Orkut was big, but only in Brazil
Buzz was ill recieved (because it opted in everybody with a gmail account)
Wave was geeky cool but way too complicated
Now from Google comes the +Project
Google’s plus project, the latest in the search companies’ quest to be social, blends a number of those previous products together. Google + is not a service in the way Facebook is but a series of connected features that make up a social service. Plus is made up of Circles (Groups), Sparks (Beefed up personalized search), Huddle (Messaging), Hangouts (Video chat), and Instant Upload. Google plus is Google’s Facebook with a Skype function and in some ways better; particularly in its thinking about grouping and privacy.
I like the thinking behind Circles which allows a user to seperate people logically, think having a circle for co-workers and one for friends, Circles allows you to choose who can see what you post.This is something missing in Facebook and allows a user to perhaps maintain some form of online dignity (you know keep those drunk pictures from your Boss kids). Hangouts is another standout feature that allows for a video chatting experience; Hangouts allows up to ten people a session and the session continues even if the person starting it leaves. Hangouts also puts anyone speaking front and center when talking. The other features are seen on other platforms. Huddle is a messaging service like SMS or BBM. Sparks reminds me of Google Reader and Fuse Labs Montage in that its a currated search. Instant Upload is just that you upload video and pictures to the cloud.
Now its interesting to note that Plus is also made up of Google’s +1 button which is used like Facebook’s Like button (quick link to interesting information) and will probably use Gogle Profiles for ID (Actually you can see and access parts of Plus from profiles).
Okay recapping I like Circles and Hangouts, the rest is a bit meh. Now the question is this for you and yours?
Now the answer to that will depend. Are you looking for a Facbook like site that isn’t Facebook? Do you want to be tied closer to Google services? Now if those answers are yes, you need to harras somebdy for an invite now.
And for thse asking Goolge plus will have an Android and IOS app for phones.
Now this isn’t all wine and roses people. There are some questions
I’m not talking about success, which I will talk about later, but about what this project represents. Google plus is either a service Google provides or a part of Google proper or both. Now is this a good thing? Will the information be searchable? Will this program plug into other services? Is this the type of thing a company trying to say its not monopolistic do under possible investigation?
I don’t know but I do know is that this will be popular and I can sum it up in one word
Every techie worth their salt has been looking for the next big thing in social. I think for a lot of them Facebook is no longer that bleeding edge place, your mom’s on there and your boss. And when everybody is doing it, you want to be doing something else. Don’t believe me check online and see them nerds hustle for invites.
Thanks for reading and here are some links
Dave Winer Google Yawn
Gina Trapani What Google + Learned from Buzz and Wave