Everybody became a Tech Oracle and predicted the fall of Google+ even before it started. Comparisons with Wave and Buzz, Google’s earlier attempts at replicating the social machinery were inevitable. Wave is barely talked about except in sniggers. Buzz is barely heard of.
I have been using Google+ for 2 days now and it has not been a disaster. It isn’t exactly revolutionary and it is not going to make you leave Facebook this instant. It might not even make you leave Orkut. I haven’t gone and deleted my Facebook account. But, I am hardly giving it a glance. My time is split between Google+ and Twitter.
Here’s why Google+ works for me –
The most talked about aspect of Google+ is Circles. The way Google+ works makes it different from Facebook and Twitter. These networks make you share all the information with everyone. Google allows you handy separation. No more “I have family on Facebook” updates. You can choose to share what you want with Friends and keep it away from Family. There is no reason to let your mom know that you like rum more than vodka. Also, it might be in your best interests to let your friends be unaware of your bed-wetting which some annoying aunt might decide to remind you of in a post.
YOU get the choice. All circles are equal, some are just more equal. Let the funny folk get the funny bits and let the serious folk get the profound bits. That could save you some unfollows on Twitter.
Facebook has an auto-personalized feed which it builds by tracking people you interact with frequently. You can always set it to all updates and have a flood of uselsess updates to take up your time. Twitter goes on and you miss out bits when you weren’t online.
Google+ allows you to track streams for each circle. This allows you to skip an algorithm’s opinion of what is important for you. And at the same time, the flood is organized into segments, the importance of which YOU get to decide.
Google+ also adds a ‘huddle’, a distinct private conversation trail intended as an alternative to group chats. Also, if you aren’t present when it starts, it still allows you to jump in any time.
– Ignore people
Ok, the title is a bit misleading but Google+ brings openness. It allows you to just follow people instead of sending them friend requests. I may know someone but not want them prying into my conversations on Facebook. Google+ lets you choose how much you want to share with them. Unlike Facebook, which provides yes/no options Google+ lets you tread the grey areas and decide how much is too much.
Google has quitely managed to make sleek changes to almost all of its products. The homepage itself now features a +toolbar that allows you to keep track of your updates. These are noticeable and one can easily regulate which ones are to be delivered via email.
There is also a whole new thing called Sparks that is meant to unite people with a common interest. Like movies and cycling. Google has also integrated several of its popular features like chat, reader into the whole mix.
People will move to Google+. Because, they like Google. The real challenge infront of Google, however, is getting my mom onto Google+ because her friends and family is sure not moving from Facebook in a hurry. How do I explain personalization and data privacy to my 54 year old Dad?
Someone on my Twitter feed said, “Facebook lets you connect with people you know. Twitter lets you connect to random, cool strangers. What does Google+ do?”
It lets you choose and sometimes that is what matters.