It has been almost a weekend since I started using Google+, Google’s brand new social tool. And like everything else that Google does, Google+ sure did create a buzz (pun totally unintended).
It started with me sending out requests for invitations on Facebook. Irony. I guess this is what happened in MySpace when Facebook was also ‘exclusive’. Whatever.
Soon an invitation landed in my Gmail inbox and I signed in. The first déjà vu moment was when I saw the user interface. Somehow it seemed a good idea. Facebook’s design was, after all, very, very successful. But there are several places that needs improvement. AJAX, anyone?
The only thing that really sets Google+ apart from other major social networks the feature called Circles that lets you share only specific things with specific people. You can, for example, have three Circles – Friends, Family and Employees. You can share something with your friends, something else with your family and almost nothing with your employees. This is what was lacking in Facebook.
Another feature of Google+, Sparks, lets you subscribe to topics that interest you. Think of it like saving a search in Twitter, only with Google’s massive data banks in place. Nice.
The third and final prominent feature of Google+, Hangout, rocks. It lets you video chat with up to 10 people simultaneously. But this is also something that is not going to remain exclusive to Google+ since Facebook’s deal with Skype and subsequent announcements made it clear already that a similar feature is coming to Facebook soon.
So in conclusion all I want to say is that while I totally like the Circles and Sparks features of Google+, I am not really that excited about Hangout when I think about comparing it with Facebook and Twitter.
But Facebook really needs to bring in something that adds the kind of privacy that Google+ has. It would really hurt Facebook if they lose out the recently acquired 750 million users and become the next MySpace.
And Google+ needs to release their API. We are waiting. But that’s another story.