Day Two: G+ Lets Everybody In

Yesterday, was pretty fun so make sure to read the original post: I’m in love with Google+.

Day 2

One of the first things you notice about Google Plus (as my friend Bill pointed out) is that it looks a lot like Facebook. It has the three column view with the news feed dominant in the center.

Of course, the liberties don’t stop there. Google also added in Chat Roulette with their Hangout feature. They stole the Aspects feature from Diaspora with Circles. And, they took a lot from Rockmelt, the social browser Facebook wants to buy, with chat integrated everywhere on Google.

Which brings them pretty close to the US Patent law for a new invention: a novel combination of things.

Let’s dig into some of those.

Founders Love

At 8pm yesterday the whole site went bonkers. The Development team was thanking everyone. Vic Gundotra, the team lead for the project, was jubilant and asking for feedback for new features.

Then they rushed out the invite feature and the site went from limited beta to a bumrush. The news feed was just bursting with comments and we did lose our early adopter “test the features” attitude and switched into “how does this work”, “check out my business portfolio”, and all that.

Yep, pretty much like a normal social network.

Of course, it was pretty cool that Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin got on the site and played with us.

Names: G+, Google+, Google Plus

I think the hotness is G+


All the cool kids were using the hangout feature. Where you join a group video chat with about 20 other people.

It’s a really cool feature that is all the rage right now because top Google Developers, tech journalists, and other web celebrities are hosting them.

Android over iPhone

The android app is killing it. The coolest feature has to be the auto-upload of photos. Turn it on and any new photo will instantly be in the cloud, private of course. Then you can choose how/when/where to share.

The iPhone is just a web app that takes forever to load. It does work well once loaded but really not a lot of Apple love here.

Filter the Noise

Now that everyone is joining the fray it’s important for Google to add in a feature to streamline the content. There is just way too much going on.

Turns out they already have that feature with Circles, but it’s tricky because Facebook doesn’t work like this (although they wish they did).

See social networks allow us to have 100s of friends and the burgeoning content that goes with it. The current solution to this is to either auto select news (Facebook) or sort all your friends into groups (Google).

From the beginning Google has this built-in with Circles. In order to “friend” someone you have to add them to a Circle. Then when you want to share content or consume content you choose which circle to do it in.

I tried it and it works well. My friends circle is pretty small with high quality content. The¬†acquaintance¬†circle is much bigger with sporadic good content. It’s pretty easy to switch between them and filter your news.

Join the Google Empire

You may have heard that Larry Page tied every Google executive’s bonus to getting Google “social”. One way they made that happen is to update the look of every Google Site.

This means that in Gmail you have a black bar across the top and on the right it shows your G+ notifications. All the other sites are similarly updated so no matter where you go in the Google empire your social network is no more than a click away.

Facebook Legwork

All the early adopters and geeks love G+ and, now comes the rest of the crowd. Which presents an interesting experiment since Facebook already introduced social networking to 700 million people.

They all know how to friend, like, comment, upload photos, change their profile, etc.

Perhaps G+ will have a much easier time getting users?

One thing is for sure, Google has the users and the content.

Facebook really has no answer to Google News/Finance/Calendar/Docs/Music/Video/Reader and not to mention the millions of searchers. It will be interesting to see how Facebook reacts to this…

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