A Google employee criticised Google+ as a “pathetic afterthought” in an internal memo on the site which he then accidentally published online.

Engineer Steve Yegge didn’t hold back in his rant against Google’s answer to Facebook.

“Google+ is a knee-jerk reaction, a study in short-term thinking, predicated on the incorrect notion that Facebook is successful because they built a great product. But that’s not why they are successful,”  Yegge fulminated.

“Facebook is successful because they built an entire constellation of products by allowing other people to do the work,” he continued before branding the social networking site a “pathetic afterthought” and went on to say that Google+ “is a prime example of our complete failure to understand platforms from the very highest levels of executive leadership (hi Larry, Sergey, Eric, Vic, howdy howdy) down to the very lowest leaf workers (hey yo). We all don’t get it.”

After he’d unintentionally made his rant public Yegge admitted he didn’t know how to use the site properly (hence the cock up) and removed the post with the mea culpa: “So my opinions, even though they may seem well-formed and accurate, really are just a bunch of opinions from someone who’s nowhere near the center of the action – so I wouldn’t read too much into anything I said.”

Launched to much fanfare in June, Google+ currently trails Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace and Ning as the sixth most popular social network site.