So Google started a “field test” of their new social networking product. It is called “Google+”. My friend John was kind enough to send me an invitation last night and I have been messing around with the interface like the dutiful beta tester I used to be during my spare time over the past 16 hours or so.
I’m not going to go into a full blown review of the product or even try to cover all of the features in this initial mention, because it would be unfair to the product and unfair to the reader. I will say that it has been a very long time since I have been excited about social networking software. I’m actually liking the poking around and seeing the different ways I can share my social networking stuff with those I reach out to.
“The user experience” is what drives Google+ to be so exciting to me; they have put a lot of thought into what a user does and how they want to interact with others online in dreaming up this experience. Long story short, it’s based on circles, and they have suggested circles to start with: friends, family, following, acquaintances and the like. I’ve only added two others: work and tech, the former for work colleagues and the latter for the tech people I follow online.
Some of the features that sets Google+ apart from Twitter and Facebook include a group video conferencing service called Hangouts that I haven’t tried first hand yet but I found to be quite impressive in episode 101 of “This Week In Google” on the TWiT network. I also find the interface, especially the mobile interface, to be far superior to what Facebook offers, even in Google+’s beginning stages. They are off to a good start.
I’m excited for when more people jump on board so that we can see what this new social networking platform can really do. I have a feeling this one can really be a game changer.