autoawesomes as a cute way to get attention the only way to stop getting them is to Un-Circle them. Taking such drastic action is rather unsocial and goes against what Google was obviously attempting to do when they created Google+. Unfortunately, to eliminate getting the the animated posts Un-Circling seems to be the permanent solutions.
Yes, there are some search engine browser extensions people say work to stop them, but so far I have not gotten any of them to not crash my Chrome browser. I was told the crash was due to high volume of Autoawesomes and .gif files that hit my stream at any given moment. So, alternative solutions to stopping the animated posts are not a certainty, yet.
In talking to my contacts at Google I found it interesting they were not aware of the negative experience viewers were are having with a screen full of animated posts. After I enlightened them on exactly what was going on their reaction was.. “Oh, I see. Guess we didn’t think this one out very well.”
Of course they explained they were looking at the animated posts as something that would encourage interaction and get more people to use Google+. There was some reference to their studies from surveys telling them that adding the ability to post animated files would stimulate greater interest in Google+. There were some added off the cuff remarks that gave me the impression there was a high level of external and internal pressure from a small group of ‘social influencers’ who wanted to be the first to post in animation since they were not allowed to in the other social spaces.
Needless to say the backlash is starting to impact many people’s lacking interest in Google+. As I attempt to explain Google+ to someone or a group, it never fails that several of the autoawesomes and .gif files pop-up in my stream which generates the question.. “OH, What is that? That is cute..Now how do you turn it off?”
Stop Accidentally Annoying Your Circle
What I have also found interesting is recently, in talking to a few of the Plussers in my frontline Posse who post AutoAwesomes, were not aware they were posting them. They did not know that Google Settings default is to allow any series of photos to post as an Autoawesome if shared to their Circle. After learning the negative impact posting Autoawesomes were giving them they asked how to change the setting.
So, for those who post a series of photos..which there are a lot of you..and you are not wanting to annoy your Circles and get un-circled by many ..here is a screenshot of the Google Setting page showing where to UnCheck the box for Auto posting of Autoawesomes.
One of the things I will continue to do is to help people better understand Social Media, Social Networking and Google+. More importantly, I will continue to provide feedback, to those who want to listen, on the image they are portraying online. Many times, people see themselves one way when the public sees them totally opposite. With that said, many people obviously don’t care about their online image..and this is most likely the case with many of the people who see the Autoawesomes as valued content. We can only hope that changes will come soon and Google comes to their senses on what promotes interaction on Google+ before those who are getting blurred vision from all the animated posts leave Google+.
Let me know how I can help.