Well here it is Google +. Google is getting into the social network game, going up against Facebook. The platform is invite only which is a very smart strategy for a soft launch. There is no news whether it will open the doors to everyone yet. Initial thoughts so far is that it is structured very much like Facebook, and the follow format is very much indicative of twitter, with a video chat like Skype.
Page Layout and useability: So far like a simplified version of Facebook.
Navigation: The Navigation seems pretty smooth. They have taken the liberty of giving us quick keys. Check out the google cheat sheet illustration.
Also buttons at the top of the page to toggle between home, photos, profile and circles. Which I am sure more will be added or perhaps they will be apps that can be placed up there.
News Feeds (Streams): The feeds can be maintained which makes it a lot easier to see almost everyone’s feed. The problem that Facebook users were having,
especially those of us who use it for Social Media, networking, advertising and business, was that based on the personalization algorithms that have now become so finely tuned, we were missing what was happening at times, feeds and updates would not get to us based on our particular preferences or habits. Now there is an option in Google Plus where you can choose certain groups feeds (streams) easily. That makes it a bit more funneled down to see what friends are saying opposed to colleagues or family. The choice has been given back to us in a way.
Adding Friends: this is the area that is more like Twitter than anything else. You can add a friend or follow a friend. But they do not have to follow you. Also you put friends in different circles which are like groups. Which if you have already done this yet it is pretty cool, nice little animation going on which gives a sense of accomplishment (nice on that one). When you first set up your account you only have a few circles but you can create more which is great. I’ll get into this next.
ConConis that right now it is darn hard to invite people. If you have a Google account or profile you can someone what have it easier. But many people are
saying that it is incredibly hard to find people and add/invite them. Even if they do have a Google Account.
Status updates: Just like Facebook. However, you can choose which circles you want to see that status update. This works very well and as you may guess cuts out a whole lot of the clutter that you see on Facebook, and does not leave anyone out, unless you want them to be. There is also a very easy way to do real-time security and privacy features. You can choose to send only one person a status update and only that person will see it, and you can also choose whether or not you want that shared. Much easier than having to redo your security settings every-time some big wig companies wants information so they can sell you a college degree.
Pics and links: Links are added just like Facebook however they have a drag and drop feature. And the framing of pictures when enlarged are pretty damn cool.
Video Messaging: This appears to be their “Big Difference”, Lot’s of people are skyping now days so it would be dumb if they didn’t add that in there. And once again you can share this with circles.
Business side: think about it. Does Google Really need to put advertisements on the site? I really don’t think that will happen in a very large-scale. But we’ll see. It is good that we may have the opportunity to win the grass-roots campaign again. After-all Facebook’s adds and social media-networking seem to be getting out of reach of the ones trying to get a step up in their business ventures.
Overall, I think it is okay, with thumbs up potential. Very clean and streamline, and if they have worked out some of the security issues we may have a winner.