Google+ still has a ways to go before it’s a finished product. But the days-old social network already has some great features. Here are the five best. - Hangout - Notification bar - Following and friend organization (Circles) - Sharing and commenting - Photos
People may think Google+ has borrowed some good ideas from Facebook. Nonetheless, it offers some cool new approaches which Facebook doesn't. And, hence, even though now Google+ has just started, it could soon be a solid alternative to Facebook.
Google recently announced its new Google+ social network, but didn't really show us much of what it actually felt like to use. We got our hands on a few invites to show you how it looks, feels, and how you might use it.
I believe that much of the success of Google+ will be how fast it can become available to users. Giving users access invite-by-invite to a social platform is not the way to launch a social network. Social networks survive on interactions, and interactions occur from like-minded people and friends collaborating together. Limited invite-by-invite access will not spur this behavior, period.
Overall, I liked the product and the implementation, but I am not really sure what people will use it for (not generally a good sign for a new product launch). What may really make-or-break the success of Google+ is how fast they can roll out to the public and if they can make the service appear less daunting to the average user. All in all, this is the best social product put out by Google to date, but probably not enough to convert existing social users away from their current service.
Google launched its long-awaited social network on Tuesday. It's calling it the Google+ project.
Designed around users' social circles (called +Circles), Google attempts to more closely mirror "real life" compared to competitors like Facebook. It lets users selectively share with specific groups within given circles, rather than sharing with all their social connections at once.
Google's new Google+ social network, currently in a "field trial," can't quite avoid the stereotype that the company's products sacrifice usability for new features. Put simply, Google+ is a social network for geeks. Unfortunately, Google can't help exposing numerous options to share, hide, protect, and discover photos, friends, videos, posts, and all of the other minutiae that make up today's online social interactions. Underneath, however, there are some rather elegant features, including a lovely "Circles" interface to add friends, and a "Hangout" group video chat feature that holds promise.
I’ve been manically playing with Google Plus for about an hour now and, while there is disagreement here among the editorial team at Search Engine Land, I give it a qualified “thumbs up.”
At first glance many people will dismiss Google Plus as redundant and derivative of Twitter and Facebook, in particular. This was also true of the ill-fated Buzz. But this is a much better and more thoughtfully designed product than Buzz.
We finally got a couple Google+ invites and have been scouring the new social network. Unfortunately, we've found a few problems with the service that could undermine its potential, if not tweaked or fixed. - That email address is not your friend - Profiles need to be connected and have a Wall - Google Chat, +1, and Buzz are present but disconnected - Problems with the Stream - Sparks don’t spark anything
Waiting for a Google Plus invite? Google is rolling out the service in waves and you can expect it to become a ubiquitous social option in the coming months. We have been playing with the service since getting invites yesterday and there are a lot of things to like about Google's new social initiative.
What Google has understood, and put (with some glitches) into practice, is what Facebook has resisted. First, privacy has been baked into the service, not added as an afterthought. The privacy settings still need work, but it's clear that Google has learned from the mistakes it has made and the ongoing privacy insults that Facebook showers on its users.
Second, Google appreciates the reality that we live in generally non-concentric groups such as family, close friends, colleagues, people with whom we do business, social acquaintances and more. And G+ makes it relatively easy to sort people into a group or groups where they most naturally fit.
Overall score from Charles Arthur: 4/10 Not as bad as Buzz – which ignored privacy altogether – and Circles is a clever idea. But "being social" isn't just about involving lots of people in things. It's also about getting out of the way. The irony is that Google's biggest product, its search page, is a classic of simple design. But everything else it does becomes too complicated. Google+ might work better if it tried to do less, and then built it up.
Time will tell, but if I were offered the choice of this or Facebook, I'd take Facebook. But I'd take Twitter's simplicity and speed over both.
I thought I'd type up some notes after an evening of using Google's new social network, Google Plus. This is a really big deal, a super ambitious effort involving scores of engineers over months of near total secrecy. It's really, really well done. Will it be good enough? I have no idea, but I have felt drawn to keep using it all night long.
The fundamental value proposition is around privacy: it's the opposite of Facebook and Twitter's universal broadcast paradigm. Google Plus is based on the Google Circles feature, which lets you share and view content to and from explicitly identified groups of your contacts, and no one else. It's really easy to use and a great feature - but even if you're communicating out in public, the rest of the service is very well designed, too. This is a smart, attractive, very strong social offering from Google.
When the news of Google+'s arrival broke today, we called the service an "all out assault on social networking," and after playing around with it for a bit, the description seems even more apt. Past services like Buzz have suffered from a half-baked approach to the space.
Google has clearly pulled out all of the stops this time, with direct shots at some of the leading market software (Facebook, Skype). As ever, the company has created a smooth, largely intuitive, and enjoyable experience. Now comes the hardest part: convincing people that they need another social network in their lives, because without friends, you're just hanging out by yourself.
Google+ is a bold and dramatic attempt at social. There’s a reason why Google calls this a “project” rather than a “product” — they don’t want people to think of this as the final product, but as a constantly-evolving entity that permeates every corner of the Google empire.
Overall, Google+ is solid. But I’m not going to call it a Facebook killer or a game-changer. The last Google product I said that about was the ill-fated Google Buzz. Perhaps that’s why Google’s rolling this out slowly via invites, the same style Gmail used to release itself to the world.
If Google can persuade users to come back every day, it has a winner. But the company will have to do even more to provide a truly compelling alternative to Facebook.