Google’s second attempt at social networking, Google+, is being met with mixed reviews at best. Right now, it’s being field tested by a small number of users, with a full rollout expected soon. I happen to be one of those users, so here are my initial impressions of the latest social media offering.
For the most part, there aren’t enough extras to entice me away from Facebook right now. The main difference between the two is that Google+ promises to make your social networking experience more personal. Circles allow you to group and categorize all of your friends, so that you only share info/photos/etc. with the folks you really want to share them with. Hangouts allow you to video chat with multiple friends at once, one of the few features I found to be really cool. But with Facebook just recently partnering with Skype, that feature can’t be far behind. Sparks utilize Google’s powerful search engine to send you links/updates/info on things you might be interested in, and folds in your friends recommendations as well. There’s also an element of Twitter, wherein you can “follow” posts of people you may not know well, but whom you find interesting.
Overall, there’s not enough there right now to make me jump ship, but I guess it’ll be like anything else – if Google is able to convince people that everyone else is doing it, it just may take off. But with most people already on multiple social networking sites already (I’m on four), that’ll take some serious convincing!