The G+ Effect

Interesting that Samantha wrote about Google+ when I was planning to do the same! I guess that goes to show that we’re quite interested in this up and coming social media effort from Google, as well as where it will put our other social networks like Facebook.

Follow me on Google+ here!

google plus

From what I can tell, Google+ (hereon referred to as G+) has been a big hit so far. Lots of people, influential tech people primarily, have jumped on board. I was able to grab an invite from a Twitter user within the first week and have had plenty of time to get a feel for how Google wants to change the online-sharing world. Some thoughts so far:

  • Whatever personal information I had been holding back from Google, or had flat out lied about in the first place, is now correctly updated and proudly sitting on my G+ profile page. Interesting change of events.
  • I take particular joy in adding people to my “Brain Trust” and “Inner Circle” circles. Say that ten times fast.
  • Limiting the content you post to certain circles at the time of posting is insanely easy. It is all done from the keyboard and the implementation of auto-complete is very well done.
  • I use my other social networks more. Not as in a direct comparison to my G+ usage, but more than I use to use them. I’ve found myself around Facebook and Twitter more frequently as of late.
  • Flash, being used for a full-site experience, is dead. G+ showcases, especially with the HTML5 photo upload, that an immersive, interactive experience can be built without the need to call up Adobe.
  • Google is throwing all its weight behind that little +1 button. It is key to its succeess. A Facebook search engine, powered by the “likes” of your friends could very quickly make Google search results seem artificial; partly because they already are. Google, not given access to the huge amount of data on our Facebook pages, needed its own way to begin curating results. You can have the most advance search algorithm in the world, but I will always go off of the recommendations of the people I trust before I turn to a machine.
  • G+ is the result of a lot of vision and hard work. It is very clear that Google put effort into the experience and design. It might be the best looking first-launch of a Google product, that wasn’t simply bought and rebranded, in my memory.

The biggest thing G+ has hurting it right now is the lack of users. Social networks without your friends signed up feel like awkward house parties where the amount of food provided vastly exceeds the capacity of the guests there. Sharing with a circle of friends that only has one or two people in it isn’t very compelling, but every day I get another notification that “so-and-so added you to their circles.” Slowly but surely.

G+ may not be able to dethrone Facebook because it is much easier for Facebook to change up features than it is for Google to establish hundreds of millions of active users. But G+ is the first sincere push at a more social version of Google’s creed to organize the world’s information. I really like G+. But I know I’d like it a whole lot more if all my friends were here.

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