It's kinda weird how a few people I know have gotten so excited about it. I'm like so what everyone I know is on facebook already including you.
It's fine so far. I find it a bit more appealing than Facebook, but that's not saying much. I like that it is integrated into Gmail, but I can how some people wouldn't like that. I've tried using the video chat a few times, and all the connections of the users kept dropping. We switched over to Skype, and it worked much better.
Seems this is at least the third time Google has tried its hand at social networking--there was orkut.com, Buzz, and now plus.google.com.
☼ Waiting for Godot
I have no idea whether or not Google+ will eventually surpass Facebook in popularity, but I'd almost rather it doesn't, despite the fact that I think Google+ is social networking "done right," w.r.t. to personal privacy and user control.
The second coming of a significant social network may make people think more about the value they want out of a social network. I quit Facebook a few months ago because I started to feel like it encouraged cheap communication (and quitting cold turkey turned out to be an interesting personal social experiment). When I had a Facebook account, the subset of people who I consider my closest friends, as well as family, were not the ones I was communicating with on Facebook -- I talk to those people on the phone, on Skype, or on Google video chat. Google+ won't change that for me. In my opinion, people had become to comfortable with Facebook, which led them to not really think much about what they were saying, and who could see it. In this regard, for the user, Google+ is simply a more intelligent mechanism design solution. After all, consider the difference in corporate philosophy between the two companies:
Facebook: "Trying to make the world more open, connected and transparent."
Google: "Focus on the user, and all else will follow."
Facebook has the ability to improve user experience w.r.t the "who can see it" problem, but they haven't because that's not what Facebook is about -- Facebook is about sharing with as many people as possible. Sure you can limit who see's which posts on Facebook, but it's a hassle, especially compared to Google+. Moreover, time and time again Facebook pushed the limits on privacy. Whenever they would implement a new change that affected privacy controls, it always seemed like the default settings after the change were always in the interest of Facebook, instead of the user.
As I said in the beginning of this post, I almost hope Google+ settles in as the 2nd most popular social network. I've been on Google+ for about a week now and the columnists/journalists are right when they say that there isn't much happening on the site. However, unlike most of these columnists/journalists, I think that's a good thing. The other reason I left Facebook was that it was just a huge distraction that I gained very little value from. I'm not looking for another distraction, so if the masses don't want to join Google+, that's perfectly fine with me.
Either way, as long as Google maintains the angles they've decided to take with Google+, I think it's here to stay.
I am enjoying it so far. I used FB and Twitter (and now G+) more as away to consume material and less as a way to share, and Circles are a great way to do this. As Erin said I also had problems with video chat (while Skype worked fine) and I found Sparks rather useless.
"And I'll tell it and think it and speak it and breathe it,
And reflect it from the mountain so all souls can see it..."
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