• http://www.concept-i.dk/ Thomas Rosenstand

    Great first “review”! It really puzzles me why Google again and again chose to launch in a way designated to kill the buzz even before it takes off. Seems to me they have not learned anything from the failures of Wave and Buzz.

  • http://facebook.com/abhi.budhiraja Abhinav Budhiraja

    “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.”

    Very well said…

  • Greg Finn

    Thanks Sandeep. I can assure you that I am not a Facebook employee, and I actually like +. Not as a replacement for Facebook, but as a professional network as I mentioned in the article.

  • kevint

    Really? Have you not seen the social network? Yes Google has had failures in the past with buzz and wave, but obviously you do not want to just open up the doors to a social network when your in a test phase and working out bugs. My point is that i am pretty sure that facebook started as a social network for colleges and was by invite only. That gave them the time to work on bugs and add new features. Secondly, facebook didnt become the new king for quite some time, myspace was in its prime and facebook was for college students. AS for integration into search, it will get there, be patient. As for features and ease of use that you would like to see. Be patient. I mean after all these people are geniuses, and ease of use doesnt become apparent until people start saying something. Where Google truly shines is in its integration and unique design of all it products, it definitely is offering something facebook does not. The one recommendation that i would make to Google is to not abandon ship on this one, the framework is all there, social networks are like fads, they come and go. Facebook is a great application, but its time at the helm is limited. Google has the ability to intergrate all of the tools at its disposal into one platform. And they have search, if they could integrate tabs to switch between just web search, and search related within their social network, like people search or buisness search, i would shut down my facebook account right now, because to have web search and social search in one applicaton would stop my need of having to go to google to find anything anyways. Point is, Google is not going to come out even keel with facebook, by technical aspects because it was just launched, The test will be if Google puts the time and effort into really building Google+ and letting it speak for itself.

  • Greg Finn

    kevint,

    My point is, that Google does a terrible job at launching social products. They always have. If you can’t allow people to sign up publicly, don’t make it a very public launch with slick videos, blog posts and the sort. I do think that their launch of other products really hurt, and if people can’t get into Google+ within a few weeks, nobody is going to care.

    In regards to your other options, as a professional user heavy into tech, I agree. Google+ is nice. But what about the average casual user? They really don’t care about privacy and Facebook’s stance as long as they can easily lock down their profile from the public. They won’t shut their Facebook account down right now, because they can’t search from their social area. They just wont;. That is why at the end I mentioned that I think it is an AWESOME Facebook/LinkedIn hybrid. I think that is the sweet-spot at the moment – professionals.

  • Chris Meacher

    Considering how technically in depth it seems, and all the malarky it seems you have to go through to get signed up ( google profile etc ) I dont think the general public will take to it like they did with Facebook. Integration of all Google products may be unique and clever, but how many regular users who dont see Google like we do care and want to make sure they have a gmail account and a Google profile attached to it before they can even think about signing up to a new social network?

    This to me seems like a rival to Linkedin more than Facebook, although I know you technically savvy types may disagree, but most of you will be thinking about what Facebook is now, not what it was, the general public dont care or at the least think about marketing strategies and the like.

    I and probably many millions more didn’t know about Facebook in its earliest days, which is why Google have a lot of work ahead of them with thousands if not millions of ‘experts’ with their own opinions on everything watching them. All the pressure is on Google to make this work, something I find a bit silly, because personally after years of social networks, im frankly sick of them and may not sign up for another one, not on a personal level anyway ( smart ar**s will pick up on this no doubt ).

    Myspace died because it became extremely slow and buggy due to neglect by the owners, Facebook will only die off if the owners decide to do the same, which I can’t see happening.

    Time will only tell, but reading this review and some of the complexities around signing up for Google+ ( maybe this will change but again, see the beginning of the paragraph ) will no doubt put the ( with all due respect ) average Joe off, which this world mainly consists of.

    A very interesting read, thanks.

  • http://www.adamtudor.com Adam Tudor

    A great breakdown of the product, but it’s sad to hear about persistent account issues, which always seem to be the weak point in many Google products.

    I think having a Google account may be where this will fall down outside of the tech world & Gmail users. It really needs to offer something ‘wow’ to get mainstream interest and get people to even think about moving from Facebook. With all the Google product jargon and the unfamiliar layout, it may just put people off – or they may try it or see a friend using it and be put off.

    I think the big G needs to be really careful about product releases – if they release things too early people will try it once and never go back, no matter if they add lots of functionality further down the line. People have so many apps, websites and products fighting to be heard and I don’t think they are prepared to persist too long with something if it’s too much like hard work.

  • http://www.brianfosse.com brianfosse

    I think that this is particularly interesting in light of an Ad Age article posted just prior to Google+ – http://t.co/J3EdGRy . It basically says that Microsoft teamed up with Facebook poses a huge threat to Google via social search. If you agree, the question is which can gain users faster, Google+ or Bing social search?

  • http://integrati.com.au I.M.

    Firstly, excellent write up, loved the detail and I feel you were very objective.

    I think this is very early to say that they won’t be a competitor to Facebook. They were told to get into social an I see this as the thin edge of the wedge which the Founders at Google will be driving hard.

    I 1000% agree with you about the Google Accounts and Google Contact management. I was hoping that they would ‘tie’ all of this together.

    How ironic that Google clearly now has ‘legacy’ system issues with Google Accounts scattered far and wide but is struggling to put it ‘all’ in one pot.

    If they crack that nut they will be away… UX first, driven with simple form and function.

    Good on them I like the first pass let’s hope we see many more releases, improvements and updates.

  • http://www.decorating-country-home.com Chick French

    …so where’s Google’s GameLand…the juvenile gamer’s won’t be quick to desert their farm plantations and gangster wars…Google Plus is just too grownup for these types. Google’s developer’s better get busy on game apps if they seriously expect to cater to juvenile mentality.

    I say this jokingly, but I’m dead serious. The games are the addiction on FB!

  • http://www.enovabiz.in E.B.

    I have not yet used Google+ but have a feeling that with such a huge Google email user base, it has good chances of becoming popular. But profiles/account restrictions can be very disappointing. What if Google+ turns out to be too complex with so many features and integration?

    But what stops Facebook from making its privacy and other features at par with Google+. With so many people already familiar with FB and with emotional & business connect, not many will be too inclined join the new bandwagon as of now.

  • http://www.sonomacountyweb.com S.C.

    Hello Greg,
    Excellent overview of the product.
    It appears that Google is allowing connectivity with other services.
    Go to the “Options” drop-down next to the Share button at the upper-right, then look
    in the subnav to the left, for the “Connected Accounts” button. Unless I am mistaken, it appears
    you can connect other services (e.g. Twitter, FB, LinkeIn, etc.).

  • Greg Finn

    S.C.,

    You are correct, you can connect your account. However, the most connectivity that Google+ offers is a link in your Google Profile over to that account. It isn’t like Buzz or LinkedIn where you can tie a Twitter account in to push out Tweets.

    Thanks!

  • http://www.antezeta.com/blog/ Sean Carlos

    Profiles are not officially available for email addresses associated with Google Apps, as noted in this Google chart: http://www.google.com/support/a/bin/answer.py?answer=181865&hl=en

    I assume that exceptions may exist for users who created Google profiles before their domain migrated to Google Apps?

  • sethdanielwatson

    Great article and really does a great job balancing the good and the bad with the product. I’d probably put a bit more emphasis on the complexity issues.

    For the average user, I think this is much too convoluted. In particular, I think the +1 element and the commenting/posting capability are overly complex (on comments, as a threshold matter–once a user has commented its easy, but before that, not so much).

    Strikes me that in order for a product/service to be successful it needs to do one of the following:

    1. Meet a need that is not currently being met (or, alternatively, fill a previously unknown need); OR
    2. Meet a currently satisfied need in a SPECTACULARLY improved way. –Keep in mind, improved generally means, in our culture, EASIER for us…

    Some examples:
    1. Electric can openers, not manual ones
    2. Hondas and Toyotas, not Buicks and Chevys
    3. i-Phones over Blackberris, Blackberries over Nextels, Nextels over push-button phones, push-button phones over dial-ups
    4. Grocery stores over farms and butchering our own hogs and goats
    5. Electric alarm clocks, not wind-ups (or Roosters)
    6. Hi-Def, not tube, color, not black and white
    7. McDonalds, not cooking at home

    While not all of these are *improvements* in the true sense, they all represent meeting a need in an improved way from the standpoint of the broader culture.

    Google+ is not meeting *either* of the two possible ways outlined above. It offers nothing that FB does not currently do–and does better. It fills no “gap”. Circles? Got those, called “lists”. +1? Got that. Its “like” and, in a significant edge, “share”. Plus its vastly more intuitive and easier to post and comment on friends’ pages. Since much of what we want as human beings is communication and connection, its particularly of import that Google+ makes it challenging to comment/post.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/2U53G2XBOBCIQINRKB6O4R7A4Y Me Again

    I like G+, except for the fact that you cannot write comments on people’s walls, like you do on Fb, so then I thought “ok, then you’ll send a private message” but they show up on your “home” so if you are scrolling up or down to show someone some pictures of someone, for example, they could read that “private” message. They should, like it happens on Fb, go to a “message folder” or something like that.
    Another thing I like a lot is the privacy =)

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