By now you must have heard the phrase, “Is Google Plus the end of facebook?”. I would have to say the platform is promising, but the verdict is still out. I know a lot of you had been waiting with baited breath for the release of the now failed and disbanded Google Wave, but if Google can fix the minor bugs found in the new G+, the loss of Wave will seem to simply fade away.
From our time spent with the product we have seen a lot of really great additions in Google’s delve into Social Media. Google seems to really have heard the public’s criticisms of the current Social Media platforms and made a solid attempt at fixing those issues. G+ also introduces us to revolutionary new ways to connect, with features like “Hangouts”. In a “Hangout” the user has the ability to let their friends drop in via video chat, just as if you ran into each other at a restaurant or bar. This feature really takes the concept of connecting online to another level, allowing for a more personalized and interactive user experience.
Being one of the biggest issues with the 750+ million user Facebook platform, Google addressed privacy thoroughly on their G+ platform. Through increased protection, easy privacy settings manipulation and other features, Google seems to have really hit the nail on the head in the privacy department.
Now onto something I really dislike about G+. In our office we use a myriad of Google products, from Maps to Analytics to Voice to Adwords, if you can name it we use it. Once you sign up for G+ though, Google seems to forget that any of those other products exist. Once logged into a G+ account any shared features on that account become very difficult to access through your main Google navigation bar. I have found myself many times being frustrated by the fact that I need to go directly to the products URL, i.e. http://google.com/places, instead of easily being able to access all features through my Google navigation bar. Even though it is an inconvenience, I do not think this would keep me from actively using G+.
All in all I think Google has a great product on their hands. Will it be revolutionary in the market? Only time will tell, but until then it will be nice to have another large player steeping into the Social Media market.