The rumors of a new social network from Google were confirmed yesterday with the announcement of Google+. There are quite a few interesting ideas there.
Firstly, I’d been waiting for a proper social network from Google for ages. Google Wave was more of a collaboration tool, which failed. Google Buzz, even though useful, is not enough. I am using Google for plenty of other things – search, email, news reading, instant messaging, collaboration and sharing of documents, etc – it only makes more sense to wrap it all around with a social network.
Secondly, I’m glad to see that Google is trying to solve the major problem that I have with each and every other social network in use today – sharing with specific groups of people. I was born in one country, but currently live in another. I speak two languages, which are not shared by most of my connections. I have a number of different interests. I’ve worked with many people in a few companies across several industries. I desperately need a way to share with only specific groups of people. I know that some social networks tried to provide the functionality – Facebook and Flickr, for example – but it’s not trivial. I need more automation and control for that process. Google+ has something called Circles, which looks and sounds like what I need.
Thirdly, video conferencing. It’s been long overdue. And the only real option there is now is Skype, which I’d rather stop using altogether.
Fourthly, group chats. Especially on the mobile. There are a few alternatives that were developed in the last couple of years, but it’s hard to migrate all your contacts to yet another protocol. Enough of my contacts are using Google, so this sounds promising.
Too bad, Google+ is still not available to everyone – it’s invitation only. Hopefully, Google won’t repeat the mistake of the Google Wave, when they delayed the masses for so long that most people left before their friends joined.
If any of the above sounds interesting to you, have a look this TechCrunch article and this GigaOm post.
2 thoughts on “Google+ – yet another social network”
Google Wave was great but as you said, Google delayed the masses. It was like a great playground where all games need other players also. So a single player was stuck with all these great games and noone to play with.
Google Buzz was something unnecessary.
I want Google+ to be something different that Facebook. Like Linkedin for example. I have a reason to register to LinkedIn. If Google+ will be similar to Facebook I won’t have a reason joining and most importantly participating. So Google please give me reasons and I will give you my time :)
Google Buzz is pretty cool. I am using it a lot. It conveniently brings me updates from mostly those people that I care about. For me, it’s much more efficient than Facebook. Also, most of my contacts have Gmail accounts, so Google Buzz didn’t need any additional registrations. That is not true with Facebook and pretty much any other social network.
Reasons to join Google+ for me are: circles, video conferencing, and group chat on mobile. None of these are working properly with existing solutions. Except maybe for group chat on mobile, but that requires yet another registration with, for example, Beluga.