2011-07-08

Google+: Initial Thoughts

A couple days ago, my Google+ invite finally started working again, so I immediately signed up for the service.
If you want to know what it looks like and what functions/features it has in depth, I would suggest that you read somewhere else, because these are just my initial thoughts about it.
For the couple days that I have used it, I really like it on the whole. It's very similar to Facebook in terms of its interface, which has certainly made the transition easier. Plus, it has a much simpler privacy policy that's not likely to change much over time, along with privacy tools and options that are much easier to find and modify.
There are only two big issues that I have right now. The first is that not all my contacts on Facebook are using Google+ yet, but that'll probably happen in time once Google+ becomes available to the public, so that's not a really huge issue. The second is that when I decided to enable video chatting on Google+, I had to download a new Google Talk browser plugin and install that. This also overwrote the existing installed plugin; the unfortunate side effect has been that although my webcam and mic capture my video and audio fine, my speakers have suddenly started rendering sounds from the conversation as if both myself and the other person had inhaled helium. I haven't tried this with headphones yet, so I can't say for sure if this is truly a problem with the plugin, and I haven't tried this on other Linux distributions yet (aside from Linux Mint 9 LTS "Isadora"), so again I can't say if this is truly a problem with the plugin, but in any case, it's a problem, and it's also present in GChat.
Otherwise, I have high hopes for Google+, and I hope to use it just as much as Facebook once it becomes available to the public.

8 comments:

  1. I think Google will be pushing it out quite quickly to the public. They need to achieve a critical mass so it doesn't become a wasteland. Too few people in Google+ means few people will use it.

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  2. @Thrash Cardiom: That's very true. If there aren't enough people there, the people who are on Google+ are disincentivized from staying with Google+ as other social networks have all the contacts they need already. Thanks for the comment!

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  3. I think in the beginning, G+ will be something for the geeks. It is not always the quality, that attracts users.
    However, Google HAS the web and they can advertise at will. They only need to do it good.

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  4. @Anonymous: I agree with most of what you say, but what makes you say it'll be for geeks (at least initially), and what makes you say "it is not always the quality that attracts users" in this particular instance? Thanks for the comment!

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  5. @PV how can you agree with most of what I say, when you disagree with 2 of the statements, and the post has 3 of them :P

    What I meant in "for the geeks" is, that an "ordinary" Jane Doe Internet user (consumer) is probably not even aware of G+. That's because they usually don't go for the news on the web on a regular basis.

    In "quality is not always necessary to attract users" I was saying that although G+ may be ahead of FB technically, it may not be enough to succeed. Marketing tactics are more important here. You need people's attention, and once they seek to try your product, only what's needed is a critical mass to develop.
    From that point, if you have something good to offer, you will succeed.

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  6. @Anonymous: Yeah. That was a shining moment of sheer stupidity on my part. :P Anyway, I do think you're underestimating the penetration of Google+ in the news. For one, there must be enough average users reading sites like WashingtonPost.com, et cetera for those sites to continue operating, and I've been hearing about it a lot on NPR and seeing a lot of things about it on TV news, so I don't think that consumer awareness is an issue here. But you are right that marketing is certainly necessary — see Betamax versus VHS. Thanks for the comment!

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  7. Google+ is already over 10 million users, which doesn't even begin to touch all the Gmail account holders.

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  8. @socia media management: That's true, but what does Gmail have to do with anything? Thanks for the comment!

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