I’ll be the first to admit that I cringed when I heard Google was releasing their own social network. I am the kind of person that posts the same status across all social networks and the thought of needing to keep up with yet another one was irritating. I remember the Google Wave hype. Everyone was dying for an invite, including myself, but once you were in you didn’t know what to do. You didn’t know what to do and no one you knew was on it, making it completely useless. These were the same thoughts I had when I finally joined Google+. After playing with Google+ for a week and being lucky to have 20 of my friends on it, I’ve discovered that this isn’t simply another social network. This is a social network that I can replace all my other accounts with.
Circles: On everyone’s profile you will see a “Add to Circles” button and a drop down menu so you can choose which circle to add them into. It’s like Facebook groups and friends list mixed into one with a little Twitter mixed in. This is because you can have someone in your circle, but they don’t have to approve it or add you to theirs. This is reminiscent of how Twitter does things. Someone can follow you but you don’t necessarily have to follow back. You can create a circle for Friends, Colleagues, or Interesting people you want to keep up with.
Sharing: Around the web you’ll see the +1 button which will automatically share the link with your circles. Simply stay what you have to say, pick which circle you want to share your post with or choose Public to show everyone, and share it! You can also share videos, images, and other people’s post. Think of Reblogging on Twitter, it just shares the content with whichever circle you choose to share it with.
Sharing doesn’t have any limitations like Twitter’s 140 characters. People can share short messages or full blown blog posts. It can also be used as a mini blog if people want to say a couple words. Right there that’s Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr all mixed into one. This is what makes Google+ cool. People are already on the site so their posts will get more interaction and attention than it would on someone’s wordpress blog. This has been proven as Kevin Rose, internet personality and founder of Digg, has completely redirected his wordpress blog Kevinrose.com to his Google+ profile once he saw it gets more attention than his wordpress blog ever did.
One thing that I really dislike about Google+ is that it bumps old posts whenever it gets a new comment. For example, lets say you posted something last week and a bunch of stuff since. If something from last weeks gets commented on, that post gets bumped to the top before the newer posts and people see something old when they see their stream. This will give off the impression of old content. Not something you want people to feel. I don’t know why Google decided to do this but maybe they’ll change it soon.
Although it’s been the buzz for the past week, there’s no telling if Google+ will be able to live up to the hype and be the best. But as you can see, Google+ isn’t just another social network. It’s THE social network. Once more people join, I believe that abandoning Facebook will be much easier. Facebook seems to be becoming the new MySpace. It wasn’t until Google came out with Google+ that they decided to fix their service. Wednesday, they added a new chat and video calls, something Google+ launched with. Was this merely a coincidence or rushed so they weren’t left behind? I don’t know for sure but with two services competing for our attention, we’re the winners. Check out my Google+ profile.