I got the long awaited email today saying that a website hosting company had “invited you to join him on Google+”. I had been looking forward to seeing Google’s new social network at its inception and as soon as I was signed in I invited my social circle and some work colleagues before exploring it.
The first time I found that I had a dilemma with Facebook was when my Mum wanted to be added to my friends on there. I thought about refusing but then accepted her only to put her in a list of other contacts I didnt really want looking at my wall or photographs. This is achievable in Facebook, but functionally its a bit clunky using their privacy settings. Google+ is group centric out the box with the advent of ‘Circles’ in which you align your contacts into different groups or circles as soon as you invite them. I can see this will go someway to ensuring you keep your business and private life separate and will make the use of it more fluid. So my first impression of it was that it looks and works very well and on describing it to a Facebook friend I summed it up by saying its all about the circles in Google+ and its a perfect way to separate friends / work and family contacts.
I like the immediate inclusion of a chat client but would like to see it at the bottom of the page like MSN / Facebook chat.
Sparks initially seems useful its similar to Twitter and invites you to join Interests which broadly match the hashtag function of Twitter. Searching within Sparks gives you a Google Instant type search result.
The limited invite process is good for marketing but the only way this will succeed is if it gets a massive user base quickly.
Prediction for the future, facebook buys twitter and integrates it into its own ‘Sparks’ function.
Social Networking is going through its teen-years expect more turmoil.