As I posted a little while ago, today is my first day on Google+, the new social network which may have as many as 20 million brand new members by this weekend according to some estimates.
Here are the five things I like most so far, plus one thing that Google needs to address swiftly:
1. Adding friends to your circles, and having them add you to theirs, is a far more elegant solution than “friend requesting” people.
2. Circles is also an elegant solution to the problem of mixed information barriers. In other words, you want your boss to see you linking to the new company blog from time to time, but you want to limit his exposure to images of you diligently testing out the new gravity bong and/or home brewery kit you bought online last weekend.
3. Although a bit creepy, the integration with your Gmail contacts is very useful: I found some useful contacts I hadn’t talked to in a while; sending them a Google+ invite earlier today turned out to be the perfect excuse to catch up.
4. Google +1 finally has a purpose! A real purpose! And now the name “Plus One” makes much more sense; you see, your recent +1s (web sites you like, basically) are posted to your profile under the +1 tab. It’s like Google’s answer to Digg and StumbleUpon.
5. No trashy games! So far, anyway. I’m loving the conspicuous lack of Farmville, Mafia Wars, and other such requests.
The one bad thing? Notifications seem to take a while and be delayed at times — sure, it’s delayed only a few minutes, but if I can’t immediately swoop in on somebody’s status update with a witty comment… and have it be seen by all of the females in my “girls I’d like to impress” circle… then how useful is this network?
Of course, I’m sure the delay just has to do with the insane growth Google+ is experiencing. I’d imagine Google, if anyone, has the financial and technical resources to scale the service properly over time. Downtime would be disastrous… but delays are annoying as well.
Add me on Google+. Let’s explore this thing together.