First Impressions of Google+
I just received an invite to Google+. Some first reactions -
- The user is actually forced to link Google+ with Picassa. You can’t create a Google+ account without it. That’s pretty aggressive, and says to me how importantly Google views photos to the success of Google+
- Right away Google+ displays Suggestions of Friends to add based on your Google social graph.
- The default Circles are Friends, Family, Acquaintances, and Following. I found these really interesting. Notable is that they differentiate between Friends and Acquaintances. In Facebook these two groups are lumped into one. Also interesting that they have Following, as this is the paradigm in Twitter. So the user may not even have a friend relationship with these people.
- The graphic when you add a Friend to a Circle is very fun
- Sparks reminds me of the “Bundles” that Google Reader has (had?)
- Hangouts is tightly integrated with Google Talk and especially video chat. Potential Chatroulette killer ;)
- I found the Home interface to be just a bit cluttered, maybe I’m just used to the minimalist interfaces from other Google products. This page seems much more graphic heavy and colorful
- Two interesting changes in the Google Bar along the top of the browser after you sign up for Google+. First, on the top left it says +Ian. Second, a new Share input box which makes it easy to share on Google+ via any Google product. Pretty important.
- I wonder if other people can see which of your Circles they’re in?
- Google+ can scan your Yahoo! and Hotmail email address books too
- The experience of inviting friends from the Home page via email is somewhat clunky, no confirmation of sending after the fact.
- There’s no iPhone app yet but is an Android app
- On the iPhone I get an “Increase Database Size” pop up when trying to Check in…
- They have check-ins! Checking in is central to the mobile Google+ app. Hello FourSquare…
- If you ever used Buzz those items are shown on your Profile page
- Your Google Profile automatically populates the About section of your Profile page
- Webpages you’ve clicked the +1 button are will be displayed as a stream on your Profile
I look forward to seeing how things develop. Facebook has a huge head start in building a network of friends. The success of Google+ may depend on how quickly and dramatically Google can catch up using their existing assets.