PSFK polled its writers to see what they thought of Google’s update to the existing social network model, and if it actually outshines Facebook and Twitter.
I was asked by PSFK to test out the latest attempt at a social network from Google, to see if it really does stack up again its blue and white competition. My thoughts below:
The platform is less about introducing something new and more about getting it right by pulling together Google’s products. It’s especially remarkable to see how the interface integrates numerous products such as Buzz, Reader, Gchat, and +1 in such a clean manner. I am also almost sure that the popularity of Google+ will lead to an increase of Chrome installations, as was the case with me.
On a surface level, Google+ may appear to be a rip-off of Facebook/Twitter. On another level, it is everything they are not. Most importantly is that its design stresses the nuances of online relationships. This means understanding that a piece of content should only go to relevant networks, and there is an emphasis on crafting those networks from the beginning. It also means understanding the difference between someone we’re interested in ‘following’ and a personal friend. Google+ beat other popular social media platforms by incorporating this into its infrastructure. Weaknesses still remain on the privacy front, as almost every Google experience now insists on pinpointing a users’ geographic location and while there is a sincere need for more anonymity on the web, the Internet giant refuses to acknowledge that need and the value it can add to fostering a progressive online environment.
For additional info, Keith Kleiner’s piece in Singularity Hub is very insightful in understanding the relationship of Google+ to Facebook and Twitter.