I have been playing around with Google+ for the past 24 hours and wanted to get down my thoughts.
Google+ is the common thread between all the services. Its a final connection point between networks and services that have been existing in a void for a long time. This common weave provides a place for this content to be shared, exist with a purpose, and hopefully be consumed. It remains to be seen as to whether or not this will usurp other social networks for time and attention, but it is well positioned to garner a ton of usage right out of the gate.
I am excited by the prospect of Google Webmaster Tools incorporating +1 data and other services. I think this will provide some much needed analytics and insight into whether or not all this activity has impact on sites and attention.
On the Web
- Its very clean – empty without content is a tough state, but the facebook analogy is so strong its easy to see what goes where
- Adding all contacts to a new social graph is proving difficult
- Circles are tricky, sometimes great, but definitely a positive way to organize people
- The analogies to both Gmail and FB are strong – placement of chat and newsfeed
- Now theres a reason to +1 something – I assume my +1’s will filter back into my feed
- Using the site and sharing between circles, extended circles, and public makes sense but won’t to most
- I didn’t mind having it hidden in the header bar
- Hangout is amazing – works flawlessly and group chat now has a new bar set
- Android app is very slick
- Its actually two apps Google+ and Huddle which is like a version of GroupMe, Beluga, and WhatsApp
- Currently not running automatically in the background – opening Google+ Mobile brings up notifications upon each open (would prefer if it ran in the background)
- Slick UI and well poised for immediate International use (found this throughout the app and web)
- Its fast – most of the features work quickly and make sense
- Notifications are on the bottom which is opposed to the native Android notifications bar
The missing link for me is the disparate network problem being experienced by Google+.
Facebook started with small, tightly knit clustered networks (Colleges) that had an immediate network effect. Once these small nodes joined together they became super nodes. As these nodes joined, they eventually connected the farthest points of the network. As a friend put it, the scale of facebook is now capped at the population.
Google+ is rolling out to geeks across the globe. There is no central group or smaller node. I am inviting those that have asked, and watching as I am populated to circles and seeing more activity happen.
The one common element here that does not exist for Facebook is that the Google+ bar exists at the top of Google.com and Gmail for me now – where I spend the bulk of my web time. Notifications will play a key role here. As I described before, I continue to think of Google as a social network that is there when you need it and not when you don’t.
Update: video for reference
- Google+: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly (searchengineland.com)
- First Night With Google Plus: This is Very Cool (readwriteweb.com)