We did a review of Google + and here are our findings. With all the current buzz (and yes, that was a shameless insult/pun), surrounding Google’s spanking new service, Google Plus (or Google +), I thought a post on my first impressions would be helpful.
So what is Google plus? After reading a Google Plus review by our friends at MWD, I decided to break the answer to that question down in classic Facebook fashion, so here we go:
- I think the “Circles” feature is extremely intuitive and flexible. It allows you to break down and sort all of your contacts into specific “Circles” which include “Friends”, “Family” and “Acquaintances” but also permits you to customize your own Circles”, like say; “Baseball Team” or “Trekkies”
- I’m a huge fan of the “Hangout” feature which allows you to create “Hangouts” which is basically a friendlier and cooler way to Skype with multiple people at the same time
- A big issue I’ve been having personally is that it isn’t as easy or seamless as it should be, to add more contacts. Although obviously Google can’t add a “Add Your Facebook Friends” feature, the lack of a better way to find people then through Gmail contacts, is a serious oversight
- The ultra-usability of the “Circles” feature can also be particularly dangerous. Don’t forget that dragging someone into a circle will actually send an email to whoever you add. Although it won’t tell them which “Circle” they’ve landed in, beware of adding ex-bosses and ex-boyfriends/ex-girlfriends as they’ll know that you’ve added them (or think you’re stalking them)
- The “Hangout” can also be hazardous, because if you set up a “Hangout” just to video chat with a single person (like I did with my girlfriend last night), unless you first make a “Circle” of just that individual, anybody from the given “Circle” will be able to join
Overall, I’m not very impressed with Google Plus. With the MASSIVE advantage Facebook already has in the Social Media arena due to both experience and Network Externality, I expected Google to really bring their A-Game.
Although I wrote about it already in a comment on a post, Network Externality is when “the value of a product or service is dependent on the number of others using it”. Just think about how increasingly attractive and valuable Facebook is just because others use it.
Don’t take my word for it though, go grab an invite to Google Plus from someone you know, or just wait until they release it and check it out for yourself. Let us know what you think, below!
Jesse Braunstein is a Junior at NYU double majoring in Economics and Psychology. Jesse joined Madison Technology and SheBytes.com in May 2011 as a summer intern. Jesse has been instrumental in utilizing his expanding background to come up with creative perspectives on the Marketing, Advertising and Business Development initiatives at both Madison Technology and SheBytes.com. Jesse’s outlook stems from an Economics and Psychology education and a deep understanding of the individual and how the individual acts within and interacts with the market. Follow Jesse on Twitter and Facebook. Check out his About.me.