Here is how I imagine this happened. There is Google's design team rolling out their beautifully subtle new design langueage when a group of execs start to panic about how many people are using their highly derivative social network. "Perhaps it's just not obvious enough" says one exec. "Yes let's really shout about it" says another, then somehow we land with this. So the logic follows; 'don't make it better, just make it more obvious'.
Google you will be held back after class and we will talk about this with your parents!