July 27, 2011

Google+ feels like Facebook for Grown-ups

By Patrick Mahan

After spending the past two weeks test-driving the new Google+ social network, I've come to a conclusion...

Google+ feels like a grown-up version of Facebook.

Does anyone else agree? 

Maybe it's the user interface, which is somehow both simple and sophisticated.  Maybe it's the concept of "Circles".  Maybe it's the enhanced sharing and privacy controls.  Maybe it's the mobile app, which is easy to use and ties in well with Google's Android.

I'm not sure what exactly it is that makes me feel this way, but as I flip back and forth between the two sites, I feel like I'm moving back and forth between the "Kids' Table" and the "Big Table."


It's as if Google jumped into the Facebook pool and called for an "adult swim".

For one, I love the way G+ brings an incredible suite of tools together all under one umbrella.  When I sign in to Google, I now have access to my Gmail, Docs, Calendar and Plus Profile as well as YouTube, Picassa, Blogger and more.

The convenience of having all of these tools at your finger tips is a huge plus.  The less usernames and passwords I have to remember the better.

I have not tried HANGOUTS yet (the group video chat), but I like the possibilities it presents for both personal and business use.

HUDDLE (group instant messaging) is a nice feature.  It's basically a private chat room for you and your friends... nothing new... but still nice to have and very easy to use.  Here's the big question... how might HUDDLE impact your mobile phone bill?  And how will the wireless providers respond when users start asking...
"Why pay for text messaging when I can "huddle" for free?" 
CIRCLES

It's interesting how "Circles" revealed a weakness of Facebook.  Actually, Circles created a weakness.  Prior to the invention of Circles, we just posted everything on our Facebook Wall.  And you have to be careful what you post there (you wouldn't want your co-workers to see your Wild Weekend in Vegas photos).  But now that Google+ has introduced us to "selective sharing," it leaves me feeling empty when I switch back to Facebook.

Here's another cool function of Circles... you can get really creative.  For example, set up a Circle labeled "Read Later" and add yourself to it.  Now, when you come across an interesting post that you would like to read later, simply share it with your Read Later circle.  Likewise, you could create a "Favorite Posts" circle, add yourself to it, then share your favorite posts with this circle.  In effect, this becomes your "bookmarking tool" within Google+.  You can also create your own Notepad.  Just create a circle labeled "Notes" and add yourself to it. Then, whenever you want to jot down an idea, simply post it to G+ and share it with yourself (your "Notes" circle).


TWITTER-ESQUE

Another cool feature I like is the "Nearby Posts" which can be found by scrolling left or right on the mobile app.  This allows you to see the real-time posts of G+ users in your area (based on GPS location).  Imagine how fun this could be at a concert, sporting event or conference!  In a way, this feature makes G+ feel like Twitter.

What else feels like Twitter?  The fact that you can follow as many people as you want and it doesn't have to be mutual.  You don't have to submit a "friend request" and wait for a response.

These are just a few of the Google+ features I like so far in the limited amount of time I've spent test-driving it.  Google has done an incredible job combining the best features of Twitter, Facebook and even StumbleUpon and Tumblr. 

But don't count Facebook out yet... Zuckerberg has an incredible team and I'm sure the Battle of the Social Networks is just beginning!


Subscribe To Get FREE Updates!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...