Most people are starting to hear about Google+ these days. Though it is not available to everyone just yet, there is no doubt it is starting to get out and about with hundreds joining each and every day (if not thousands). I joined this week and invited quite a few friends. I think that for everyone who joins, they can invite up to 500 people to join as well.
But Google+ is still in testing mode.
The big question is whether Google+ will take over Facebook. Most people are skeptical and I think it mainly comes down to not wanting to learn how a new social network works. We are all up-to-date on Facebook, after the great switch from MySpace a few years back or more. We don’t want to go through another change, do we?
Well, in the world of today, it is easy to shift to the newest thing. Again, we did it when we shifted from MySpace to Facebook (or maybe you completely bypassed MySpace and went straight to Facebook). And though we didn’t get rid of Facebook with the invention of Twitter, we (or many) were still willing to learn how this new social network works.
So, my prediction – I think Google+ will catch on. It is a little different in that we must remember what Google is best known for – being a search engine (you know the all important URL, http://www.google.com). With Google+, you will have a fully integrated social networking search engine where it even shows which people in your circles are searching for similar things as you. You can see what I mean from this sample shot. Notice the little pics and names of people under each particular result.
For some, this might seem scary. But, as with Facebook, you can alter privacy settings.
In all, time will only tell. If Google+ fails like Google Wave and Google Buzz, it won’t be a big deal to me. If it succeeds, I think the big thing is to watch for is whether people head away from Facebook (and Twitter) to take up Google+, or will it be that we now start using 2 or 3 social networking sites at the same time. My guess is that, if Google+ becomes popular, at least one other will fade out.
And let’s see if Justin Timberlake can revive MySpace.
Below is a graph that shows the differences between Google+ and Facebook. It is somewhat biased, since it comes from an Android website (Google’s operating system for mobile phones). But you still get the idea.