Jul 17, 2011

So, when are you coming to Google+??

It looks like the relentless pursuit of Google to have a place on the emerging center of the web universe-social networking- is finally going to pay off. Its latest venture Google+ which stands upon the graves of its failed predecessors like Google Wave, Google Buzz, Orkut is really making headlines as millions of netizens are clamoring for invitations to join it.It might be too early to predict but the search giant may as well shed any of the doubts it has for the fate of its latest venture. Released about 3 weeks ago, Google+ has already been reported to have more than 10 million users which is the fastest growth of a social networking site in history. It is an impressive number even for a giant like Google given the miserable failure of its previous attempts. Besides, not only is Google+ is exploding but is also garnering mostly positive and considerably enthusiastic responses from users and experts alike.

Fearing a shameful failure as its predecessors Google has so far tried not to present Google+ as its competing product to Facebook and instead is promoting it as an extension to Google itself , that's why Google+ but it's an open secret that an unrivaled Facebook is going to seriously undermine Google's establishment on the web and Google is well aware of its need to have a stake on the future of the web. And Google+ is Google's latest card for Facebook. Facebook with its extremely formidable base of 750 million users may not have to run for cover this early but its recent decisions to ban Google+ ads in its website signals panic. The feathers of its cozy comfort zone are being ruffled for sure.
Having used Google+ for more than two weeks now, I must say it's pretty impressive with its clean user interface, innovative features like circles and sparks. Circles let you categorize and disseminate the information you produce among different circles of friends and acquaintances separately which is a relief when compared to "for everyone" style of Facebook that requires a lot of effort and discretion on part of users to  decide what to share on Facebook and what not to share! Similarly, I found the Sparks feature quite engaging. Sparks keeps you updated with the latest news and events of the hobbies and interests you choose at the beginning. Another brilliant feature of Google+ I found is the way notifications appear. When you click a notification, the related item(photo/note/comment) is shown at the notification box itself. You don't have to load a new page to see what the notification is about. Another supposedly cool feature of Google+ which I haven't tried yet is Hangout. It's supposed to be the online version of 'hanging out with friends'. I am yet to use it but have heard it's the coolest feature of Google+.

Despite all this euphoria and my loyalty to Google, however, I think I'll stick with Facebook mostly for a while as it still is the best place to hangout online. And until a significant number of my friends come to Google+, there is nothing to do over there. So, when are you coming to Google+??