There is a lot to love about Google+. Though I am still discovering things about Google’s newest foray into social networking, what I have seen so far has impressed me. To be fair I have been waiting for a viable alternative to Facebook for a while and I think I may have finally found it. There are still a lot of ways that Google could mess this up, but I am going to hope for the best. If they just keep it simple, keep integrating their other core services, and don’t try to do too much, I think they have a winner on their hands.
With that said I wrote this post to share with you “The Top 5 Things I Love About Google+”.
- The Google+ mobile app – The durn thing is far better than Facebook’s and much “lighter”. It has a simple interface and is easy to use. The mobile app actually has features that aren’t on the website such as “Huddles”. Huddles are like a quick way to instant message either one person or an entire circle when you are on the go, and cancels out the gChat app in some cases. It amazes me that Google can deliver such a great mobile app for the social network on the first try, but Facebook still can’t get it right. My observations are based on the Android app. At the time of this post the iOS version wasn’t available.
- Circles – I won’t lie, when Google first announced Google+ and talked about circles, I really didn’t understand how they would work. Now that I have had a chance to use them, I can’t see doing it any other way. You are able to create circles, which are basically private communities where you can share things with only a select group of people. For instance you might have a “Friends” circle and a “Best Friends” circle – you will of course share more personal things with the Best Friends circle than the other one because you know who can see it since you put them there. You can add and remove people from circles very easily as well.
- Easy Access And Solid Integration With Existing Google Services – This is one that will only get better with time, but for now it’s not bad. The new Google bar makes it a cinch to track all your Google services quickly. Google+ has gchat integrated by default so you don’t have to be tied to your Gmail for that anymore. It has a great picture upload functionality that I have confirmed to be using Picasa Web technology, and you will see anything you upload in Google Plus appear in you Picasa Web account. There is definitely a lot more room to expand this one, but you can see where Google can take this.
- No Annoying Social Games– As of right now, Google+ has zero games. So sorry for all you Mafia Wars, Farmville, and whatever else addicts. You know what, it would be perfectly fine with me if they never got any. I understand the folks who love the games and I understand the people who make them, but it’s a part of my current social networking experience I could do without.
- It’s Not Facebook – I have no love lost for Facebook. From a purely business and technical perspective it’s brilliant. I just have been rubbed the wrong way by them to many times in how they handle their users privacy, their arrogance when it comes to who owns “my” data, and their unwillingness to allow me to easily export that data in a format that would allow me move it to another competitor if one comes along. Now I know that we can’t expect Facebook to make it too easy for me to move to a competitor, but the kind of stuff they do now would be considered anti-competitive in other industries.
So that’s what I got so far. It will be interesting to see how Google+ evolves and whether or not Google can manage to realize that they can’t beat Facebook at their own game, and shouldn’t try. Google has to play its game or this will be another great idea that got mismanaged into oblivion. Enough from me though, hit up the comments and let us know what you think about Google+. How do you think it compares to Facebook, and does it make you consider leaving Facebook all together?