Yesterday I received an invite for Google+ and eagerly accepted. As a regular Facebook and Twitter user I was interested to see what the Google guys had come up with to contend with the big social networking players.
It’s now about 24 hours since I signed up, and with just 6 people in my ‘circle’ I wanted to share some of my comments. I’m going to assume that you already know the basic terminology of Google+, so I’m not going to delve into long descriptions about how everything works. Here are my thoughts thus far:-
- Adding friends seems very complicated. The circles interface is very intuitive, but to add people does seem a little long-winded at the moment. I guess as more people I know sign up with accounts it’ll get simpler.
- Certain things seem a little broken at the minute. Me and my girlfriend both signed up and test posted some messages and comments to each other, but sometimes they don’t appear on each others streams. I can click again a few minutes later however and they’re back again.
- If I want to post a message to somebody’s profile on Facebook it’s easy – I click on their profile and there’s a nice little box right there where I can share something directly with them. On Google+ it’s not that easy. The only way I’ve found of doing anything similar is to post something to my stream and set the sharing options so that only she can read the comment. It doesn’t seem intuitive enough for me at the moment.
- I like the facial recognition on the photo viewer. Similar to the way Facebook works in tagging people in images, Google+ seems to automatically know what a face is and suggests the things you might want to tag. It doesn’t get it right all of the time, but it’s still pretty clever stuff.
- The notifications area of the screen is a little erratic, sometimes informing me about things that have already happened and that I’ve already responded too. Again, I’m sure it’s something that will be fixed soon enough.
- The overall interface is very clean and tidy. It’s also very similar (I think) to Facebook, especially in terms of posts and comments and how they’re laid out on screen.
- So far there doesn’t seem to be any Apps – something I’m sure Google will add at some point. Will they maybe integrate Google Documents, for example, so that people can not only work on things collaboratively, but comment on them through the Google+ interface? From a business perspective that, I think, could be pretty useful.