A couple days ago I got my Google+ invite from friend Anthony Quintano. While I wasn’t keen on getting another Social Network to spend time on, I knew I had to do it because 1. I am a tech guy and 2. I have to be part of the latest and greatest stuff. That is how I roll.
So I joined up with this Google+. It took me to the home page where I could instantly add people to different circles. I had a Friends, Family, Acquaintances and Follow circles. I could also create new circles. I created “People I Hate”: Currently, one person is in that circle (want to be in this circle? Let me know! @geekazine) and Circle of Life (if you want to be there, let me know).
The + in Google+
That is simple – NO FARMVILLE (as of yet). At least right now this is in it’s purest form and applications are not part of it. Also, no group messaging and event invites. When I asked it not to send me email notifications, it did it (Facebook is not so compliant).
I don’t see a pages and groups area. Even though in Facebook pages are a nice feature (so I don’t spam all my friends that don’t care about the tech stuff I write about), sometimes they can get to be too much. Google+ just keeps it to a single feed. I suppose the same way Friendfeed does.
The “+1” feature was integrated into the site. Instead of “Like”, you can +1 an item.
You can put Bold words in, you can use italic and strike-through. Good for highlighting certain aspects of your post.
I like how the notifications are organized. Scripted so you don’t have to load a new page. Slides back to the previous window.
Updates are pretty straightforward. Drag and drop pictures, audio and video. With the hangout feature, you can get on Video chat with friends. That might come in handy for meetings and fantasy football drafts…
The – in Google+
Has anyone noticed how Google+ can SPAM people? I have been going through the lists, adding people to my circles. I can add names that are not even on Google+. Then, when I post something, I can choose to send email to everyone that is NOT on the service. This is ANYONE that is in my Gmail account.
I even got told the emails people are getting can hang their computers. Interesting…
The recommendation area needs a little touch-up. I don’t know who is actually on Google+ and who isn’t at some points.
Are the Circles a Slap in the Face?
I know you cannot see which circle they put you in, but think about it – You have joe.schmoe at gmail in your friends list. Some might wonder which circle they are in. You might find out someday and that could start a war…
Man, I thought I was more than that! How can you put me anything other than Friends! That’s it! I’m moving you OUT of my circle…
For some, it’s just another sorting nightmare. For others, it’s just a bunch of circles. That is why I have “People I Hate” circle.
The only circles I could see working are Family circle or a specific group of no more than 10 people. Everything else will be a nightmare to try and organize (eventually).
Invites? Who Wants One… Oh, they’re Gone!
Apparently, invites were like candy. Google+ is on a closed beta right now, but it seemed that everyone could invite whoever they wanted. But then – just like a candy bowl – the invites were gone.
Is Google+ More Like Facebook or Twitter?
So the one question that was already asked was “Are you using Twitter less now that Google+ came out?” It’s too soon to tell on that answer. People are just discovering where Google+ is going to be: Personal posting or bot-a-riffic (where they just re-post something from twitter). Will it have apps for it? Will Farmville invade?
Right now I would call it a version of FriendFeed. That is a social network that Facebook did buy out and you can still use. I am guessing in the weeks to come, we’ll see how it evolves. If anything, I would expect Angry Birds up on the site in the next 2-3 weeks.