Friday, 1 July 2011

Google+ : A quick review

Swami Nikhilaananda said:
"Google+ is awesome, and will definitely dethrone Facebook"

Google finally released Google+ which is Google's response to Facebook. So, is it really worth it? The answer is - YES. Don't worry if you feel this post is biased against Facebook. My focus in this post is to highlight Google+

Ok, how does Google+ stack up against Facebook? First of all, Google+ scores over Facebook for its very clean interface. The font size is decent, similar to what Facebook had till it reduced it. Now its a pain.

Google+ also uses a lot of nice animations here and there - something very nice to see on a web interface. With rotating and sliding and swishing movements, it's a little more lively.

Google+ notifications look a lot like Facebook notifications. However, one thing that I liked in Google+ is that you can see the notification's target page right there in that pane, without having to switch to that page. Something you have to do in FB. Say two friends commented on two different posts of yours, in Facebook, you will get 2 in the notification, and clicking on the links would open only one of them in one page. So, you would have to open them in two tabs - In Google+, you can see it in the notification area, respond, come back and respond to the next. Very neat.

Google+ also felt faster than Facebook.

Google has a lot of advantages over Facebook - Google already has a lot of services in place, including chat, mail, Picasa and the biggie - Android. Facebook released chat and mail a lot later. Google also has video chat already in place. And all these are integrated. You can directly import a lot of data into accounts without creating from scratch - Most of us who have Picasa albums already in place will love this feature.

Circles will prove to be the best feature of Google+ against Facebook. The reason is - When you post status updates and/or photos, many times, we want to limit the viewership. In Facebook, we can choose who we want to hide from, but this is a one by one choosing method, which is tedious when you have hundreds of friends and hundreds of people who you want to hide things from. Even friend lists seem useless on Facebook - I wonder why they didn't do that yet.

Now one of the top questions people will have - How will they get people to use Google+ ? With time, they will succeed for sure. Orkut was so widely used, here in India, that when Facebook was used by people worldwide, Indians were in very large numbers still scrapping. I hated FB at that time due to its very cluttered interface. Today, nobody knows what Orkut is? And if Google develops Google+ rapidly, which they will, FB will start losing out people slowly. Many people are already bored with FB. Google+ should be able to get these people in by introducing innovative features. Then by word of mouth and invitations, they will topple FB.

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