Haven’t heard of Google+ yet? You’re either in a coma or on Mars.
It’s all over the traditional news media, blogs are writing about it constantly, and Twitter is being barraged by people talking about it, begging for invites, praising it’s awesomeness, tearing it apart for being crappy, or posting one of thousands of ‘reviews’ of the newest social network.
I’ve read dozens of reviews so far, most of which are carbon copies of each other. There are a small few that have some unique points by calling out some hidden features, or bringing to light some glaring bugs in the system, but for the most part they simply regurgitate the same four points:
1 – There’s no Farmville or Mafia Wars junk – YAY!
2 – Circles are awesome and stupid-easy to manage – YAY!
3 – The interface is clean and intuitive – YAY!
4 – It’s not ‘different enough’ from Facebook – Hmmm…
Ok, so now what? It’s about three weeks old. Do you really think that Twitter reached it’s state of awesomeness in three weeks? Did Facebook exist when it was launched in the same way it does now? Of course not. Every social network currently in widespread use has grown over YEARS, not weeks. Features have been added and removed, interfaces get redesigned, and things evolve. It’s not a teenager, tween, or even toddler. Google+ is a newborn.
Anyone claiming to ‘know’ that Google+ is either doomed to fail or destined for greatness is speculating just as much as those people claiming to know what the next iPhone will look like. It’s all speculation until it either succeeds or fails, and for that to happen, people need to try it, use it, and put it through the wringer. Does anyone honestly think we’ve reached the point in just a few short weeks that anyone anywhere can legitimately say if Google+ is a pass or fail? No way.
Google+ is just another social network, sure. But what will it be in a few years? Myspace probably dismissed Facebook as ‘not different enough’ from its own service to be any kind of real threat, and we all know how that turned out. When Gmail was introduced, it was ‘just another email service’. Hotmail and Yahoo had their own, and to your average user, how much different could it be? After all, it’s just email, right?
To use an obvious cliche: time will tell. As for me, I’ve got my Google+ account, I’ve got my circles going, and I’m using it how I want to use it. Which is really why they created it, isn’t it? If we all use it how we want to instead of how others tell us we should, then Google+ should evolve in to something great.
If you’re not on Google+ yet, and would like to give it a shot, shoot me a private message with your email address, and I’ll send an invite over. Just promise me that you won’t write a review of Google+ later!