I have to say I am very impressed with Google+ so far. It has a lot to offer technogeeks like myself. But can it go mainstream like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Before being invited to try Google+ I spent most of my time on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, in that order. Now the order is more like Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
Here is a great visual aide on how to explain Google+
Facebook+ Twitter+ Tumblr = Google+
What I like most about Google+
Something so simple yet so amazingly complex is ones circle of connections to people and to the world. We all have many circles relationships we come across in our daily lives. Google has made this shape the backbone of its social network. These circles serve as a visible way to organize, share and secure information with only the people you identify. You can create and name as many circles as you like, yet none of those whom you put in these circles knows what circle you have placed them in. They also don’t know that they have been placed in the same or different circles. With this concept you don’t have to worry about mistakenly sharing the wrong information with someone who may not like it or may take offense by it. If you really look at it, it’s kinda like Social Segregation at its finest.
What I like least about Google+
There may be 10 million plus using it now but they are still limiting it to invitation only. Google has done this with almost all of it’s services, and I kinda understand it but that does not mean I have to like it. The invites are also currently limited to those who have a gmail account. So if you have anything else you will be forced to create a Google profile that requires you to have a Google gmail account.
What I think still needs some work
Google has taken video conferencing 2 the next level with their new “Hangout” service inside Google+. Creating a Hangout was very easy and made you take notice of how cool it is to get together with some of your friends face to face via the Internet. The audio was impressive but the video was a little choppy and delayed. You also only get to speak to 10 people at once. I say this only because 10 is currently the maximum number they have right now and I can’t really fathom video chatting with more than 5 people at one time let alone 10. Can you imaging a video conference session with say more than 20 people?
What I think will make Google+ even more appealing.
Google launched a native Google+ mobile app for all of its Android users right around the same time they launched the service. The app makes Google+ even easier to use and even adds a group chat service called “Huddle” to the mix. Most smart phones still don’t have a front facing camera so I understand why the “Hangout” service is currently not on the Android app. Although I do think they will add this feature when they release the mobile app for the iPhone and iPad. Google+ is probably working on integrating their Hangout service with the iOS “FaceTime” feature. When this happens I think Google’s mobile subscribers to Google+ will skyrocket, taking that 10 million plus number in 10 days to record heights.
Why I think you should try it once you get invited.
Google has put a lot of thought behind this new social network. They have definitely learned from their many mistakes and failures of the past. (see: Why Is Google Not Afraid To Fail?) Google has also seen what has worked successfully for other social networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. All of this work by Google has allowed us all to benefit from what Google+ has brought to the table. Is Google+ a “Facebook Killer”? only time will tell. I suggest you check it out for yourself and make your own comparisons. Google+ is by no means the perfect social networking site, especially with the current invite limitations. Yet I can’t help but think that some of the ex employees of MySpace who currently work for Twitter or Facebook are secretly thinking, “OH SH**, Not AGAIN!!!;-)