If you have any idea about what’s going on in the world of social media and the web then you simply must have heard about Google+ by now. But like many, you might not even have been given access yet – it’s still in beta but already causing a buzz.
So what’s so great about Google+?
Well first of all, we’ve got circles. Quite simply, it lets you put your friends in circles, depicting groups of friends who know one another. You can share some details with one circle and only those in the circle can see it. You can multiple circles and share different things with different circles.
It’s a bit like having a separate Facebook account for work, for business and for social… But all as part of the same account; which means that you don’t risk your boss seeing you acting like a drunken lout last Friday night. Clever, right?
Google have spent a lot of time making sure the user experience is top notch, because if there is a learning curve, people are going to just stick to what they know (ie. Facebook).
Quite simply, the user interface has been designed so that you don’t really even need to learn your way around it – it is intuitive and simple and does exactly what you want it to.
Whatever your opinion of Google’s monopolistic behaviour, you can’t deny that having everything under one roof makes a lot of sense. Google + will help you tie together your Youtube account, Picasa, regular web search and anything else you’ve got going on.
Best of all, all those other things you like will finally be in the same place, so you will probably find you get more out of them.
Google has even taken inspiration from Stumble Upon. But cause it will be a full social engine, it will be able to really learn what it is that you are into and make even better suggestions, so hopefully you will always be able to find something fun to read or watch when you have nothing better to do. Of course, how well this works remains to be seen, but knowing Google, it’ll probably be pretty good.
So what are the downsides?
No friends? Well, first of all it is very similar to Facebook, except that all of your friends are already on Facebook. So really, until the majority of your friends have migrated, there isn’t really a lot of value in Google+.
Perhaps this is something that will be added soon, but for the time being, it seems a little odd that there is no search functionality, to help you find the content that your friends are sharing – this is Google after all, the kings of search.
No Google apps
This is perhaps the biggest critisism so far – currently you can’t use Google+ with your Google apps account. This may or may not be an issue for you, but either way, it seems a little odd…
Well, it’s going to be a big thing anyway, how big really remains to be seen. Is it a Facebook beater? Maybe, maybe not; For the time being we are just going to have to wait and see. Should be interesting though.