Elliot Jay Stocks is a designer, speaker, and author. He is the Creative Director of Adobe Typekit, the founder of typography magazine 8 Faces, one half of Viewport Industries, and an electronic musician.

First impressions of Google Plus

Posted on 30 June 2011 152 comments

Article illustration for First impressions of Google Plus

On Tuesday, Google announced the release of Google+, and this morning — thanks to various fine citizens of the interwebs — I got invited to the service. I’ve been giving it a spin for about two hours now and thought I’d jot down a few first impressions.

When I first heard the announcement, I scoffed. Do we really need yet another social network? Although they’re different products, let’s not forget the mistakes Google made with Wave and Buzz. But then I watched the demo videos… and I was impressed. To my great surprise, Google+ (let’s just call it ‘Plus’ from now on) doesn’t look like a Google product. Partly, that’s down to their subtle design tweaks that were also launched on Tuesday (although admittedly not across all of their properties), but mostly that seems to be down to the fact that Plus was designed by Andy Hertzfeld, designer of the original Macintosh software.

Now, having played with the actual web app for a bit, I’m happy to report that it lives up to the videos. The interface is slick, with some nice animated interactions that you’d expect to see in 2011. And not just for the sake of it, either: these are experience-enhancing touches that Google’s design team hasn’t really employed until now.

I find it hard to believe Google’s claim that Plus isn’t a Facebook competitor; there are just too many comparisons to support that argument, from similarities in UI design (the ‘share’ box) to the larger models that define the service (adding friends, a real-world-specific personal profile, uploading photos, etc.). It’s a shame to see that the photos functionality is — for the moment, at least — tied to traditional uploading; one of the many reasons Plus could compete with Facebook would be if it allowed some sort of API integration with other services, such as using Flickr for photos. Re-uploading photos to a new service could be a very major hurdle in attracting the Facebook faithful.

By and large, Plus feels like it has potential; way more than Google’s previous attempts at social networks. It could very well be a Facebook competitor and, as a company, Google have the opportunity to tie in with a huge number of their other services. In fact, reports seem to be pointing that way: John Gruber suggests that Plus is, ‘an umbrella name for several individual services, rather than a single unified thing.’ The launch of the service has also finally given relevance to the +1 button, which was also something I had originally scoffed at, given its lack of context at the time. To show my new-found support, you’ll notice that it now appears at the bottom of each blog post, next to the ‘tweet’ button. Please feel free to press it!

The skeptic in me, however, says that this honeymoon period won’t last. Firstly, one of the reasons Plus is so appealing right now is because it’s not populated by the world and his grandmother — remember how much more fun Twitter was in the quieter, earlier years? — and once the unwashed masses step aboard, Plus will surely cave to their more generic needs. In all likelihood, it will become noisey, both in terms of visual clutter and content (see also: Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc.). Secondly, we mustn’t forget that Google is an advertising company, and the inevitable addition of Google Ads looms ominously on the horizon. At such a time (possibly coinciding with ads appearing on Google Docs), perhaps the company will allow us to pay a monthly fee to remove them. I certainly hope so.

I’d love to hear other folks’ initial impressions of Plus. What do you think of it? Is it a Facebook killer? Will it go the way of Wave and Buzz? Is it the best thing since Selleck Sandwich Waterfall?

Update 1: Comment on this post and I’ll send you an invite. Update 2: Things got a bit crazy. I’m sending invites to the first 100 commenters only. Update 3: It doesn’t look like any of the invites I’ve sent are getting through, due to Google switching invites off. Sorry, folks.

152 comments

  1. Hannah

    Hannah

    30 June 2011 @ 11:21AM #

    Thanks for the coverage, pleased to hear something different to the usual buzz! If you have any invites spare, i would love a chance to play myself! :)

  2. Warren Jerzyszek

    Warren Jerzyszek

    30 June 2011 @ 11:23AM #

    Nice read, I’m certainly looking for a new fresh social media network to play around in. I personally feel like Facebook has had its day and I’m hoping that this will become the next big thing, well apart from Twitter.. twitter will always have a place in my heart.

  3. Affen Mensch

    Affen Mensch

    30 June 2011 @ 11:23AM #

    Thanks for the review. Can you pass over an invite?

  4. Daniel Groves

    Daniel Groves

    30 June 2011 @ 11:26AM #

    Interface is very slick, shame you can’t disable email notifications though. definitely prefer it over Facebook.

  5. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart

    30 June 2011 @ 11:31AM #

    Personally I’m excited by anything that Google releases, with the one exception of Buzz, which was a misfiring potato of an idea.

    The one thing I would say about Wave is that it was a stab in the right direction; I love Google’s quick, adventurous development and although Wave proved to be a dud it’s inception (can’t believe I just used that word. It’s too soon) was the real beauty of it.

    Google aren’t afraid to push the agenda, to experiment, even for the sake of expensive, reckless fun. That’s what excites me about Plus.

  6. earnic

    earnic

    30 June 2011 @ 11:34AM #

    i wish i can try google plus and experience it.. your post is great.

  7. Nicklas

    Nicklas

    30 June 2011 @ 11:43AM #

    Nothing is better than Selleck Sandwich Waterfall. Nothing.

  8. Moy Williams

    Moy Williams

    30 June 2011 @ 11:45AM #

    Google+ is better than Facebook because: group video chat, gifs.
    That is all.

  9. Antonio Capuozzo

    Antonio Capuozzo

    30 June 2011 @ 11:46AM #

    something more than ‘can I have an invite?

  10. Graham

    Graham

    30 June 2011 @ 11:46AM #

    A fair and balanced perspective – cheers! Sounds fine so far. Time will tell… But I’m game!

  11. Abhijith

    Abhijith

    30 June 2011 @ 11:47AM #

    The interactive tour was just amazing….
    Excited to test hangouts…..

  12. Warren Jerzyszek

    Warren Jerzyszek

    30 June 2011 @ 11:45AM #

    I’m pretty much ready to expand me wings, let them unfold and explore what google has to offer in the ways of social networking! :)

  13. Grant

    Grant

    30 June 2011 @ 11:47AM #

    ‘something more than can I have an invite’

    Is that what you wanted me to say?

    It looks interesting but is it to little to late to a very overcrowded market. On the other hand I gave up on Facebook as it played a huge part in my procrastination so I’m not sure how appealing another social network really is.

    I’m undecided until I get my hands on it.

  14. Peter

    Peter

    30 June 2011 @ 11:48AM #

    It definitely looks better than fb.

  15. Chris Briggs

    Chris Briggs

    30 June 2011 @ 11:47AM #

    Really looking forward to Google+. I don’t think it will pressure Facebook in any way but will definitely put pressure on other services like skype if they can get the group video thing working well. Can’t wait

  16. Matt Carey

    Matt Carey

    30 June 2011 @ 11:48AM #

    They could have the best app going, but unless they get the traction of users it will mothball. Like wave! Wave was actually pretty good, but it didn’t attract the user base.

    I expect Plus will be a place for early adopters, lots of geek and web folk. If my Mum joins then you’ll know it has succeeded!

  17. Mark Petherbridge

    Mark Petherbridge

    30 June 2011 @ 11:48AM #

    I must admit I also scoffed a little and agree that the demo videos are what has made me think that maybe its going to be the next ‘big’ thing (yeh I went there).

    It would be very interesting to see if Google can manage to rival Facebook, However, I didn’t know that they had previously attempted a social network, for this I must investigate further.

    You’ve put forward some interesting points (especially re: honeymoon) and I think that this is going to lead to a further healthier post, bookmarked.

  18. Tom Holder

    Tom Holder

    30 June 2011 @ 11:49AM #

    Google+ is killer if you ask me.

    So many people are looking at a reason to get out of facebook, this gives me a way to do what I want to do… just share content with specific groups of people.

    The ‘only’ drawback is that the majority of my real-life friends are on Facebook and it will be a while before they get Google+.

    The fact it is integrated in to GMail is nothing short of awesome!

    +1 for Google + ;)

  19. Anders Tolborg

    Anders Tolborg

    30 June 2011 @ 11:47AM #

    Nice review. Reading this only heightens my expectations! Did you check out this http://m.zdnet.com/blog/weblife/invite-your-entire-facebook-graph-into-google-plus/2124?

  20. Dave Cartledge

    Dave Cartledge

    30 June 2011 @ 11:49AM #

    Nice review Elliot, thanks.

    I am keen to try it – more to see the interface than anything else. I can’t see myself actually using it long term mind you :)

  21. James

    James

    30 June 2011 @ 11:47AM #

    We deal with a lot of retailers and they’ve all fallen for the buzz asking us to plaster the buttons all over the option.

    Will be really interesting to see how it pans out over the next few months once the web geeks have calmed down and stopped flogging invites on eBay.

    I think it’s got a chance – and in the market we spend a lot time developing for (the retail markets), it could really be used to create social shopping. Very interesting times.

    Now, if only I had an invite….. ;)

    James

    PS Saw your tweet, think this qualifies!

  22. mrvé

    mrvé

    30 June 2011 @ 11:49AM #

    I am interested in news about Google. :)

  23. Jason Stone

    Jason Stone

    30 June 2011 @ 11:49AM #

    Google+ does seem similar to facebook from what I have read, but now Google’s in it’s 3rd attempt at the ‘social networking’ club (Buzz, Wave), i’d be interested to see if this one actually gets popular.

    Looks like a smooth interface and would love to give it a go though!

  24. Omar

    Omar

    30 June 2011 @ 11:50AM #

    seems pretty decent for now, but i doubt anyone will be able to kill FB at this point.. maybe it will be a bit of competition at most..

  25. Torunn

    Torunn

    30 June 2011 @ 11:50AM #

    I like how you don’t waste any time; You get the invite, test it, blog about it and push it out to Twitter. Before the rest of us have had our morning cup of tea.

  26. Ashley Broadley

    Ashley Broadley

    30 June 2011 @ 11:49AM #

    Can I have an invite please? That’s something more than just “can I have an invite”! :D

  27. James Parker

    James Parker

    30 June 2011 @ 11:49AM #

    From the screenshots I’ve seen I’m not massively keen on the UI… maybe once I’ve given it a whirl I’ll change my mind.

  28. Lucian

    Lucian

    30 June 2011 @ 11:48AM #

    A lot of whether Plus would succeed depends on whether it can pull the carpet from beneath Facebook. Features aside, now more than ever, Google’s “do no evil” mantra could tip the scales.

  29. Rahul Sharma

    Rahul Sharma

    30 June 2011 @ 11:50AM #

    Seriously… I don’t think this may work out that nice… because people just may not be ready to all of a suden change their entire social network…

    The thing is that, all the unique features that Google has added… eventually will be copied by Facebook and then done…
    But this may be a blow to Skype… since they may not be comfortable with the whole video talk thing…
    And since people have more Google Accounts than Skype… The Google+ may work only because of this cool feature (and also of it being web based… that means more portable… and usable…) :)

    Anyways… I would love to give it a spin… if anybody… have an invite… then please be generous enough to give me one… Thanks :)

    - Rahul Sharma ( @pyrocguy )

  30. TheFella

    TheFella

    30 June 2011 @ 11:50AM #

    I’m looking forward to trying this at some point and, although I love Google and use many, many of their products, I’m always a little sceptical when they bring out new products.

    You say that it doesn’t look like a Google product, but do you reckon it’ll stay that way? Google have a habit of changing stuff over time, i.e. calendar and mail.

    It also looks like they’re dropping in some redesigns of their search (the black header/nav bar). Makes me think that everything will converge design-wise someday.

    At least Google aren’t afraid to try new ideas and technologies, although they can afford to try and fail as much as they want!

  31. Matthew

    Matthew

    30 June 2011 @ 11:50AM #

    Really good initial thoughts Elliot.

    Looking forward to trying this to see how it will affect SEO, and online marketing, just as much as I am to see whether it is a viable alternative to Facebook and the other social networks.

  32. Robert

    Robert

    30 June 2011 @ 11:50AM #

    It is good to hear some unbiased opinions on Google+.

    You have a good point regarding it’s competition with facebbok, I don’t know why they are not billing it as a facebook killer. I know a lot of people a unhappy with the way facebook has gone but it will take time for users to shift over if they can be persuaded.

    Googles “new” design is an odd one, from what I have seen it looks like they are pulling a lot of influences from Twitter and Diaspora.

    And, I don’t think this comment would be complete without the obligatory plea for an invite :)

  33. Nealio82

    Nealio82

    30 June 2011 @ 11:50AM #

    I can’t wait to give Plus a whirl, I’ve been looking for an excuse to dump Facebook for a while over the privacy issues. Perhaps Google could implement some kind of “import all your data from FB” setting..? I’m sure FB have provided all the APIs for that to be possible.

    (can someone give me an invite please..?)

  34. Doug S.

    Doug S.

    30 June 2011 @ 11:50AM #

    I saw this post with a picture of Facebook compared with Google+ where the writer was commenting on how similar they were. After watching the videos and reading a few reviews the following popped into my mind.

    “I am Saruman. Or rather, Saruman as he should have been.”

    I loath Facebook at the best of times. So far Google+ looks like what Facebook should have been from the very beginning.

  35. Gary

    Gary

    30 June 2011 @ 11:51AM #

    Its good to hear that google’s latest venture is starting out on the right root. From the reviews I have read so far it defiantly sounds polished and like it has a future. lets hope that the masses ‘get’ this project (just not too quickly) – unlike wave which was amazing -but not enough people really got it.

    But just like the majority of us – i would love to see it for myself ;)

  36. Mikko S.

    Mikko S.

    30 June 2011 @ 11:51AM #

    I’m glad Google starts to pay more attention to details when it comes to designing graphic interfaces. At least I think their products have always been somewhat ugly in design terms. I totally agree on the integrating to Flickr part. I don’t want one more place to upload my photos to.

  37. Maxi Hobbs

    Maxi Hobbs

    30 June 2011 @ 11:50AM #

    When I first heard of the release, I instantly expected another Google Wave, not in terms of the concept as such but moreso the final outcome.

    Wave, although at the time seemed to have potential, never took off whatsoever. It’ll be interesting to see how far + goes in comparison

  38. ApocalypseCow

    ApocalypseCow

    30 June 2011 @ 11:51AM #

    Interesting read – it does sound like it’s got potential but only in a world where Facebook doesn’t already exist. I can see some people migrating to it (for a while at least) but I don’t yet see how this will convert the mass audience. Why are Google following trends instead of setting them?

  39. Nico Knoll

    Nico Knoll

    30 June 2011 @ 11:50AM #

    Of course “Plus” is an Facebook competitor. But maybe Google don’t want to say this to early because it could eventually fail like Buzz and Wave and it wouldn’t be nice for Google to say “we lost against Facebook”. But after the first 100.000.000 registrations they’ll probably change their statement.

  40. Alex

    Alex

    30 June 2011 @ 11:50AM #

    to be honest – what google want to achieve is a combination of services defined by other people. The group video thing is going to be massive – but I can see a restriction on it, unless it’s P2P based.

    I love their UI / UX changes that they’ve implemented across their suite of products too in the last few days – the Black and Read looks really neat – can’t imagine where they got that colour scheme from…

  41. welshstew

    welshstew

    30 June 2011 @ 11:51AM #

    I think, for a beta, it looks like a very slick interface. As you state they have done some very nice features which will have early adopters (read geeks) taking a real interest.

    However, the question is whether they have done enough to convince the masses to move away from FB. At this early stage, I would say no. But it will be really interesting to watch this new battle between FB & the big G.

  42. Dennis Andersson

    Dennis Andersson

    30 June 2011 @ 11:52AM #

    Like you said, it’s pretty much inevitable that the Google Ads are going to pop up. Never the less, if Google+ does keep itself alive and get a solid userbase (including my own friends) I really don’t think it will be an issue and if there is, Google will come up with an idea to sort that out.

    The question that still remains for me though: How is Google+ going to “steal” the userbase? Facebook still offers alot on the side with the social app/games/etc.

    Oh well, time will tell, singed up for an invite, not going to speculate any more than needed until I’ve tried it out.

  43. Jakub

    Jakub

    30 June 2011 @ 11:52AM #

    Videos looks fantastic, the UI looks great. I like this style. And the concept seems more usefull than facebook for me. It’s gonna be revolution :) Anyway I am still waiting for invitation, so I actually didn’t see it works.

  44. Claudiu Cioba

    Claudiu Cioba

    30 June 2011 @ 11:51AM #

    Google Plus is indeed a big step forward, I especially like the Hang Out feature. Video works really well and it’s one of the best free online video conference tools out there.

  45. mark hawkins

    mark hawkins

    30 June 2011 @ 11:53AM #

    Hi Elliot

    Thanks for your review. As a Google Apps user I am really impressed with how their services ‘just work’.
    They may not be the prettiest, but definitely functional and seamless in a lot of areas.

    As for their next offering, whilst it may not re-invent the wheel, there is huge mileage in improving the overall usability of facebook and twitter and if they can streamline the way we share and connect then I am really looking forward to the next stage of the evolution of the social webs.

  46. David

    David

    30 June 2011 @ 11:53AM #

    Nice article, I’m looking forward to trying it out. Google+ is looking good. Grouping friends is something I have been doing on Facebook for a while and then having to alter my privacy settings for particular groups can be a pain. Circles offers this out of the box.

  47. Alex

    Alex

    30 June 2011 @ 11:53AM #

    Personally, I’m more concerned with yet another major global service having our details. It’s already bad enough that’s it close to impossible to exist in the real world without having at least one toe in a social web-app, but now we’ll have two versions of facebook.

    Maybe I’m just pessimistic, but surely having all your private life spattered across something that could be easily hacked or stolen – especially in the modern day era of identity theft – can’t be a good thing.

    However, having said that, going on Googles existing apps, the fact they could be all tied into one big web-app, and on the blinding reviews of the site and its UI and features, could they be the ones to actually get social networking/interaction online right??

  48. Ryan Bolton

    Ryan Bolton

    30 June 2011 @ 11:52AM #

    I’d love to ditch Facebook (and all the crud that comes with it) to move to Google+, but I worry that not enough of my friends/family will also make the transition… leaving me in a state of flux where I’m maintaining two accounts and my life will be even more complicated!

    Google+ needs to feature something that really sets it apart from fb (not just a really compelling UI and UX).

  49. Stephanie

    Stephanie

    30 June 2011 @ 11:53AM #

    I disagree with your point about the masses coming aboard – I don’t think they’ll be assed to move. Facebook already has everything they want – all their friends are there, the masses of photos have already been uploaded there, events, birthdays, messages; there’s too much history.

    Still, there’ll be some like me who are curious. Maybe it will inspire a different kind of user base, how people have LinkedIn for more professional use, but upload the pictures from Friday night to Facebook. Maybe they can work alongside each other that way. Maybe it’ll flop as hard as wave and buzz. Can’t wait to find out :)

  50. Johnathan Barrett

    Johnathan Barrett

    30 June 2011 @ 11:53AM #

    Can I have an invite… please?

  51. Thomas Britton

    Thomas Britton

    30 June 2011 @ 11:53AM #

    Nice write up and a good insight to what this service offers.

    My only issue with this and it’s a pretty big issue is that why would people give up Facebook to use this?

    Facebook offers the exact same stuff and more and people have been using it for along time with ALL their friends, pictures etc already on there and I don’t think they will want to go through all the process again. I personally wouldn’t.

    Also it hasn’t quite got the ‘cool factor’ that Facebook has got.

    It comes across very corporate and this is where this product will stay, in the work place. Just like Wave.

    #googleflopyetagain

  52. Phil Powell

    Phil Powell

    30 June 2011 @ 11:54AM #

    What I find interesting is that Google are taking a fresh approach to the idea of privacy. Whereas Facebook is “broadcast everything, filter exceptions”, Google are taking the approach: “broadcast what I want, to who I choose”. it looks much more social in the fact that the social graph recognises context.

    Now, if only I were able to actually play with the real thing… ;)

  53. Jimmy

    Jimmy

    30 June 2011 @ 11:54AM #

    Very interesting first impressions review. One really has to wonder what impact this is going to have on Facebook what the ubiquity of Google for the semi-savvy user in terms of search, email, document management, maps et al. The list really does go on.

    Good to see they didn’t let the wave failure put them off from trying new things. Looking forward to giving it a spin myself in the near future.

  54. David Attrache

    David Attrache

    30 June 2011 @ 11:54AM #

    Re: “the unwashed masses”
    Isn’t one of the selling points of Google+ that you get more control over what you share and what you see?
    MG Siegler (http://techcrunch.com/2011/06/29/google-plus-circles/) wonders wether as the service gets crowded people will switch from sharing in Public to sharing in Circles.

  55. Andy Ardener

    Andy Ardener

    30 June 2011 @ 11:53AM #

    Thanks for the review, to me facebook = friends/family, twitter = work/hobby, where do you feel Google+ fits in? or does it fill the void of them all with its circles?

    Looks interesting, thou i fear for another failure, thou i hope not, the facebook platform really is something i like to keep clear from. And who better then google to do the deed :)

  56. Tristan

    Tristan

    30 June 2011 @ 11:54AM #

    Great review thanks! I would love an invite and may I also say I find your masculine facial hair both inspiring and enchanting. Cheers!

  57. Dan

    Dan

    30 June 2011 @ 11:54AM #

    having tried Buzz and Wave earlier I was admittedly very dubious, but having seen the video clips, and also reading this and some other very early reviews, I think it might be a winner, especially if it eventually integrates with google photos, docs, etc etc.

  58. Dan Rhatigan

    Dan Rhatigan

    30 June 2011 @ 11:53AM #

    I’m curious to see how far Google takes the integration of its various products with this — like Google docs and mapping features and such. THAT could be the killer bit that gives Facebook something to worry about. And, of course, I’d like to see them find a way to work in in some customization through their webfont service. Could a typographically customized UI provide a better testing ground for better webfonts?

  59. Ryan Townsend

    Ryan Townsend

    30 June 2011 @ 11:54AM #

    It’s about time Google had some success after Wave & Buzz, I think it’s going to be a long battle, even though Google are stating it’s not a competitor to FB, so I just hope they can keep up the fight this time, rather than just giving up after a year.

    I’m not sure the exclusivity draw really works when trying compete for such a large market, but nevertheless, if you could please invite me, I’m pretty curious… :-)

  60. David

    David

    30 June 2011 @ 11:54AM #

    I was waiting to see what Google’s next attempt at social networking would be, as their first attempts were, well ahem misdirected.

    I’m curious about their ability to tie in many of Google’s other services (sorry that should say, numerous other!) in a way that nothing else can or currently does. And the same things I am curious about also give me some doubts.

    For instance, many of Google’s plethora of new services remain niche offerings. They don’t dominate like their various search offerings, mail and maps. Not that any of them are bad, it’s just you just start to get your head around one, and then another one is announced. And this is coming from a computer-oriented person!

    So now we’re going a step beyond this, we’re now tying all of this together. Forget that most people don’t know how to use these services, they now need to both understand those and this!

    Does this sound too sceptical? It might be far easier than I envision, but Twitter’s take up, for instance, while succesful, hasn’t been especially fast.

  61. Liam

    Liam

    30 June 2011 @ 11:55AM #

    I can understand the potential of having a social network integrated with googles other range of services, but taking a slightly different approach, do you think that it could also have a negative effect? I.e, a lot of large companies block sites like facebook/twitter so employees cannot access them during work whereas google has always been left untouched. Now that it provides such a service, companies could start blocking it as well which would result in employes having to start using alternative search engines!

  62. RellyAB

    RellyAB

    30 June 2011 @ 11:55AM #

    I think Gruber is right that this is an umbrella for different services. I also think Google have now got some experience under their belt at how social works for them – and how to start getting money from it – so I expect it will become a bit of a hotchpotch over time. That said, I’d love it to do well and get people off of Facebook for a bit just to see that Other Social Networks Are Available.

    Let’s see shall we. I’ve asked Google for an invite so I shall sit back and wait for the gods to oblige.

  63. Danny

    Danny

    30 June 2011 @ 11:55AM #

    One side-note… to be a social networking company these days is to be — or aspire to be — an advertising company. Facebook is predicted to have $2 billion in display ad revenue this year. Twitter had their much maligned foray into cross-platform display ads with the QuickBar.

    I don’t remember who said it, but it bears repeating…

    If you aren’t paying for it, you are the product.

  64. David Laker

    David Laker

    30 June 2011 @ 11:55AM #

    I am in two minds whether a new Social Network is a good idea or not. I work with a company that helps build long term customer relationships rather than the traditional broadcast advertising campaigns and I see a clear separation between Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook all have good uses in the market if used correctly. But where would ‘Plus’ fit in? Will it try and be a Facebook competitor or possibly even add features that could challenge twitter?

    I feel like ‘Plus’ has an advantage over Facebook in that facebook is now very complicated to use and set up correctly e.g. with all the permissions and privacy etc. I hope that google will produce a product that is simpler and doesn’t get bogged down in pointless features.

    I Would love to try ‘Plus’ it out to see for myself!

  65. Johnathan Barrett

    Johnathan Barrett

    30 June 2011 @ 11:55AM #

    Can I have an invite… please?

  66. Stuart

    Stuart

    30 June 2011 @ 11:54AM #

    I just don’t know how ready people will be to leave Facebook. You mentioned the hesitance of people to move their photo libraries over, but until this reaches critical mass will anyone except the usual crowd of early adopters want to maintain 2 social networks (3 if you include twitter) Is it game changing enough to warrant being late to the party?

  67. Robert

    Robert

    30 June 2011 @ 11:55AM #

    It is good to hear some unbiased opinions on Google+.

    You have a good point regarding it’s competition with facebbok, I don’t know why they are not billing it as a facebook killer. I know a lot of people a unhappy with the way facebook has gone but it will take time for users to shift over if they can be persuaded.

    Googles “new” design is an odd one, from what I have seen it looks like they are pulling a lot of influences from Twitter and Diaspora.

    And, I don’t think this comment would be complete without the obligatory plea for an invite :)

  68. Senthil

    Senthil

    30 June 2011 @ 11:56AM #

    Facebook end is beginning…

    Pass me an invite

  69. Eric Thode

    Eric Thode

    30 June 2011 @ 11:56AM #

    Hi Elliot, thanks a lot for your acutually quite profound “first impressions” on Google+. One thing that would provide a huge improvement over facebook and others from my point of view would be a decent management of different “personalities” under one single profile, so I don’t have to mesh up my real friends with my friends at work or with other people I may not know at all. I’m quite curious how Google+ is dealing with this aspect and I’d be very happy to receive an invite from you. Thanks again and keep up the good work!
    Eric

  70. Nanda

    Nanda

    30 June 2011 @ 11:56AM #

    Ok, I’ll bite… waaay too curious.

    The demos aren’t shy with their target market (“epic bros”?). Though I like the random baby boomer demographic thrown in there at the end.

  71. Martin Stark

    Martin Stark

    30 June 2011 @ 11:56AM #

    My belief is that Google+ might turn out to be a more useful tool for staying in touch than other social networks. Arranging events and simply helping day-to-day communication with the people you need to stay in touch with… or, as you already mentioned, it might get cluttered and become a tool for procrastination, just like Facebook.

    I like Facebook, but I’ve been using it less and less recently, the clutter is too much and I resort to other ways of contacting my near and dear.

  72. Frank

    Frank

    30 June 2011 @ 11:57AM #

    It is nice to see that Google is entereing the Social Media Arena.

  73. Joke de Winter

    Joke de Winter

    30 June 2011 @ 11:58AM #

    Thanks for the review – it all sounds lovely.

    But I think I prefer to wait until they open it up to the masses before I want to try it out. I am sure playing around in Google+ at the moment is as lovely as walking in fresh snow, but surely it’ll be more fun when there are people around to throw snowballs with.

  74. Warren Jerzyszek

    Warren Jerzyszek

    30 June 2011 @ 11:59AM #

    I’m pretty much ready to expand me wings, let them unfold and explore what google has to offer in the ways of social networking! :)

  75. Mark Bucknell

    Mark Bucknell

    30 June 2011 @ 11:59AM #

    The videos and demo page look really polished and I am sure most geeks cannot wait to give it a try. Unfortunately though, plus like all other new social networks will only succeed with the unwashed masses onboard. I am not a fan of Facebook but I have an account simply because that is where the people I know lurk online. I am not sure many of them will jump ship to plus but we will see. I like the idea that you control what you see and what your friends see with the use of circles. That could make it a nice combo of facebook and twitter.
    If I could get an invite to give it a try that would be fantastic :)

  76. Steve F

    Steve F

    30 June 2011 @ 11:59AM #

    Many thanks for this. Good to read a well-balanced report.

    How is Google+ changing as your friends list starts to fill up?

    I was one of the few who really liked Wave, but remember thinking that one of Wave’s biggest mistakes was the invite system… people were getting invites and then had no-one apart from strangers to converse with.

  77. Alistair Quinn

    Alistair Quinn

    30 June 2011 @ 12:00PM #

    Google+ is the new National Lottery. Look how many ‘friends’ you now have :)

    There is a lot more excitement about Google+ than there was with Buzz. That must be a good sign.

  78. Derek

    Derek

    30 June 2011 @ 12:00PM #

    I’m happy to see Google finally rekeying and giving in to design a bit – albeit I still don’t quite understand why we need another social network, but it cam potentially keep the field competitive, which is good.

    It will be interesting to see how widely adopted it is. In this age, if it is not all over the place within a relatively short time the buzz wears off.

    If it interaea well with other Google services (voice, documents perhaps) it can be very useful.

  79. David Hughes

    David Hughes

    30 June 2011 @ 12:00PM #

    It does look promising. Lighter than Facebook but deeper than Twitter.

    As long as I don’t have to have a circle called ‘Epic Bros’ I look forward to trying it.

  80. Rowan Manning

    Rowan Manning

    30 June 2011 @ 12:00PM #

    My initial reaction to the videos was very similar: I like the look of it, I want to play with it, I want my friends to play with it! Following the topic has, for me, affirmed the fact that this won’t be another Wave or Buzz; I think Google have learned some valuable lessons from those ventures.

    Whether or not Google+ really kicks off, I think that it’s providing something that the social web really needs: a viable competitor to Facebook. Competition can only ever be a good thing, after Bing’s launch I lost count of the number of cool Google search features that appeared!

    I’m excited about this, thanks for the write-up :)

  81. Leonard Burton

    Leonard Burton

    30 June 2011 @ 12:01PM #

    I’m curious to see if/how it’s going to change the landscape of social networking. People get bored of things given time and I’ve heard loads of people speaking recently of how they’d love to ditch Facebook and move on, this down to frustrations of Facebook bug checking going downhill and the sneaking in of bloated features. I doubt though that with the heavy investment of content people have on Facebook they’ll be so keen to move if it comes to the crunch. (People have alot more on Facebook then they ever had on MySpace).

    The other potential outcome is it could suffer from the problems of the Wave launch. Sparse invites made for no-one to interact with once you were on the service and once it did open up the excitement had gone and everyone was bored, despite it being in my opinion a pretty decent tool, one which in the rare moments I used it was a god send.

    I’ll have to say, I’m looking forward to seeing how it all pans out!

  82. Simon Starr

    Simon Starr

    30 June 2011 @ 12:01PM #

    I agree with you about the advertising – it annoys me when a free service gets successful and then starts plastering adverts all over the place. I’d be interested to learn how much I’m worth as a commodity to sites like Twitter and Facebook because I I’m fairly sure it’s no more than I’d be willing to pay for an ad free version.

    P.S. Please may I have an invitation?

  83. Simon Green

    Simon Green

    30 June 2011 @ 12:01PM #

    I’ll tell ya one thing about Google+, they certainly got their branding spot on! Google really know how to launch a product. Lets just hope it doesn’t go the same way as Buzz and Wave?

  84. Andy Appleton

    Andy Appleton

    30 June 2011 @ 12:02PM #

    It’ll be interesting to see how this works out – it looks from the videos like a lot of the features will be pretty cool but only once you have a decent number of contacts.

  85. Dave Hewer

    Dave Hewer

    30 June 2011 @ 12:01PM #

    It’ll be interesting to see how Facebook responds. I reckon Google+ has a more explicitly professional/older market in mind and will try and push Facebook into MySpace teeny territory.

  86. Emma Bremner

    Emma Bremner

    30 June 2011 @ 12:03PM #

    I’m really hoping this takes off – I’d love to see Google do social networking properly as I really DON’T like Facebook. But yeah, I share your concerns that once your entire family gets involved it’ll probably lose its appeal. I’m sure the early adopters will have moved onto something else by then though!

  87. Ian Tearle

    Ian Tearle

    30 June 2011 @ 12:03PM #

    I really have no interest in Google+, it will most likely end the same way as Google Wave. Granted Facebook has lost its appeal to me, and I know I am not alone, but Google? Really? Maybe it is just me, but I personally think they have become far too big for the little guys to want to support them.

    I’d rather give my interest to a small company who values privacy, and who isn’t going to create a map of my browsing habbits and feed me services I do not want, or am not interested in.

    You attend conferences, is it not much better to meet in person, and continue random conversations on Twitter until you next meet up?

    Why do we need another website that is going to try and fill every void of our lives, when all we want is meaningful relationships with those who influence us. Friendship’s are not a digital overview of our lives, they are not a list of photos with loved ones. Friendships are meaningful experiences we have with each other, not a computer.

    Maybe I am missing something with Google+ I don’t know. All I know is I don’t or have no need for yet another website offering me the same experience just designed better or had more money ploughed into it.

  88. K-Max

    K-Max

    30 June 2011 @ 12:02PM #

    “Firstly, one of the reasons Plus is so appealing right now is because it’s not populated by the world and his grandmother”

    That quote kind of sent shivers down my spine since nowadays, mainstream media will mention some sort of facebook or twitter or youtube reference once in a while. I wonder how Google+ will differ from the other “big 3”? I remember back even 5-7 years ago when we didn’t even have any of this stuff on television. I guess people who should have gotten “in” early on social media back then may look at this with drooling eyes itching to dig in early.

  89. Andrew

    Andrew

    30 June 2011 @ 12:03PM #

    Nice review, I’ m not using the app yet, but after read your review, I can assume that it will take longer to took down facebook and lots of feedbacks, i dont know maybe if google have more attention to design it can be more attractive

  90. Xander

    Xander

    30 June 2011 @ 12:05PM #

    Andy doing the design work? That would make it worth the look. But I’m the kind of guy who likes his privacy enough to avoid Facebook wherever possible… how much (more) of my information would I willingly give to Google… and how much do they already know anyway?! ;-)

  91. Dave Y.

    Dave Y.

    30 June 2011 @ 12:05PM #

    I’d be interested to see if and when Gmail’s phone feature would be integrated into Google+. Something like group calling or maybe incorporating video. An online version to iChat or Skype kind of way.

  92. Saul

    Saul

    30 June 2011 @ 12:06PM #

    From 4 comments to a bazillion at the drop of a google+ shaped hat; love it.

    I’ve been looking for a reason to phase out my facebook account for a while now. I’d hoped Diaspora would be my social media knight in shining armour, but alas, that seems dead in the water. I use facebook primarily as a tool for keeping in touch with those I know and it’s not as though they’ve stopped me being able to do that – it’s just that I’m not as excited about it any more. I’m hoping Google plus will inject a bit of techno-juice into social networking, hangouts seems like one feature which just might do that.

    As for industry-related blurbs and general personal broadcasting, i’ll stick to Twitter for sure; it’s format just can’t be beaten.

  93. Rob Cubbon

    Rob Cubbon

    30 June 2011 @ 12:05PM #

    Interesting read. I’m really looking forward to Plus because I, personally, really hate lots of things about FB’s interface and I think that my familiarity with G will make my Plus experience better.

    Also, looking around it seems to me, interestingly that people want it to be successful.

    Thanks for everything over the years, Elliot, (I’m a first time commenter but I’ve read many articles) I enjoy looking at your code as well (you can call it a #sidebar – I think that’s OK :) )

  94. Ralph

    Ralph

    30 June 2011 @ 12:05PM #

    I’m looking forward to trying it out, but if Google are hoping to take over from Facebook as the #1 social network tool, its got to be more than just a bit better. Its got to have a cast iron differentiator! Just doing the same things better won’t be enough. A large proportion of users have invested considerable time and effort building a ‘life’ in Facebook, for many that will be hard to walk away from entirely.

    Then again, as you said, many of these things (Facebook, Twitter etc) were better at the start, when the masses hadn’t yet taken over. So perhaps Plus will remain in that space a bit longer…?

  95. Matthew

    Matthew

    30 June 2011 @ 12:07PM #

    Really good initial thoughts Elliot.

    Looking forward to trying this to see how it will affect SEO, and online marketing, just as much as I am to see whether it is a viable alternative to Facebook and the other social networks.

  96. Sigurdur Armannsson

    Sigurdur Armannsson

    30 June 2011 @ 12:04PM #

    Thanks for this review. Very similar thoughts passed through my head this morning when I briefly looked at +google since I got an invite. It looks ok and I will keep my account alive for the moment.

    But exactly because it’s google I felt it was more important than many other invites to social media – or was it? They have as you mentioned failed when trying to enter the social media. Personally I don’t like Facebook but I am forced to open it on average once a month because links lead to there. It’s possible that one will be more tempted to use +google since it’s already attached to my google account with all the other services.

    All of this however make me think I should run though all the social media options I have joined in the last 3-4 years and weed out what has already died. At the same time I really miss the P2P communities, Hotline and more where one really got to know a small group of people with similar interests and even meet them in person.

  97. Rob Cubbon

    Rob Cubbon

    30 June 2011 @ 12:08PM #

    Interesting read. I’m really looking forward to Plus because I, personally, really hate lots of things about FB’s interface and I think that my familiarity with G will make my Plus experience better.

    Also, looking around it seems to me, interestingly that people want it to be successful.

    Thanks for everything over the years, Elliot, (I’m a first time commenter but I’ve read many articles) I enjoy looking at your code as well (you can call it a #sidebar – I think that’s OK :) )

  98. Taufiq Ridha

    Taufiq Ridha

    30 June 2011 @ 12:08PM #

    Hi Elliot, hope it’s just not " Hi i need the invitation :) "

    So I was lookin at Google+ homepage and their videos, and as a designer the first thing i looking are the interface.

    Yeah i never thought that google finally has a slick interface on their service, as we know google recently just focus on usabilty but bit leak of beauty of the Web. This is what was happened too on search page design now, Looks great. So I really curious about what they came up with Google+ interface, and i really want to se moreeee… and see what web going now.

    Oh and here’s for some consideration if u will give the invitation for me :) :

    I’m from Indonesia , Jakarta. And as long as i know, we’re always never got any invite as fast as other (europe,america) got. Also for designer association here, we always be the person-late for got the service that you guys said are great,
    So its really my pleasure, and all designer on indonesia esp, if i can got this invitation :)

    Thanks for the chance Elliot!

  99. Slobodan Manic

    Slobodan Manic

    30 June 2011 @ 12:08PM #

    Thanks for the insights Elliot.

    I think that (based on the videos) Plus has a lot of potential, because it will not a completely new thing for many existing Gmail, or any other G-service users. For many of us, talking and thinking about it (instead of working) yeah, it is a big deal, but for someone who’s not really into how internet works, jumping into Plus will be less of a jump then it was with Facebook or Twitter, both of those having a “what is this for and what do I do now?” feel for completely new users.

    Thanks to Facebook, Twitter and existing Google services I think Plus can’t fail.

    P.S. Does it at least integrate Picasa Web Albums?

  100. seth

    seth

    30 June 2011 @ 12:08PM #

    i have read several reviews lately and everyone seems happy with this new product. one thing i was not able to find though, how would google+ address companies? i mean, is this product only dedicated to individuals?

    would like to check it out and see for myself if only i had an invite…

    cheers!

  101. Jeppe

    Jeppe

    30 June 2011 @ 12:09PM #

    It sure does look like an awesome interface, judging by the videos.
    Hope it ties in good with other google projects. Maybe picasa for images?
    Cant wait to try it out :)

  102. geevCookie

    geevCookie

    30 June 2011 @ 12:09PM #

    Can like to haz invite plz… (Pic in link relevant) http://goo.gl/La2Vw

  103. Dan

    Dan

    30 June 2011 @ 12:09PM #

    Good article,

    It’ll be interesting to see how quickly the self proclaimed Google+ ‘gurus’ start springing up trying to sell you their book on using it as a marketing tool.

    An invite would be great, I’d like to have a play.

  104. dave

    dave

    30 June 2011 @ 12:09PM #

    Really liking the overall look and feel and the videos seem good I’m still skeptical over whether this will work or not, facebook will be a tough nut to crack

  105. Chris Murton

    Chris Murton

    30 June 2011 @ 12:06PM #

    Interesting review.

    Looking forward to trying Google+ out but will it be a Facebook killer? My personal feeling is that Facebook is far to well established to be killed off, unless of course Google+ can introduce a unique selling point. If anyone can pull it off though Google can, though the have had big failures with Buzz and Wave, they have had huge successes such as Google Maps and GMail.

  106. Farina

    Farina

    30 June 2011 @ 12:06PM #

    This could be a potentially great foot forward for Google as their past attempts have not been successful (Wave, Buzz). The vibe online seems to be very positive with words banded around like ‘slick’ and ‘more open than Facebook’ in terms of information sharing etc.

    Having this discussion in the office, however, there are many that don’t have Google accounts and many would be reluctant to move from Facebook after the time and effort put in with photos, links, videos, as Facebook makes this difficult to do so.

    Like Martin (above) I’ve been using Facebook less and less, as more and more spam and ads takeover the newsfeed.

    One to watch definitely.

  107. Brad Brooks

    Brad Brooks

    30 June 2011 @ 12:10PM #

    Hmm. I’m still not sure we need another social network, especially one from Google (what, they don’t have enough of my data as it is?). I am interested in seeing how the UI works, though, especially as the designer is Hertzfeld. Is this an attempt by Google to up their design mojo from simply “bland, but works”?

    If I were a betting man, I’d put some ready cash on this going the way of Wave and Buzz.

  108. Robb Owen

    Robb Owen

    30 June 2011 @ 12:11PM #

    Interesting post.

    Circles seems to be the key feature I’m interested in. I was working on a eLearning social network back when I lived in Tokyo in 2009, and they were keen to implement something similar.

    I guess Facebook lists are similar but I can honestly say I’ve never used them – By putting a focus on features like circles from the start, new users will be naturally aware of them. Facebook seems to have the issue where its userbase rails against any changes made to the UI, and that probably means that new and useful features get forgotten.

    I just dread what happens when the Google+ userbase grows. If this overtakes Facebook, can we expect all those ‘sign in with facebook’ buttons to be replaced with “sign in with Google+”?
    The point about advertising is a good one as gaining control over a person’s online identity must be a godsend for marketing. I’m also wondering if Google will factor plus data (i.e. number of +1s) into their search ranking algorithms.

  109. Martin Stark

    Martin Stark

    30 June 2011 @ 11:49AM #

    Facebook is great, but the way this will integrate with all the other services we (or many of us) already use is simply unbeatable… especially for people leading a highly mobile life, and living with android.

    (invite? :D)

  110. Melissa

    Melissa

    30 June 2011 @ 11:58AM #

    Not sure if it will threaten Facebook too much, but with the video chat and things it does seem pretty useful.
    A lot of us geeky folk love new toys to play with, so I’m sure it will populate quickly.
    I like the Sparks feature too and how you can share it with only a certain circle of friends, makes more sense than sharing with everyone you’re friends with as we do with Facebook.
    I’d love to give a whirl!

  111. Kainaz

    Kainaz

    30 June 2011 @ 11:52AM #

    This looks really exciting. It will be good to see how it can take over Facebook. Circles is exactly the solution to the problems I personally have with Facebook. Was thinking of quitting Facebook since quite some time, and now I think I have a good enough reason!

  112. John Ellway

    John Ellway

    30 June 2011 @ 12:04PM #

    So good to see that a designers are designing interfaces for google now rather than engineers!

  113. neil pearce

    neil pearce

    30 June 2011 @ 11:47AM #

    Well…..google+ looks good and no doubt will be a master stroke from the google gang!

  114. Richard Tape

    Richard Tape

    30 June 2011 @ 12:08PM #

    My main concern with + as a Facebook competitor is just how ingrained the latter is in the ‘real’ world. When meeting new people, instead of giving out mobile numbers, it’s now becoming relatively common to simply say “I’ll add you on Facebook” or even “I’ll Facebook you”.

    The general public don’t give a toss about how poorly Wave or Buzz were (in all fairness, I thought Wave was actually a brilliant product, but was answering a question that no one was asking). They don’t give a monkey’s if this new + thing is significantly ‘better’ in terms of how it works, than Facebook.

    The only way it will gain traction, as you rightly say Elliot, is if Google make it easy for people to transition to it – or, make it easy for developers to make it easy for people to transition – there’s a subtle difference.

    In a rant I made the other day to a Google employee, I told him that 5 years ago Google was synonymous with search simply because it was by-far-and-away the best search engine. Its results were pretty awesome. However, fast forward to 2011 and yes, G have made improvements to their relevance and ‘question-answering’ but their results aren’t really that much better than Bing (for example).

    Their maps product, a few years ago, again was incredible (it still is) and it eas miles ahead of the competition. Again, this isn’t the case any more. Several other products are just as good if not better in some aspects.

    So, I too was skeptical. Why are they entering a market where they are already so far behind their competition. This isn’t something where Google has been too successful with in the past (yes, yes, when Google first came around as a search engine it was ‘way behind’ Yahoo or Altavista, but the problem with that argument was that both of those search engines were actually crap at giving good results. Google turned up and gave awesome results, which is why it gained traction…it was lightning fast, too).

    So is Google + miles better than Facebook? I wouldn’t know, I don’t have an invite (hint), but my guess is that, to the general public, it isn’t. Yet. With “all the money in the world” TM, Google could well make it ‘better’ than Facebook…but will people care?

  115. Melissa

    Melissa

    30 June 2011 @ 12:02PM #

    Not sure if it will threaten Facebook too much, but with the video chat and things it does seem pretty useful.
    A lot of us geeky folk love new toys to play with, so I’m sure it will populate quickly.
    I like the Sparks feature too and how you can share it with only a certain circle of friends, makes more sense than sharing with everyone you’re friends with as we do with Facebook.
    I’d love to give a whirl!

  116. Stéphane Lambion

    Stéphane Lambion

    30 June 2011 @ 11:49AM #

    Nice post !

    What I was wondering about is if Google+ will, as you mention it in your article, even manage to take Facebook’s and Twitter’s place … I think it would be cool for Facebook cause I don’t like it, but in my humble opinion, Twitter is really too different to be a direct concurrent for Google+.

    Anyway, I think Google+ is a great idea, and even if it isn’t, it’s one more social button to add, what’s good for people following you :D

    Stéphane

  117. David Burden

    David Burden

    30 June 2011 @ 12:11PM #

    Wow, that was asking for trouble, from 4 comments to 93. Funny.
    Honestly, Im more curious about the hype surrounding the invites that the actual app itself.

    Once everybody is over this invite hype and interacting with the service, then we will find out how it plays into the social landscape, the question is how many services can we all handle at one time.

  118. Jay Pick

    Jay Pick

    30 June 2011 @ 12:01PM #

    The interface looks great. Love the interactive tour! I’m not a huge fan of Facebook so I’m looking forward to playing around with Google Plus. Time to get a decent smart phone…

  119. sharao

    sharao

    30 June 2011 @ 12:12PM #

    First of all your website is simply superb. I added your website link to my favorites list.

    I have been using Facebook from past 4months only. But G+ is superb in UI design comparing to FB. I think G+ will definitely becomes number one social network.

    Hey dude !, don’t forget to send G+ invitation to me ;)

  120. Damir

    Damir

    30 June 2011 @ 12:12PM #

    I like where you go with API’s. Google stands for “open” standards and there it would definitly benefit if we can hook up Flickr, SmugMug etc..

    I think that Facebook photo is THE feature that keeps people there. People loves to upload family photos and if Google can somehow do that part right they will definitly see increase in population.

    The app is nicely integrated with rest of Google services and togheter with Video chat it really has some potential to do some harm to Facebook but it will be tough for them.

  121. Tim

    Tim

    30 June 2011 @ 11:49AM #

    Totally agree on the context thing for the plus button. At launch 1 seemed like a language horror show, now it seems like a stroke of genius simply because it is so much more flexible than a simple binary like or share. Just as Facebook seems to have nailed the email this button with ‘Send’, so Google might have just made ’1’ really different and useful.

    An API (like iCloud’s) could be a stroke of genius. As would refining the Deals and Business applications.

  122. mcquinny

    mcquinny

    30 June 2011 @ 12:02PM #

    Interesting post – glad I’m not the only one that scoffed when I first heard about it ;) I’m actually looking forward to trying it out when it opens to the public! It will be interesting to see whether people will be bothered to transfer their lives over to a new social network after spending so much time and effort on honing their Facebook profiles!

    I actually expected to see some aspects of Facebook/Twitter integration – as you say, things like building up your photo albums again is a BIG process from scratch.

    The circles idea seems to be a sleeker version of “limited profiling” on Facebook – I think more people are likely to use it if the function is simple to use. I also like the huddle function, especially for use with smart phones.

    As a Facebook admin, I’m also looking forward to seeing how brands could start using +1. The only info I’ve found so far is this message in the forums: http://bit.ly/ms4UQX.

  123. skarab

    skarab

    30 June 2011 @ 12:13PM #

    I don’t perceive Plus as a competition killer, nor do I expect it to grow particularly fast, especially since it tries to differentiate itself with a feature set tailored to appeal to those people who aren’t entirely settled into facebook or twitter and are still looking for a better engineered social networking experience. This does include me, but I don’t think there are enough of us.

    Everybody is eager to try out Plus at this point, but I don’t think many will adopt it as their primary network.

  124. Marco

    Marco

    30 June 2011 @ 12:13PM #

    I do sincerely hope that Google Plus grows to become a Facebook-competitor. In my opinion, the current monopoly Facebook seems to have is quite unhealthy. If there’s a company that could pull it off, it would almost have to be Google, so I’m glad they’re trying. There are some obvious privacy-related concerns however, and I’m curious to see how that works out. I don’t mind some targeted ads, but I would like to pay to remove ads (goes for other Google products but also Facebook).

    It’s strange to see how some social networks seem to be unable to co-exist. I’m curious what that will mean for Google Plus. In the Netherlands, where I live, we have a social network called Hyves. More than half of the population here has a profile on Hyves and before Facebook it was HUGELY popular. Nowadays, the slightly older users (let’s say 18+) move to Facebook in huge quantities (Hyves is now dominated by the under-18 group). ‘The move’ also shows something interesting: people that are active on Facebook are not active on Hyves. I’m guessing it’s too much work for people to maintain two or more social profiles. So if that’s true, Google Plus is either going to overrule Facebook or it’s going down the same way Buzz did. Or they might come up with some sort of integration, which would be a huge PLUS for longevity and survival.

  125. Chris Plowman

    Chris Plowman

    30 June 2011 @ 12:14PM #

    Although Twitter was nice when it was quiet, it seems odd to me that Google would launch a social network by invite only. Surely the thing you need to make a social network is people! The early adopters are going to get in first anyone so why limit it?

    Are circles visible/shareable to others? Would be nice if we could get themed conversations going across peoples networks

  126. Hugo Loning

    Hugo Loning

    30 June 2011 @ 12:14PM #

    It does look promising, but I’m not sure if I want to keep up another social service next to Facebook and Twitter.

  127. Ebi Atawodi

    Ebi Atawodi

    30 June 2011 @ 12:15PM #

    My word you have 100 invites! That’s alot!!! To think my friend who WORKS at google has still not sent me a bloody invite. Might have to try plan B, looks in side drawer for…

  128. David McDonald

    David McDonald

    30 June 2011 @ 12:15PM #

    Good post on the Big New Thing, succinctly summarised and now I’m interested.

    Also, you had me at Andy Hertzfeld!
    Would love to see what he’s done for Google.

    Now if only I had an invite ~ but where can I get one of those…
    …at this time of night?

    ;-)

  129. alicetheblue

    alicetheblue

    30 June 2011 @ 12:15PM #

    Google+ will be the latest and greatest as this fickle generation will prove.

    I’m going back to myspace….to be alone.

  130. Rob Swan

    Rob Swan

    30 June 2011 @ 12:14PM #

    Google are a force to be reckoned with; if you think it’s half decent and it’s got the weight of Google behind it… it’s going to be a game changer, but only IF Google are serious about it. I think your fears about it becoming cluttered and over saturated with advertising are well founded though. Time will tell!

  131. Simon Foster

    Simon Foster

    30 June 2011 @ 12:15PM #

    Two snowmen are standing in a garden, one turns round to the other and asks “can you smell carrots?”

    Can I have an invite for making you laugh?

  132. Luca Paulina

    Luca Paulina

    30 June 2011 @ 12:15PM #

    After seeing the demos on Tuesday I’m thoroughly psyched and can’t wait to test it out. Google have made a social network which works around their pre-existing search engine which is great and the addition of the +1 button is a genius step to giving social search results which could be very handy in the design world. On twitter I only follow designers and the +1 button would be great to see recommended links from people like yourself.

  133. Josh Shindler

    Josh Shindler

    30 June 2011 @ 12:14PM #

    It seems that Google have started to think about UX,interaction and design far more than in the past. And its not just about one product. Google are implementing design and UX changes across all their products. Just take a look at their redesigned search as an example. The design is much cleaner and in particular I’m quite keen on their approach to the filter icons.

    Anyway, it would be interesting to see Google’s new found approach of not just thinking about features with a really appreciated Google+ invite.

  134. Tobias Frenzle

    Tobias Frenzle

    30 June 2011 @ 05:45PM #

    Google + can be a Opponent for Facebook. And Competition is good for the User.
    The UI looks very good and I like to try it out.

  135. Marko

    Marko

    30 June 2011 @ 06:04PM #

    I hope im not late. I wait very excited Google Plus. Hope you have still invites.

  136. gwen reed

    gwen reed

    30 June 2011 @ 06:37PM #

    The black navigation bar is illegible to most of the visually impaired due to very low contrast grey on black and fails W3S standards for accessibility.
    I am vision impaired. I Can’t use the re-designed black navigation bar. All I am asking is for the option to change it back.
    Why does Google periodically disimprove itself? This black bar and the hype about its supposed functionality are making me sad!!

  137. Bert Oberholz

    Bert Oberholz

    30 June 2011 @ 07:04PM #

    Hi Elliot, please invite me and I promise you will be my first contact in my first circle dedicated to you ;-)
    Bert

  138. Marcell Purham

    Marcell Purham

    30 June 2011 @ 08:10PM #

    I love the design and interface of Google. It is very clean but I do not think I will quit facebook for it

  139. polkunus

    polkunus

    30 June 2011 @ 10:51PM #

    I 100% agree with you on the flickr API possibility. The only thing that disappointed me in google+ is the traditional pic upload architecture.

  140. Jamie Yates

    Jamie Yates

    01 July 2011 @ 12:56PM #

    Google Plus does integrate with Picasa, with Plus picking up any photo albums which are shared publicly.

    I would imagine that the Picasa integration within Android is helping Picasa to grow. I would imagine that they’re also looking to use the face recognition technology from within Picasa to enable automatic tagging at some point in the future.

    My first impressions on Google Plus are very good, despite not having many friends within the service at the moment. To me it feels like I could manage the friends I have within Facebook, my colleagues I have within LinkedIn and the people I follow on Twitter within the same space.

  141. Sal

    Sal

    02 July 2011 @ 01:31AM #

    Really complete review… interesting service.

    And I’m also want to say something more than “can I have an invite?”

    :)

    Cheers,

  142. c & m

    c & m

    02 July 2011 @ 01:54AM #

    Nice article. Good to get an unbiased. Opinion from someone who isn’t pro Facebook or pro Google.

  143. Dano

    Dano

    02 July 2011 @ 03:37AM #

    You’ve got the world’ biggest submit button i’ve ever seen.

  144. marc

    marc

    02 July 2011 @ 12:07PM #

    thanks for the heads up. although you mentioned they’re not getting through at the mo, i can haz invite?
    btw, added your blog to my google reader – at least that still works like a charm. what happened to buzz anyway? i betcha those dogs had something to do with it..

  145. Michael Camilleri

    Michael Camilleri

    02 July 2011 @ 02:08PM #

    I’ve been using Google+ for the past couple of days and would be personally happy to switch over to it if I could just get some invites to give to people.

    I acknowledge that I am an early adopter and that my preferences don’t necessarily match those of casual users but I actually think both casual users and I have a serious problem with FB – namely the inability to categorise people. Circles really is the killer feature for me but more importantly everybody.

  146. Henry Martin

    Henry Martin

    04 July 2011 @ 07:46AM #

    Can someone please invite me? I will love you for a billion years!

  147. Ratish

    Ratish

    04 July 2011 @ 10:32AM #

    Hi, Can you please pass invitation to Google Plus

  148. Vee Lee

    Vee Lee

    03 July 2011 @ 03:18PM #

    Google+ looks cool. To me its like facebook on steroids. It looks so much prettier in my view.

  149. Biju

    Biju

    04 July 2011 @ 02:38PM #

    Guys…. support google+ by puting google+ badges on your fb profile pic!!!
    Link :
    http://ww.picbadges.com/google-65/1916506/?&login=1#

  150. my blog

    my blog

    05 August 2011 @ 02:51PM #

    Johann von Goethe~ The phrases that men hear or repeat continually end by becoming convictions and ossify the organs of intelligence.

    - http://iseemyin01box.blogspot.com/

  151. video production

    video production

    21 August 2011 @ 08:14PM #

    WRT integrating “information that’s been buried on Place pages … across all Google platforms” the first thing that comes to mind is coupons/offers. I can see how they would integrate offers more widely.

    For example, anytime I do something that indicates my location to Google (post on Google+, check in with Latitude, leave a review in Places, do a search from the main web search, etc.) they could now show me “Offers Nearby” similar to how Foursquare does it. The big difference between Foursquare and Google, of course, is that Google’s audience is magnitudes greater (especially considering main web search).

    I guess they could also integrate “photos from nearby businesses” in the image search results and “videos from nearby businesses” in video results and YouTube, but that doesn’t seem as natural of a fit.

  152. Photographers

    Photographers

    20 October 2011 @ 10:23PM #

    To be honest, i don’t like Google Plus. I Don’t like Facebook either. I believe it’s a waste of time and a piggy bank for the developer. But if you’re serious about marketing you should use it!

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