Google+: my first impressions

Never before has an invite been so hotly hunted down since Willy Wonka put golden tickets in his chocolate bars. Today, Google is Willy Wonka and I am Charlie.

As news of Google’s new social platform Google+ filtered out I’ve been chomping at the bit to take a peek at what’s been dubbed ‘the Facebook killer’. One would question whether we need another social platform, but having seen inside Google+  I’d argue we do – because Google have got it right.

Over recent years I’ve felt that although Facebook has become THE social platform, it’s become a little confusing in certain parts and has lost some of its core functionality. Let’s face it, you’re on it because all your friends are. And that’s great – that’s what social is about! But what if someone came along, reduced the clutter, made a cleaner interface, allowed you to segment your connections, even ‘hangout’ with them, chat….just take it all back to basics. That’s what Google have done with Google+.

It’s taken social back to what it should be – circles of friends (hence your groups being called Circles). The added control of being able to decide who your messages/comments/photos are shown to so easily is something that has lacked in Facebook – I don’t want this control hidden deep down in privacy settings.

Design wise it’s great looking. There are no ads on the nav bars, but when this is rolled out further I’m sure Google Adwords will appear somewhere on the page (shame). But I also wonder what else Google have up their sleeve for added functionality (Google Apps/Web Store?).

For now Google have locked down invites due to overwhelming demand, something that happened with Google Wave (yeah, remember that?!). I hope they open it back up soon as part of the fun, and the point, is being social with your friends. I for one don’t want to see this go the way of Wave. Facebook killer? Not yet, but maybe one day…

Have you got hold of a Google+ invite? What are your thoughts so far? Let us know by commenting below.

by Daniel Honey

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