Google didn’t seem to think so.
They have finally released Google +, a new project that got a lot of attention during the past few weeks. Among the new stuff, one is getting special attention from the crowds, that is Circles, Google’s version of Fac…social network.
In this post I am going to tell you what I think about it.
For starters, let’s take a look on Google Circles interface, shall we? (I hope you don’t mind my pro blurring skills)
On the left menu we have a link to our profile page, a list of our circles, and if we click on them we can then check out the different streams of content each circle is sharing – which I think is awesome by the way! Then we have “Sparks”, a service that I think works kind of like the hashtags we know from Twitter, but I’m not sure if the content there is what is shared by the other Google+ users or the web in general. Google has the dude who created the hashtags working for them now, so let’s see what comes from that! (I haven’t been playing with Sparks so much)
The chat that was made available there is the GoogleTalk, but it has a few features that will allow you to choose who has access to you in that service, according to your privacy and Chat settings.
The menu to the right shows the people in our circles, suggestions of people we should have in our circles (based on our Gmail contacts and people we follow on our circles), “Hangouts” (more on that in a bit), a link to the mobile app (iOS app included!), and “send invites”. You see, this whole thing is still being tested, so you need an invite to sign up. Which was pretty smart of Google, since we all know that this feeling of beng in something exclusive lures crowds like free candy. I’ve heard there are people selling those on E-bay -the invites, not candy! But if any of you guys is not on G+ yet and wants an invite just leave your e-mail here and I’ll send you one, or if you don’t want your e-mail to be public, send me an e-mail and i’ll invite you.
Now, the center of the page is the Stream, which has been one of the most discussed subjects of the G+ project.
The blogger Robert Scoble has been pointing out that G+ has a very serious problem with noise (too much information which leads to more difficulty on finding content, not that the page is making noise) and he has made some valid points, like when saying that Google+ fails to group re-shared posts in a single post on the stream, like Facebook does, and that makes our stream too polluted, but in the end, I agree with Kevin Rose’s point of view (they had a bit of a friendly argument (2,3) going about this).
One of the worst things about this stream is that every single friggin’ time somebody comments on a post it will be moved to the top of your stream. Which is why on the first days of G+ we all saw Larry Page kite-surfing, every time we’d open the page. One thing you can do to stop that from happening is mute a post, manually. So yea…you can see how that could be a problem for us, now that we are all so pampered by Facebook showing us just what (or what they think) we want to see.
Now, the Hangouts tool! It is pretty epic. A Hangout is a video conference, for free. Anyone can start a Hangout just by clicking on the link on the main page and invite people to join them. Can be a private Hangout, just with your Circles, or a public one. You can also join another people’s Hangouts. Pretty nice right? Some people have been using it sort of like Chatroulette, only in groups! Pretty neat.
I gotta be honest with you, guys, I’m completely addicted to G+. Could be that it’s because it’s the only social network website that hasn’t been blocked at work, or just that it truly is awesome.
Of course, not everybody thinks that way. MG Siegler, for example, says that after over 18million people signed up to G+ in less than a month, but it might be loosing users already. I don’t know…I think is just that people are just starting migrate from one platform to another.I
In Brazil, the majority of the people who were in an online social network were Orkut users, just last year lots of these people joined Twitter, and in 2011 they started migrating to Facebook. Orkut dominated in here for over five years. It won’t be in a month that G+ is going to conquer all Facebook users, that is for sure.
I believe that as soon as Google finally comes up with something for business, more people are going to surrender to the new project. For now only people have been allowed to use the service, despite Mashable‘s try (they set up a profile for the website, but Google warned all their users they were going to suspend all non-persons [lol], from
the service, so they turned Mashable’s profile into Pete Cashmore‘s) and Tech Crunch‘s Techatew Cruncherin (which was sexy, by the way) for example. I think that as soon as bands, big companies (like Coca Cola maybe?) and such, start signing up, they will attract some followers. The content shared in G+ for now isn’t really THAT attractive for the masses. But that may be my impression because of the people I’m currently following.
In the end, the way I see it, Google + can have a bright future. I’m surely hoping for it!
Oh, and if you want to check out Vic Gundotra and Bradley Horowitz, the Google employees who are taking care of this project, were interviewed by Andrew Keen on TechCrunchTV and talked a bit more about G+. Well worth 30 minutes of your time if the subject interests you! 😉
See you guys next time!