Google+ Launches, Gains Positive Reviews From Early Users
July 1st, 2011 by
Early last month, we talked a bit about the launch of Google’s “Facebook killer” service, Google+, and the addition of the +1 button to major websites. The service launched a few days ago as invite only to start, and quickly overloaded to capacity. Some people that I sent invites to were unable to use them all day yesterday as Google worked out the kinks to allow the tsunami of people waiting to check out how to social network Google-style.
So what does it have that Facebook doesn’t? Well, let’s start with what it has that Facebook does. You can update your status, update a profile, chat, add interests (called “Sparks”), and add pictures. The new stuff that FB doesn’t have: Circles, which is a pretty way of organizing your friends, family, acquaintances, and even the people you’ve blocked. There’s also Hangouts, where you can video call several people in your friend circles at a time, either in a limited status or open to other friends to join at anytime. Did we mention you can access all this from your phone, too?
What else can we expect as Google+ finds its footing? Well, Google + Games, which is going to compete with the popularity of Facebook games such as FarmVille and Zuma Blitz. Google invested over $100 million in Zynga, the company that owns FarmVille, in 2010. We think it’s safe to say we will be seeing these popular titles on Google+ in the near future, which ought to soothe new users of the service who are missing the fix they get from Facebook gaming.
Google has made smaller efforts in the past to attempt to topple the Facebook kingdom, but this is by far the most comprehensive offering. It seems to be coming at a good time, as more and more people seem to be finding reasons to dislike Facebook as it soars further along in popularity (MySpace syndrome, anyone?). Seamlessly integrating all of your current Google info, such as contacts and profile info, makes it feel like a very natural evolution. The only drawback is that Facebook has such a tremendous userbase already. Then again, I remember many years ago when a friend said to me, “You have to come to MySpace! It’s better than Friendster!” and my reply, “Oh, no way. Nothing could be better than Friendster.”
Need a Google+ tutorial? Check the official videos out here.