Thoughts on Google+
It's been a few weeks now since Google+ has hit the scene and and I've had a good amount of time to play with it. The following are some unorganized thoughts about Google+:
- The joke about "Google finally hired a designer" is old but true -- the new design looks simplistic but elegant.
- When I mentioned I had invites to give away, I assumed I'd get anywhere from 80 to 120 requests. I've gotten well over 1,200 now. That speaks to how much buzz there's been about this new service within the web development world. Quite impressive.
- From the start, the service just felt like it would be more useful than Wave. I anticipate G+ will stick.
- I see this app as a direct competitor to Facebook but not so much to Twitter. The appeal of Twitter's 140 character limit will never get old.
- Facebook's saving grace is that its user base is already massive, and non-techies wont care to adopt G+. Where Google has an advantage over other community builders is the number of GMail and Google Apps users that will stumble upon G+.
- "Circles" instead of "lists" is just a fancy term, but they seem more pronounced on G+. The nice "Add to circles" mouseover effect reinforces that. As someone who likes his information organized, this feature pleases me quite a bit.
- LOL at "Sparks." Those will last a month.
- Profile pages are a billion times cleaner than Facebook's profile pages; with Facebook, there's way too much going on.
- The photo upload feature and display system are pretty sweet from start to finish. From photo drag/drop upload, to live progress bars, to all of the great mouseover effects, G+ is able to utilize a lot of HTML5/CSS3 features without becoming a major turn-off. Well done to them.
- I realize that services like Facebook Places and Foursquare are popular, but check-in features are a surefire way to annoy the hell out of me and clog up my feed with crap.
- The long-polling (and probably future WebSocket) technology Google uses makes their app seem lightning fast. Probably difficult to construct the system but well worth it for all G+ users.
- I love the stream's auto-fit-width and height. Loved it on Google Image search, love it here. Comment bubbles are a nice touch too.
- I don't see a way to change a photo album's name. Lame.
- I'm hoping that Google implements friendly links by username instead of the horrendously long profile URLs. I'd much prefer "/davidwalsh83" to "/114538814489633467974". Maybe that would too easily expose email address handles though?
- I don't use Facebook's "Like" very much, so I don't anticipate using "+1" much either.
- Johnathan Snook made some really good points about G+'s focus styles. Google's done a great job with them but could probably do better.
- The small "Send an Email" feature is quite nice. No need to jump into Gmail, no need for access to direct email address.
- Profile editing somehow manages to stay elegant and organized despite being a one-page, inline process.
- The real test is when Google creates an API for G+; can G+ stay clean and organized then too? Or will G+ turn into a Facebook Farmville mess?
Those are my thoughts on Google+. What do you think about G+?