A couple of weeks ago Google launched their new social network, Google Plus. Despite users only being able to join by invitation from other users, the number of people on it quickly grew to 10 million.
What is Google Plus?
Google Plus works in much the same way as Facebook at first glance. You have a news stream with the latest updates from the people you follow or are friends with. It look’s a lot simpler in fact and the layout is clearer. You follow people by putting them into circles which means you can organise people into groups. This enables you to send an update to a limited number of people by only sending it to a particular circle.
You also don’t need to necessarily be friends with someone to follow them, meaning that it is a lot more like Twitter in many ways. One of the joys of Twitter can be just to watch people and follow people who share and find fantastic information.
Is it going to be better than Facebook?
There are many ways that Google Plus is better than Facebook. The circles feature means that you no longer have to fear saying inappropriate things with work colleagues or family members. It makes it easier to mix your work life with your private life. This means that it reflects how your actual groups of friends and acquaintances work, rather than treating all as equal as Facebook does.
The only thing that will trip up Google Plus is if people don’t take to it. Although the number of users is growing quickly, it will interesting to see whether the majority of people make the move. At the moment most users are still using Facebook and Twitter, mainly because their friends and followers are established there.
I can’t see Google Plus being a success unless it replaces either Twitter or Facebook – personally I’d like it to replace Facebook.