Google is notoriously bad at getting social right.
Buzz was over complicated and poorly launched, Wave was over complicated (but amazing) and poorly launched, Gmail was simple, effective and extremely well launched…
G+ is using the Gmail launch process (exclusivity and invites) and is keeping the software nice and simple ala Facebook & Twitter…
I think Google+ is to Facebook, as Facebook was to Myspace, and to twitter as twitter was to pre-twitter. In other words facebook destroyed myspace, now G+ will destroy facebook, and twitter destroyed a world pre-twitter, G+ could take them both down.
G+ is far too well integrated to fail, with the extremely powerful pre-existing Google Search (look at those notifications in the header bar) and Gmail (email notifications, tapping into your contact lists, and also notifications in the header) both driving people to use G+. It seems to combine Facebook functions with Twitter functions and manages to keep things simple…
I like it, and from a guy who’s hated every single facebook update, I think Google’s cracked the nut this time round (finally).
The only thing that I found to be missing, was a feature to automatically import facebook contacts, photos etc, into G+ and similarly twitter into G+. However I smell anti-trust if Google were to offer this feature, and a third party tool will no doubt surface in short order.
My parents are visiting from Australia, and I showed my Mum Google+ this morning. When dad asked her “what is Google plus” she said “It’s better than facebook because you can really aim your posts at who you want it to go to”
My mum is in her mid 50’s, she’s never seen Google+ before, but she’s heard of it… so somewhere, somehow she’s absorbed the perception that Google+ is better than facebook.
Currently only one person I know is posting on Google Buzz, and the history in my Google Wave includes the most recent action on 8th March 2010, and then only one other action on 17th Nov 2009. Yet on Google+ there is a lot of activity, from a lot of different people, and possibly more importantly there is also a lot of interaction.
Personally I’d put a big wad of cash down betting that Google+ is here to stay and may even wrestle control from facebook.