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Summary:

Google launched its much awaited and highly anticipated social networking platform today. Dubbed Google+, the service may take its cue from social networking giant Facebook, but in reality it is about the harsh reality of Google saving and enhancing its core franchise — Google Search.

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Google launched its much awaited and highly anticipated social networking platform today to a limited number of users. Dubbed Google+ (Plus), the service may take its cue from social networking giant Facebook, but in the end it is about the harsh reality of Google saving and enhancing its core franchise — Google Search. It is search (and, by extension, advertising) that made Google a company that has run afoul of the Federal Trade Commission because of its huge size and influence.

At the time of Google’s founding, search was broadly defined as a sifting through a directory of websites. As the web grew, search became all about pages. Google, with its PageRank, came to dominate that evolution of search.

Today, search is not just about pages, but also about people and the relevance of information to them.

Google’s senior executives — long dismissive of the idea of importance of social to search — were contrite during their briefing earlier this week. “It is about time we have come to the realization,” said Bradley Horowitz, vice president of product with Google, “If you don’t know people, then you can’t organize the information for people.”

Google’s realization — however late – that it needs to use social, location and other signals to enhance its core search platform is welcome. “Google needs to understand these relationships and basically use those to make search better,” said Vic Gundotra, Google’s senior vice president for Social in an hour-long briefing earlier this week.

Why? Because the the internet (and information) are expanding with such rapidity that there is no room for assumptions, and as such our systems need to adapt to this world of no (or alternatively infinite) assumptions. Google needs to adapt, and getting social and location signals is important for the company. Search is now search relevant to you in the context of your world — and that is where Google+ comes in.

What is Google Plus?

Is Google+ a destination like Facebook.com? Is it a social network? Is this an identity play? The answer to those questions is yes and no. Google’s Gundotra said that this is the first step by the company in its long social journey, which is going to evolve.

Today, you can get to Google Plus by visiting a website – Google.com/+. But it also travels with you across different Google web properties, thanks to a Google Toolbar. The toolbar is personal to you and allows you to share and send photos, videos, links or just simple messages. A notification icon informs you if others have shared stuff with you.

Google, Gundotra says, has leveraged its infrastructure to offer an array of services, and at the same time the company is attacking Facebook’s noticeable shortcoming — granular privacy that average folks can understand. More importantly it is trying hard to not be compared with Facebook.

Some of Google + Features:

In order to use Google +, you need to have a Google account, though it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to have a Google Mail account. Once you set-up your Google account, you can use your address book to invite people to your network and use that as a starting point.

Circles: Google has come up with the concept of circles — you can create a circle of contacts that are family, friends, work friends, former co-workers and so on. With these groups or circles you can define who gets to see what kind of updates. Facebook currently doesn’t offer the ability to control who sees what goes in our life that we share online.

Hangout: This just might be the killer feature of Google + effort. It is essentially group video chat done right. You click on the Hangout button and invite members of a certain group by sending them a notification. If there is no one around, all I could do is hang about without much drain on the system waiting for someone to show up. So theoretically I could invite all members of team GigaOM circle and have a quick video chat. In the demo at least, Hangout felt intuitive and easy to use (Google uses its own video codec and not Adobe Flash for this feature).

Huddle: This is a mobile group-chat service that is very much like Beluga, the fast-growing service that was snapped up by Facebook weeks after it was launched and is now said to be part of a major new communications push by Facebook. I think this is a great little feature and frankly, if Google was smart they should be rolling this out to all Google Apps for the Enterprise customers.

Instant Uploads: It has also come up with a new approach to mobile photos & videos. Google calls it Instant Uploads. Take a photo and it uploads to your Picasa or YouTube account and then you can share those videos via Google+  to specific “circles.”

Sparks: It is a new feature that allows you to create topics of interest and use them as source of information and then share it with various different groups. For instance, I could share results of Top Gear with my “petrol head” friends. These “interest” or “topic” packs offer a lot of content and not surprisingly YouTube videos. Circles, Hangout and Huddle are about personal sharing and personal communications. Sparks on the other hand is devoid of that connection and stands out as a sore thumb.

Google Plus + Chrome + Android

A few months ago, I wrote about how Google could beat Facebook, pointing out that it was not going to be on the web, and instead on the mobile.

I’ve always maintained Google has to play to its strengths – that is, tap into its DNA of being an engineering-driven culture that can leverage its immense infrastructure. It also needs to leverage its existing assets even more, instead of chasing rainbows. In other words, it needs to look at Android and see if it can build a layer of services that get to the very essence of social experience: communication.

However, instead of getting bogged down by the old-fashioned notion of communication – phone calls, emails, instant messages and text messages – it needs to think about interactions. In other words, Google needs to think of a world beyond Google Talk, Google Chat and Google Voice.

To me, interactions are synchronous, are highly personal, are location-aware and allow the sharing of experiences, whether it’s photographs, video streams or simply smiley faces. Interactions are supposed to mimic the feeling of actually being there. Interactions are about enmeshing the virtual with the physical.

The ability to interact on an ongoing basis anywhere, any time and sharing everything, from moments to emotions – is what social is all about. From my vantage point, this is what Google should focus on.

I am glad to see Google is thinking along these lines and is building products with a mobile-first point of view, a concept that former CEO Eric Schmidt has often talked about.

While I was given a demo by the Google executives on a notebook computer, the heavy use of HTML5 makes Google Plus an experience that could easily work on Android tablets and Android phones. Instant Uploads, Circles, Huddle and Hangout can work on these mobile devices without much textual input, making them easy to use on the touch-centric mobile platforms. Google at the same is also making  Google Plus available as an app – for Android and the iPhone platform – ensuring that it is getting the experience right.

Facebook Has Nothing To Worry About

I don’t think Facebook has anything to worry about. However, there is a whole slew of other companies that should be on notice. Just as Apple put several app developers on notice with the announcement of its new iOS 5 and Mac OS X Lion, Google+ should give folks at companies such as Blekko, Skype and a gaggle of group messaging companies a pause. I personally think Skype Video can easily be brought to its knees by Google Plus’ Hangout. And even if Google+ fails, Google could easily make Hangout part of the Google office offering.

One of the reasons why I think Facebook is safe is because it cannot be beaten with this unified strategy. Theoretically speaking, the only way to beat Facebook is through a thousand cuts. Photo sharing services such as Instagram can move attention away from Facebook, much like other tiny companies who can bootstrap themselves based on Facebook social graph and then built alternative graphs to siphon away attention from Facebook. Google, could in theory go one step further – team up with alternative social graphs such as Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr and use those graphs to create an uber graph.

Build it, But Will They Come?

In the past, I have been pretty skeptical of Google’s social ambitions, mostly because of company’s DNA. Based on a briefing and a demo, I am not yet ready to change my opinion.

Google needs this social effort to work — it needs to get a lot of people using the service to create an identity platform that can rival Facebook Connect. It needs the people to improve its search offering. Of course, the Google’s biggest challenge is to convince people to sign-up for yet another social platform, especially since more and more people are hooked into Facebook (750 million) and Twitter. I don’t feel quite compelled to switch from Facebook or Twitter to Google, just as I don’t feel too compelled to switch to Bing from Google for Search.

I can easily see services such as Hangout and Huddle get traction, but will that be enough to get traction with hundreds of millions of people? Doubtful, though I am happy to be proven wrong, for it would surely be nice to have a counterbalance to Facebook.

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  1. AWESOME!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!! :)

  2. Andrew Robulack Tuesday, June 28, 2011

    Nothing at the URL you mention, Google.com/plus

    1. Yup – nothing but a 404 error msg.
      q./

      1. Both work: google.com/+ and plus.google.com

    2. It is google.com/+ (sorry by habit I spell things out.) I have updated the URL.

      1. It demonstrates a weakness in the marketing, don’t you think? Is it Google+, or GooglePlus? Or is it Google +, or Google Plus? Confusion from go can’t be a good thing

      2. Well, it’s fixed now. google.com/plus will also work now.

  3. You guys ROCK!

  4. Andrew Robulack Tuesday, June 28, 2011

    And Huddle sort of sounds like the Huddle Google tripped on back in ’08, no? Or what’s the diff?

  5. good thoughts :)

  6. I couldn’t access the URL for Google Plus either. It looks like an interesting service, however I wonder how it will build the community and the tools required to make it a force to be reckoned with.

    1. It is working. Try again. It might be the cached version of the site.

  7. Great to see Google finally enter the Social Space!

    BTW, Om, why don’t you have Google +1 button on your site or articles? :)

  8. It still seems to me while this is google’s real first competent social offering, that the next wave of social is not going to come from an existing massive company like google. I think the simple fact that people cannot connect to facebook will make this a hard sell for a lot of folks. As pointed out in this article, the next big thing will be a company that leverages Facebook’s social graph and pivots the attention to it’s own platform. Plus, isn’t this going to stoke the battle between facebook and google? What happens if that turns ugly?

    Great article!

  9. A lot of plus link seems to be giving 404’s, the one in this article included. This link works: https://plus.google.com/up/start/?sw=1&type=st (initially from google.com/+).

    1. Jeff

      I fixed the link here.

  10. It works. The url they provide is a link to a page on gigaom.com. If you manually type in http://google.com/+ then it works.

  11. Lucian Armasu Tuesday, June 28, 2011

    All this sounds very intriguing, and it looks like it’s going to be an exciting service from the few photos on that link alone. Looking forward to it.

  12. Is mobile an addon to so social, or will mobile be an integral part of the future of social? Since social is as you point out all about organization, which should be a large part of mobile.

    1. Ronald I am not sure I quiet understand your question — however to me, the Google+ has a bigger potential as a mobile-social experience.

      1. Sorry was at the airport.
        My immediate thought on the circle concept was, people move in and out of circles(can be in more than one) based on space time. Like in the good old days a todo list was just that, now it’s a list of lists in space time. I don’t think social will be a static as it used to be.

  13. I don’t think google+ is an attractive offering, especially for youngsters. They should have started with a smaller feature set and build on top of it.

  14. Like the plus one button, it totally doesn’t work with Google Apps accounts.

    The way Google leaves their most active users out in the cold constantly astounds me.

    1. yes, and maybe if one of the high profile bloggers posed the question publically we would get a semblance of an answer from Google instead of a vague announcement in March that it was coming soon.

    2. Agreed. I asked that question and their answer was that they are being very slow and methodical and dont want to jump the gun. I couldn’t even use my gigaom email :-)

      1. I can see when it is eventually Profiles for Apps is enabled it will create havoc of duplication because same people will have established profiles with (mostly) Gmail accounts and then start doing the same with Apps accounts. When the whole premises of Circles was to delineate between work/private/friends it seems the launch sequence of this is vexed. I’ll speculate further and say without Profile portability functions of some sort all of this is just going to get more socially messy.

  15. The link in this sentence – “Today, you can get to Google Plus by visiting a website – Google.com/+” is pointing to an incorrect URL.

  16. “Circles: Google has come up with the concept of circles — you can create a circle of contacts that are family, friends, work friends, former co-workers and so on. With these groups or circles you can define who gets to see what kind of updates. Facebook currently doesn’t offer the ability to control who sees what goes in our life that we share online.”

    Yes they do, although it’s a part of Facebook’s off-putting privacy settings. I have most of my friends organized by groups; if I want to talk about something personal, I make it visible just to the group of friends I have deemed important. If I want to talk about work, I hide my post from my co-workers, using the group of coworkers I created.

    1. Mark

      Facebook Groups is not as granular as Circles and privacy is not as intuitive and easy as it is on Circles. I think once you use Circles you will see that. Clearly this is going to be a hard one for Google to explain. I felt the same way as well but in actual usage things were a lot different.

      1. Not Groups, but Facebook does have the facility. You can classify your friends and family and then choose who each update goes to. Just hover over the little lock icon before you set your status – or you can set a default i.e. Updates go to everyone except friends set as ‘work’ by default.

    2. “Yes they do, although it’s a part of Facebook’s off-putting privacy settings. I have most of my friends organized by groups; if I want to talk about something personal, I make it visible just to the group of friends I have deemed important. If I want to talk about work, I hide my post from my co-workers, using the group of coworkers I created.”

      And I sincerely hope (for your sake) that your method works out. I tried this same process – painstakingly sorting every Facebook Friend into an appropriate group and category. I went through this process on three separate occasions. On three separate occasions, Facebook washed all of those settings away and I had to start over again.

      The worst part was that they did not even notify me that the walls in my garden had fallen. This is exactly why I deleted my Facebook account 3 years ago, and exactly what I have been waiting for.

      Had Diaspora been a little faster, I would have tried them. As it is, I’m excited about Google+. Granular control over what I share, and with whom, is precisely what has been missing from social media

  17. Sorry OM – just not convinced – I can almost see you trying to do a switcheroo and support Google but your earlier opinion is holding you back…or maybe this is an attempt to change your opinion.
    Google is on a long road downhill and that road started in 2006…enjoy one more bump on the road downhill…

    1. Not sure how I can dismiss it entirely after a 45-minute demo and not sure how I can embrace it after a 45-minute demo. I have not used it for an extended length of time to make a good case either way.

    2. You’re delusional. Long road downhill? Chrome is expanding, Android has exploded, and they’re bathing in advertising cash. Watch the demo, Google+ looks great.

      1. Really..
        From their patent case disclosure courtesy Oracle, Google makes less than $4.00 for every Android device in REVENUE while Microsoft makes $5 for every HTC Android device and soon will make $7.50 – $12.50 for every Motorola or Samsung device running Android soon.

        Admit it please.. Google has great search assets but they botched both of their mobile and social businesses. They will make no money here whatever be their mindshare and marketshare.

        And Google is a public company that needs to make money if you have any doubts about it!

        I really think that Oracle, Apple, Microsoft and Facebook will make the Fat Lady sing for Google by 2015 or 2020.

        Cal

  18. Mittal Patel Tuesday, June 28, 2011

    Hangout and Circles seem promising. Gotta check it out but don’t have beta invitation :(
    Is there any way I can use beta of Google+?

  19. I slightly disagree about the traction problem here. I really think the key product – and the main driver of traffic – will be circles. The lack of audience-choice keeps me from posting on facebook and i know many people who either only passively consume and sometimes comment on facebook or limit their posts to one type of audience; however almost everybody on this planet has at least two true circles and thus we’re either spammed or left out by the facebook system.

  20. Great commentary! Looking forward to seeing Google+ implemented by the public. Totally agree with your last comment on seeing a counterbalance… they have to much influence for my liking.

  21. Lee de la Houssaye Tuesday, June 28, 2011

    Lots of opinions on Google+ – many decidedly negative. Here’s a rundown of what top bloggers and publications (including this one) have to say about Google+: http://leedela.com/2011/06/28/google-1-technopundits-weigh-in/

    1. Please, stop spamming that everywhere.

  22. Also, after playing around with it Google Plus for a bit today, I can tell you already a large part of it is going to be sharing anything you find interesting online. Facebook has it’s “like” button all over the internet, but it doesn’t do much with the information that you “like” something online. It looks like Google Plus is working to better that system. Instead of “liking” things tho, Google let’s you “+1″ things, such as this article (and for those of you falling behind on not having your +1 button set up yet, chrome has an extension to +1 and web site). So, now that I +1’d this, my friends that google thinks might be interested in it will get told about it.

  23. I’m pretty sure Facebook should be worried. It looks like Android could be creating a ‘facebook phone’ without facebook! If they can find carriers to get on board with live video chat via your circles, plus instant photo and video sharing, well that’s what we all want, right?

    The question in my mind, is what does it do for ‘groups’, i.e. companies and blogs and other organizations. Do they form sparks? Did Google think of them at all?

    1. well i don’t think so….;?

  24. I do think that Facebook has something to worry about here. I agree that its a great opportunity to bridge mobile and desktop. The fact that they embed WAVE into the product is absolutely HUGE in my opinion too.
    Honestly – the reason I am not active on facebook is exactly the lack of features google+ adresses. Its possible there (in fb) but too hard to maintain and manage.
    Now I sound like a fan boy. Sorry. Just that I don’t get excited easily and WAVE plus this whole thing is what I was looking for. Especially on my Android. Video, chat, voice.

    Thus my next point. Why keep GTALK? its an embedded feature now in Plus!

  25. Om don’t you think after Twitter and Facebook the average person does not have the bandwidth for another social network?

    Social networks, in my opinion aren’t similar to hardware where we’re always racing to jump on board with next new gadget. Most people I know are so addicted to Facebook and deeply intertwined in it’s network that their’s no chance of them switching regardless of privacy.

  26. Om don’t you think after Twitter and Facebook the average person does not have the bandwidth for another social network?

    Social networks, in my opinion aren’t similar to hardware where we’re always racing to jump on board with next new gadget. Most people I know are so addicted to Facebook and deeply intertwined in it’s network that their’s no chance of them switching regardless of privacy.

  27. Nice! But late. Congratz Google Team. Google Rocks!!

  28. Scott K Wilder Tuesday, June 28, 2011

    Good overview and I agree with you that Facebook doesn’t have much to worry about … yet. I like the Circles concept, but Google still is somewhat mechanical in it’s approach. They could do a lot of interesting things by linking people based on topics of interest, etc. I can create my own circle but it is not intuitive that I can create subsets of individuals I want to hang out with, such as ‘fellow dads,’ ‘ebook clubs,’ etc. While Google has taken one step forward, they need to bring the human aspect (not just the social aspect) back into their thinking. Why do people want to form a group, for example…..

  29. I have a strong feeling this google plus thing is gonna take a lot of traffic from fb, not just because it has come up with some good features like Hangout or Huddle but also because Most of the people spend much of their time on google searching for their queries rather than facebook.
    So if these features come on google page , Why not anybody would like to give a try what the whole thing is all about? !
    I think because of large no of traffic, the google has people might try some other options as well which google is coming up with. And also I think people are a little bored of facebook, and theya are in search of something new to pass the time , something new , cool enough to talk about among their friends! So once this google plus thing comes I think people are surely gonna atleast check out the new features in it.

  30. I think Google+ would be giving good fight to Facebook for the reason as google has many users already for which they dont have to hunt for the market also they have business google account which can be a booster for site to beat facebook in no time!

  31. Whether it will be able to compete with Facebook or not, Google+ is welcoming for Google Users. Mostly google users were using twitter,facebook, skype etc. for social networking. Now we will get all at one platform, and the more Google will integrate its services like GMAIL, Contacts, Calendar, Docs, Maps, G-Voice, Android, Chrome Browser, PICASA, Google Books, and many more applications…the more users will like to use.

    As a user, I don’t appreciate to share my personal information here and there. It will be much easier for me to keep one login for all things.

    Google’s open source strategy will surely welcome many developers to bring innovation in Google+ services too. So actual story is started now….given that Google address and keep innovating for users.

    Good luck Google…!

  32. Btw, I share with my friends what I care about, not my search terms. I also do it in person, or via text if its that important.

    Sorry Google, I only share the interesting parts of my life, which is more likely to be the random stranger on my way to work than what I surfed while eating a sandwich.

  33. Google is building up a huge store of identities via android, just remember before you activate an android phone, you need to use or create a google account

  34. Lari Numminen Wednesday, June 29, 2011

    I’m having quite a lot of fun with Google+, especially since I figured out how to import all my Facebook contacts through Yahoo

    http://www.internationalmarketingguys.com/2011/06/how-to-import-facebook-contacts-to.html

  35. Bertie Allsop Wednesday, June 29, 2011

    Another huge corporation taking more of your details with your full consent :) Scary stuff. I left Facebook in favour of folkdirect.com at the end of last year – privacy and security are their major plus points… along with all the usual social networking tools. Oh yes, and they’re owned by a small company, not a massive advertising machine. Open your eyes!!

  36. (untitled) London Wednesday, June 29, 2011

    Interesting thoughts – which is your favourite element. Or rather, which do you think will be most successful? We’re quite excited about the app coming (once everyone’s had an invite too!). Really rooting for Google and hoping it’s not the next Wave of Buzz. Here’s a few of our thoughts, we’d be really interested to know what you think: http://blog.untitledlondon.com/post/why-panning-google-is-lazy.aspx

  37. Far too many overlapping and confusing products. What happens to Disco? Google Talk video chat? Buzz?

    This is typical Google marketing. Throw a bunch of stuff against the wall. See what sticks. Only that type of marketing doesn’t seem to work well for them in Social.

    They also have too much confusion with products that are dying (Buzz) still being maintained on life support.

    My gut says this will give the tech elite a thrill but not do a thing for my Mom or millions of other more typical users.

    1. Why wouldn’t your mom want to use it? It’s not like it’s a “techie product”. It actually looks like it offers a much better user experience and it’s more “fun” than Facebook. Don’t forget Facebook is built by geeks, too, and I think they’ve done a pretty mediocre job on Facebook’s design. Sure it was better than Myspace at the time, but which site wasn’t?

  38. There are opinions about Google+ all over the blogosphere, as it happens when there is a major announcement. But I tend to ignore all others and come here to hear what Om have to say. As always, great thoughts.

  39. Nice, balanced writeup, unlike the trash on same topic @ techcrunch.

  40. They do have quite a nice shot here! Look at the results of your survey: 77% of us “early adopters” will at least try this. IF it works, the rest will come.
    I propose a competition (hope some blogger takes it to the mainstream): who’s the first person who’s able to recreate their full social network in Google+?
    Actually, Google themselves should promote this and give a million dollars to the first. That might be enough to jumpstart plus.

  41. Microsoft has been chasing Google for years in search and is currently losing > $1bn per year. Similarly, Google will endlessly chase Facebook and continue to lose money and market respect.

    The market decided at least 2 years ago on Facebook as their preferred social network.

    Google behaves as if Facebook doesn’t exist. Also, who in a right frame of mind would launch a social network consisting of Google+ with Circles, Huddle, Hangout, Sparks etc. Features turned into sub-products/services. This is like the 90’s PC software industry re-visited.

    1. I will. If this works the way it appears, there is finally social network I can manage. And it looks like would be useful to maintain contact with the people I care about the most, or that I need to organize by relationship. That it might just work like a champ on my Droid X is icing on the cake.

    2. Microsoft’s search engines were NEVER better than Google, and Bing still isn’t. Do you think maybe that has something to do with Microsoft’s failure?

      Google+ on the other hand seems much better than Facebook. The only “issue” is that people think their friends wouldn’t join Google+ because they are on Facebook already. But I think they will be surprised how many are willing to do it ASAP. It’s not an issue as big as they think it is.

      Sure, you have 500 “friends” on Facebook. But are they really your friends? What you need are really just about a dozen of them to come with you to Google+. All of the sudden, that looks like a much easier task.

  42. Google circles are long overdue feature.
    Off to create a circle: “friends who spam and can be spammed back at will” …

  43. Lucian Armasu Wednesday, June 29, 2011

    Ha. Only 11% of the voters said Facebook is good enough for them. The fact that it’s more hated than Bank of America might have something to do with it:

    http://www.itworld.com/software/178661/facebook-really-hated-more-bank-america

    And people still think Google+ won’t kill Facebook with such a low satisfaction rate? The only reason Facebook is still alive and even growing (just outside North America now) is because there really wasn’t a serious alternative to it, and which you could get behind and join.

    But Google+ finally offers that to everyone.Just like with regular disruptions, this will happen gradually, yet inevitably. Just don’t expect ALL your friends to be on it the day it goes public.It only needs a relatively small critical mass of *active* early adopters to succeed. Once it has that, it will be a walk in the park to transition to the mainstream population, and just a matter of time.

    Keep watching Facebook’s bubble valuation. It will pop soon enough.

  44. A question we need to ask ourselves is “Do we really *need* more social networking?”

    It’s out of control. This page, like virtually every other last page on the internet now, has twitter and facebook buttons already. Why do you need another one?

  45. informative article – that site only shows up in Thai on my machine – yes I am in Thailand, but I don’t read Thai

    When will thay tidy up this “localization” crap ?

    1. Add ?hl=en to the end of any google page — this will force any Google site to english.

      I agree this should be better documented, and they should have a way to update your bookmarks without needing an account.

  46. I think, Now, It’s turn to Facebook (Got some idea from Google+). FB can enhance its functionality and services.

  47. Arnold Waldstein Thursday, June 30, 2011

    Great post. I shared it around this morning to my networks.

    Two comments:

    -I’m in Google+ and have an account but too early to tell. Feels obviously empty now.

    But I wonder whether we need another broad-based, friends oriented social net. Seems like we have one in Facebook. I see some directions here for more interest and context based connections but basically this looks pretty horizontal to me.

    I would expect Google to not just copy but build some contextual based niche networks and start to break new ground with more implicit not just another explicit designed net.

    My thoughts on the need for context over just more friendship chatter and content @ http://t.co/ahgcmKR.

    -What you say about video chat is fascinating. I agree that Skype and a host of start up video chat companies should take heed. The big issue is whether indeed video chat is ready to take off. Whether human behavior is ready to make that leap. Been following this drive for real-time video chat for awhile. My thoughts on how human behavior may not be ready for this @ http://t.co/C56SFn7.

    Thanks for this post.

  48. There’s one that exists MUCH greater than Google+ and Facebook. Who? OnlyMeWorld. Don’t let the name throw you off; it has the potential to be bigger than the above-mentioned. Why? With all the problems that exist from such sites affecting the users PRIVACY, it is only right to have a social network that won’t sell your information, recognize your FACE, make money off your site, and ask for every other piece of information you have to your name. I’m sorry but I don’t feel the need to verify my Facebook account with my PHONE NUMBER, do you? And the new Google+ share circle–NO. Even if you post something intended for just YOU and a FRIEND, you click that little circle and off it goes shared to the worldwide web. Even if it’s set to private! Though you probably know the same goes for facebook.

    OnlyMeWorld.com –I love this site. I DID NOT need to use any of my real information to create the account, not even a real email. And an extra bonus is the ability to place Google Adsense Ads on your personal site and actually YOU–yes YOU, the user, gets paid for it! GENIOUS!! That and the geek within me loves the Games, Blogs, Video Chat etc…all in one place…

    You connect through specific networks for your profession if that’s something you look for. I would watch out for this site in the next coming months.

  49. Mark Seibold Saturday, July 2, 2011

    Remember Myspace? Remember Facebook? Now there’s “Google Plus”. Whats next? Chevy, Ford, Toyota, or Mercedes? I finally bought a Mercedes and all the other cars don’t matter any longer to me. I hope that Google Plus becomes the Mercedes of the social networks. Seriously.
    – Mark

  50. Cute poll. “I am anti-social”.

  51. I like Google+ but they need to be careful. The easiest thing is kill Facebook the way Microsoft killed Netscape. If you want to surf the web, you have to use Internet Explorer. If you have Gmail, you have to have to use Google Plus. At a minimum, the velvet rope rollout, the buzz, will have the same effect, attracting the highly educated, high income, and early adopter crowd that originally preferred Facebook over Myspace.

  52. Elizabeth Bowers Tuesday, July 12, 2011

    I can not wait to sign up for it, when can I sign up

  53. arnold waldstein Tuesday, July 12, 2011

    I just completed my first multi-location international video conference with a client team in Europe on Google+ Hangouts.

    Very impressive…exciting actually.

  54. Dear Sir!

    I appreciate your article, it sums up the most important parts about Google+ in a well developed and easily understandable way. Good work!

    However, you write, that:”Facebook currently doesn’t offer the ability to control who sees what goes in our life that we share online.”

    That simply isn’t true. In Facebook you can define “Lists” and add certain people to them – much like “Circles” in Google. For example I have a List for friends, work-friends, etc. If I post something on my wall, there is a small lock-icon showing in the right bottom corner. If this icon is clicked a small menu appears, where I can choose who can see this special post. By clicking on “customize” I can add Lists or even single persons, who can see this post, or simply add “Everyone” and exclude the persons I do not want to see my post.

    Apart from that, the article was great!

    All the best,
    Daniel

  55. I hate the fact that I can not get onto my facebook account because this stupid google 404 error pops up with this stupid broken down robot what is up with that crap I WANT MY FACEBOOK NOT GOOGLE

  56. how will Skype die…. Facebook practically owns it now!!!

    1. arnold waldstein rybread12 Sunday, July 17, 2011

      Don’t know whether it will ‘die’ but it is threatened.

      Been using the Hangout group video function for a distributed client development team in Europe and it works really well.

      Still using Skype for one-2-one and for recorded interviews but for group work, Hangouts is now my top choice.

  57. Onur Demirsoy Friday, July 22, 2011

    Hello guys. This is my Google+ link: gplus.to/onur Feel free to add me.
    Btw I still have invitations. I can send to you if you want. All you have to do is follow and mention @onurdemirsoy on Twitter. Have a great day.

  58. hangoutswithme Friday, July 22, 2011

    If you’re looking to find/share public google hangsouts try the hangout finder chrome extension

    https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/bldcanahhkgbodlgbopnanbkhckaakac

  59. is it google plus is made using adobe flex

  60. Om said something that was overlooked.

    Don’t sit on the sidelines with googleplus
    jump in as an early adopter, use it and
    position your self to help others with it down the road- especially offline, local
    businesses.

    That’s what I’ll be doing and here’s the how to part
    http://snipurl.com/howtousegoogleplus

  61. Steve Dudley Friday, July 29, 2011

    Huddles and Circles look cool. Facebook is clunky when it comes to grouping friends, so if this is as easy as it looks, then Circles is going to a major plus.

    Huddles – will it only cost you the price of one SMS to reach all those in your ‘huddle’ or will you still pay for SMS to each? Or is this part SMS part online. So far I’ve not found an easy, cheaper way of reaching a hole group of folk with the same SMS other than creating a group on my phone and paying for each of the 50+ people I want to send the SMS – you soon use up your monthly free allocation of SMS that way! Even Twitter wont do true two way SMS alerts between group members.

  62. Ferdin Fritzie Saturday, July 30, 2011

    i love g+

  63. The big feature G+ is missing so far is the integration with third-party news/blog sites and the ability to login, share and even comment using your own G+ profile.

  64. bleedin obvious Thursday, August 4, 2011

    all the people i know are on skype, none of them are on google plus, ergo, google plus will fail by not having achieved critical mass

  65. I’m not a social fanatic, I mean I don’t live on Social networks all day. However I use search engines (means: Google) for my work. So while Facebook tries to occupy me in my free time, Google sneaked into my working time.
    And today’s kids will once grow up and they will tend their children or will work instead of staring at their monitor or smartphone all day.
    And as newborn grow up, they might be Facebookers one they, but the will surely use search engines first.

  66. Promoting google+ votes is becoming a very hot business. Using these types of services could have negative or positive affects on SEO.
    We just have to see how google treats them. Another place to buy google plus votes is bulkones.com
    Will be interesting to see how this evolves over the next few months.

  67. Hey people, Just asking. Does google+ have an instant chat service like facebook? Because for people like me with poor internet connection it would be good to have a low-bandwidth chat option

  68. I do not share your belief that Facebook does not have to fear Google plus. They are both aiming for the same customers, they both have the same purpose and people do not like to spend the same time on both networks.
    Why should Facebook only be overruled by thousand cuts? Users do not want to access thousand webpages. Users want to have a one-for-all solution as Google overs it.
    Could you make yourself more clear on this point? Thanks.

    1. I think the world has gone a bit crazy. Does nobody like the old fashioned way of being with friends, how it always used to be, pop round to their house, give them a call and meet later that day.

      Personally speaking I think this whole social networking thing is a fad, a fad that will end. Just about everyone I talk to who has facebook says they are sick of it, and no it’s not because the site, it’s because it becomes boring after a while, and the amount of requests asking how they can de-activate or delete is often mentioned too. Why would anyone want to start the same old crap over with Google, the ‘we do no evil’ company, yeah just search for google lawsuits to see how clean they are.

      Seriously it’s a fad, the only people where it will all always continue for, on FB and Google or wherever, is for people who get a hard-on at the thought of having 608 friends (really only a few, most random and from schooldays etc), and who love the fact that when they type I just had strawberry ice-cream, they get 9 strangers liking it. Dull, boring and all pathetic. Google should stick to what they do best, and even at that Bing gives me better search results nowadays.

      Social networking is a fad, something that slowly burns out, and sooner than you all think.

  69. hmm bit of a biased arcticle considering the writter wont even sign up i find google+ from a bare bones point of view to be a better base platform then that of facebook facebook is painful both for developer and user the only reason most are using facebook is cause there friends are on it facebook stopped listening to its users long ago i hope g+ can take that as a lesson as it is i love how the user is in control you can manage who sees what and who you want to see plus all the privacy additions and the way games are managed is great i love how everything is sectioned off

  70. @SamLawrence I thought that was what Google Plus hangouts was for : http://t.co/2C7dHqzr

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