It’s like this: Facebook has owned the social networking space. Google can’t stand to have anyone eat even a bit of their lunch. Google’s been trying to develop a product to compete with Facebook for years. There was the Buzz attempt and the Wave attempt, both failures.
Now, we have Google+ and +1, Google’s answer to a social network and the “like” button, respectively. It’s a worthy competitor to Facebook, I think and has been adopted so quickly by millions that only apathy or difficulty managing the tool will keep it from being a success. My husband, not a social guy, said it was, for him, the opportunity to fix all the mistakes he made accepting “friends” on Facebook.
Google+ is a Facebook Mulligan.
So what IS Google+, and do we care?
- It’s easier to create circles in Google+ than creating and managing lists in Facebook has EVER been.
- The interface is really clean and so far, uncluttered.
- There’s no Farmville. Yet.
- There’s no need to export and upload contacts; Google already knows more about you than you do.
- It’s simpler to manage both a personal and professional presence online, and easier to figure out that you’re sharing party pics with friends
- It’s another social network to manage and as yet, there are not tools to integrate Google+ into existing platforms (that’ll change).
- Some people may be lulled into false senses of security, trusting Google more than Facebook, since Facebook has a history of jeopardizing and bastardizing collected information. Guess what? Google has, too, but for some reason we’ve been largely OK with that.
Personally, I’m not yet jazzed about Google+. I feel overwhelmed by the number of people I need to sort into circles, and the need to post content in another location. I may get over that, soon once Google+ proves some value to me. It’s early yet.
I did use it to share a link to a workshop I gave recently and asked a group of business contacts to help me “sell” it — that worked nicely and it was helpful to see the flow of conversation that happened in association with the request.
Some good posts from around the interwebz on Google+:
I’m interested in YOUR Google+ successes, likes and dislikes, so fire away!