There have been enough articles about Google+ on the net, so I’m not sure how much more you can possibly take, especially since I don’t think I can add anything sensationally new to the story.
Basically the fact that I’ve been pretty active on Google+ should tell you enough to know that I’m liking it a lot.
What does it for me is the simplicity of the design. Facebook confuses me to no end with all the different status updates coming from all kinds of sources and now that I have Google+ as an excuse the only real reason to log in there is to play Farmville (So what? I can’t have a guilty pleasure?). Basically half of the time I don’t understand why Facebook is doing what it’s doing and I never had the motivation to find out.
However, it is only fair to say that I don’t believe that you really should compare Facebook with Google+. What I can do with Google+ is pretty different from what I can do with Facebook, it just happens that Google+ tends to my needs a lot more than Facebook – which I mostly signed up for because it was the one place that all our Vietnamese developers were and which I mostly stayed on because I got hooked on Farmville.
Since I also have a blog as well as use Tunblr and Twitter I already had everything I needed to share whatever I feel like sharing with the rest of the internet.
Facebook in that way is really more a place where I connect and interact with people I personally know. For me it never was and probably never will be the primary place to share information or exchange opinions.
Therefore since most of my activities on the web are in one way or another interest driven, I never really took to Facebook. Apart from commenting on others‘ posts and pictures, adding a status update every now and then and harvesting watermelons, most of the content comes from add-ons that cross-post whatever I initially have posted on other services.
With Google+ though, I start to see my Tumblr account in danger. I use Tumblr mostly to quickly share funny or cool stuff I find on the internet. This is also something that Google+ is insanely good at. I’ve heard people saying that they think Tumblr is still way more powerful in its options. While this might be true, this is not really an issue the way I use it, so for me switching to Google+ would probably just make my life easier.
I also noticed that I use Twitter a lot less since I have Google+, but I would guess that it’s not in the same kind of danger that my Tumblr account might be in.
The simple reason why I prefer Google+ is that interaction and feedback there is extremely good. On most posts I get at least one +1, a share or comment. It feels so rewarding to know that people read and like what you say and little attention seeker that I am this makes me happy. After less than two months I already am in more circles than I ever had followers on Twitter or Tumblr. I don’t want to define myself by the number of people who claim to be interested in what I say, but it helps to stay motivated.
Mostly the concept of circles works better for me than the bidirectional relationships of Facebook, which to me always felt like making some kind of friendship commitment that I’m not always completely happy to make. The sad truth is that a lot of the status updates of my friends are of no relevance to me. Google+ at least at the moment is a lot more about content and information which I enjoy a lot more than reading about one of my high school friends heading off to their vacation.
There are a couple of other things that work extremely well, like the automatical photo upload from Android phones. I had turned it off initially because I was unsure but now I use it all the time and love it. Nothing like getting home, logging on to Google+ and having all the pictures I took right there to share.
I hope Google+ stays as focused as it seems right now. Since I can control the content of my stream I’m hopeful that this will be the case. I also hope that they stay true to their idea of simplicity and ease of use. I tinkered around with Google Games for about 30 minutes last night and was amazed how well it worked with the integrated social aspect. Angry Birds does a terrifically well job there – try it and you’ll know what I mean.
And in case you want to find me… here I am on Google+.
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