Less than six weeks ago I was lucky to get an invitation to Google+ . While I have not had too much time to play around with it, I do have to admit that I have a serious crush on this tool. Here are some early impressions:
- Clean interface: Google+ looks awesome. It is pretty basic but that makes it beautiful. The design allows you to focus on the important stuff – the content.
- Circles make sense: Circles allow you to group your followers into different groups (Circles). I have circles for business stuff, photography, friends etc.. You can simply drag and drop people to arrange your circles. Once you have setup the Circles you can then use them to control the flow of your content: a cool new photo ebook should only go out to my photo circle. The latest business analytics story goes out to my business circle. Circles is so much easier to use than lists on Facebook or Twitter. This makes Google+ much better suited for combining business with pleasure than Facebook or Twitter.
- Posting stuff: Very simple and easy. Just like Facebook or Twitter. Along with posting stuff, you also determine that Circle that your content should go out to.
- Slick iPhone app: The app is clean, looks great and works well. A bit cleaner than Facebook’s app.
- Excellent traffic: A lot of people are already posting top content. Seth Godin, Robert Scoble, Tim O’Reilly, Guy Kawasaki. I prefer following those guys on Google+ over Twitter. The interface makes more sense.
So far so good. But here is the question I am struggling with: How many additional networks do we want to maintain? I am active on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and StumbleUpon. Living and working in Germany also requires me to be on Xing. Arrgh. And now there is Google+. Do I want to give up one or two networks? Personally, I have not yet figured out a good strategy.
Summary: Google+ is a bit of a perfect mix between Twitter and Facebook: Much more versatile than Twitter. Just about as powerful as Facebook. A bit cleaner than Facebook. Circles allow you to use Google+ in a way that is very similar to Twitter. This might make Google+ the best social network out there today. I do have a crush on it! But every relationship needs to grow and there is still lot’s to discover. Let’s see where this one will end up. I highly recommend giving it a try sooner than later.
P.S.: Please let me know if you would like to have an invitation to join Google+. Drop me a note on Twitter via @cpapenfuss or send me a mail (firstname.lastname@example.org)…..hmmm…you have to use Twitter to get on Google+….First come, first serve.