But as former Googler Sam Johnston pointed out on Twitter this morning, Google Buzz had a lot of early interest too.
In fact, two days after Buzz went live, Google posted a blog entry bragging that “tens of millions” of people had checked it out, and created more than 9 million posts and comments.
At some point, interest died.
So far Google+ is filled with Googlers, reporters, and tech enthusiasts. They’re posting a lot, enjoying the Hangouts feature, and driving traffic to tech news sites.
But it’s still way too early to know whether Google+ will get any traction with mainstream users — the 750 million people who are on Facebook today.
Pesonally, after using it for a couple weeks, there are some features I really like — particularly the opportunity to jump into random Hangout video chats with people who I’ve added to my Circles. But none of my real friends or family members are using it yet, and the blending of non-friends who I simply follow (like Twitter) and mutual two-way friends (like Facebook) in a single feed is still confusing.
I like to read thoughts from interesting strangers like Michael Dell and Bill Gross. I also like to see what my old friends in Seattle are up to. I just don’t think I want to see both of those things in the same place. And I’n not sure I want to go in and toggle settings to hide and reveal thoughts from all my different Circles.
By the way, here’s a stock chart of the NASDAQ and a bunch of tech stocks since the launch of Google+ on June 28. Google is the blue line second from the top. As you can see, Google isn’t alone — a lot of tech stocks are up about 5% since that date (there are many more, like Oracle and Intel that are also up but not included on the chart to keep it from getting too cluttered). And eBay has done better. So it’s silly to credit Google’s stock price increase entirely to the launch of Google+.