SPOILER ALERT: sign up graphics are the most exciting part.
It all started within moments of Google+ going live, when one of our staff members got a “sacred” Google+ invite. As a PR firm that prides ourselves on being on the forefront of social media, we were eager to try it out. Pretty soon our entire office was on it, learning about “Circles,” “Hangouts,” “Huddle,” and “Sparks.”
Wondering if you should try it out? Here’s what we found so far – maybe it will help you decide:
1) Sign up graphics are the most important part
Gorgeous illustrations of the Google colors, circles, and other shapes will pique users’ interest. Don’t be deceived, after signing up, none of those gorgeous graphics will be there to greet you.
2) Looks like Facebook, feels like Facebook
If you squint your eyes in certain areas of the service, you would be hard pressed to tell the difference. In fact, on the homepage we haven’t quite seen anything that differentiates it. People post pictures, can share links, a status or three…sounds familiar, no? Biggest difference is your (enter number here) Facebook friends aren’t on Google+.
The circles are supposed to be the “game changer”. The only thing that we collectively enjoyed about the circles, was watching little faces roll around in circles. Other than that, they haven’t shown their purpose yet, unless you are trying to avoid a boss or parent; or an old “friend” that you hoped to lose touch with, yet still finds you on social networks. BTW, Facebook has a filter that allows you to block users on each individual status update. So you effectively have circles there.
4) The invitation thing is sneaky
When it asks you who you want to be “friends” with, it is basically a ploy to invite all your friends from email and other services. It might be above my pay grade, but I could not figure out a way to differentiate between who was already on Google+ and who wasn’t. This can result in spamming people you haven’t talked to in years.
So that’s some initial feedback from our end. If you signed up already and want to bow out, we hear a button exists within Google+ that will delete your entire account instantly if you ever decide to leave. However, like several other Google+ features, it’s hard to find…
As we have many faithful personal Gmail account users around here, we were eager to give Google+ a shot. We will continue to see how it changes and evolves as more people use it, but just can’t imagine Google+ as a success right yet. People would essentially have to convert to or add a new social network to their lives. Who wants to spend time going through that time sucking process — creating and building a whole new audience — when Facebook hasn’t Myspace’d itself yet?
-Andy and Dan, TWW