Invitations to Google+ started to arrive in my gmail inbox a few weeks ago. Since this new social media platform was all the buzz, I quickly clicked on them and was initially disappointed not to get into the service. Google (some say to create a false scarcity) was only letting a few people into the system at a time. They said they were fixing bugs and assessing capacity before opening to the masses. (Not getting in certainly did make me want to, though.) I was in within a day or two and pleasantly surprised.
Google had what you could fairly call a social media disaster with a product called Wave. It was cumbersome, confusing, difficult … pick your bad adjective. Plus, however, is intriguing. This video provides a pretty good snapshot:
Plus has naturally been positioned by the media as a Facebook competitor. In many ways, it certainly is. One of its biggest advantages is the fact that it was created with the benefit of Wave’s failures and Facebook’s evolution. We now know, for example, that it makes sense to separate our connections into various groups (Circles in the Google+ structure.) Sharing various forms of media, and sharing our conversations on video via the video conferencing “Hangout” feature, are also obvious inclusions.
So far, with a few exceptions, no business accounts are available on Plus. That is still in the works. It will be interesting to see if Google can make “being on Facebook” easier and less confusing for most businesses. Judging from the beta version of Plus, they just might. It’s worth watching.