Monday, July 11, 2011

Google+ - Impressive debut

I got a Google+ invite last week and immediately started exploring it. The first thing I noticed (and loved) is the concept of Circles - a way to organize your contacts list. It is so intuitive - you drag and drop a contact to any of the predefined circles (Family, Friends, Acquaintance or Following) or create new circles.
When you want to share anything, you just have to choose the circles that you want to share it with. Google+ also saves your default share settings thus avoiding the hassle of choosing circles every time you want to share something.

So far I have found Google+ to be quite interesting and easy to use. Haven't spent a lot of time on it since there are very few friends on this network right now. But with more people joining Google+ each day, the usage will only increase.

The key question is how Google+ will fare in the long run. With 750 Million users, Facebook has the world's biggest social network and it is not easy for a user to migrate to another social network with existing contacts and data that has already been shared. Also, I am not sure if a user will share hist posts/pictures on both networks as it will be too time consuming. The big advantage Google+ has is its potential integration with other Google products - gmail, google search, google maps, picasa etc. This should allow users to share from within a google product and without having to log onto Google+.

The one Google+ feature that I haven't explored is Hangout - its group video chat feature. Immediately after the launch of Google+, Facebook announced an  integration with Skype (Microsoft owns Skype and also has 1.6 percent stake in Facebook with its USD 240 Mn investment in 2007) to launch a video chat feature. This goes to show how competitive this space is going to be with  Microsoft + Skype competing with Google.
I wonder if Apple will make a move into this space ;)

Here are 2 related interesting articles:


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