With Facebook, I felt as if I was on this huge football field with all of my 'friends.' I could lean in to whisper with a friend here and there, or even put on some face paint and huddle together with like-faced friends to form a group. But everyone could still see me, and I could see them – I just had to peer down the field. I can't really say things to my group that I'd normally say in private because with all these people on the field with me, someone would certainly overhear us!
With Google+ the structure is different. Rather than a field, it's more like a big building with many rooms. Each room can be decorated and tailored to a specific group of friends who hang out there. Best part is once I'm in the room, I can close the door and be myself! I can go up two levels, change hats, and walk into a different room.
tl;dr Google+ lets me fully engage my various social sides, whereas Facebook never really let you as you were always in the eye of the public.
Edit: One thing I did notice that I wish they would change is that it seems as if a friend can only be placed into one circle. Often times there's a lot of overlap among my social circles and friends may be part of at least two different groups.
As far as I've understood, Circles are your personal aliases for groups of people and they are not visible to other people. This is really useful in certain situations, but it can also create some confusion when people are commenting and discussing about your photo, as they don't have clear visibility who else is seeing the photo and their comments.
The receiver account was not part of Google+ so things might work differently when sharing between Google+ users. The photo just shows Visibility: "Limited", no visibility who else is seeing the photo.
disclosure: I work for Google, but not on Google+
But even with all that I am fairly confident that Google+ will fail to take off just like many of Google products lately. All they have introduced is a small set of features that facebook lacks. FB can add those in a matter of few months and then take out the whole reason for users to switch. Social networks are very very sticky.
I have to disagree with this. Remember Friendster and MySpace?
That said, it's surprising how few people, even tech savvy ones seem to know about the functionality even though it's been around for ages. In fact, FB used to have a "how do you know this person" question when you added a friend, and they confirmed the relationship when they accepted, which is gone. It could be that they believe that most users don't want to segment their friends by categorizing them.
I wouldn't assume that it's so easy for Facebook to make fundamental changes to their friend system. It's woven into every other part of the site. The whole visibility thing would probably be a nightmare to implement.
Extra feature - no breakage.
1. It looks CLEAN
While in my opinion one major reason Facebook ended up beating out Myspace was its wonderful interface, I feel like recent renditions have just lost that simplicity. I want connecting with my friends to be simple, not a bombardment of Farmville updates and a poorly designed messaging system.
Hopefully Google will succeed where Facebook has failed in actually making keeping track of your interests, well...interesting.
Friend management in Facebook has always been one of my biggest complaints, Circles seems to be a legitimate approach to making organizing your friends a little bit more intuitive.
I am very excited to see Google+ roll out to the masses, and I do hope it is successful. Not because I want it to take Facebook down, but I think it wouldn't hurt to make them break a little sweat and think about their users a bit more.
As far as Huddle goes, I hope it's easy to go from a normal text straight into a Huddle. Also, typing status is very helpful in a chat room to avoid the inevitable conflicts that occur when people happen to type responses at the same time.
Sparks looks somewhat like Google News filtering. I'm not sure if I'll use it if that's all it ends up being.
Hangouts could be interesting, but because it's many-many communication like Huddle, the conversation flow could be difficult to maintain. I hope it works out.
Google seems to run into the large corporation octopus issue where knowing what the left and right hands are doing is a difficult task.
I noticed this too in the demo, I have to believe you'll be able to.
EDIT: Made it a little bit more clear
I keep having difficulty not knowing which google account I'm logged into, having issues enabling/disabling features before I have access to a feature X and then, I find out feature X is not available with google apps hosted account; but it's available with my gmail account.
There really isn't a solution other than using chrome, incognito window and n browsers per google account. I sure it's a minority of the google user base having this issue, or I'm sure it would be dealt with. Anyone else experience this, and have a solution? I'm just short of abandoning data in all my accounts but one, and moving everything over to it (and forward emails).
On the right top menu, Switch Accounts, sign in to second account, (may need to accept conditions again). At this point, you will be able to switch back and forth, between the two accounts
/ Presumably it's better for Google to have you use one account and hold your real identity there converging all your work and social online aspects in the same place. I see it as broken for the user but better for Google as it pushes users towards single accounts and real identity.
This is all combined with the fact that my personal Apps account appears to be half-migrated, and I see different documents in Google Docs depending on how I log into that account. It's insane.
I don't know if the personal choice of how we use our accounts is abnormal, but the resulting effect is definitely not something desirable.
An app-specific browser like MozillaPrizm/Fluid/etc might be your best bet, just create specific apps for each user/session.
btw, I generally use 2 google profiles (google-apps vs. google) and they coexist in one browser for me.
The concept of fluid multi-identity in any device or OS has long been difficult to manage, and I don't think it's done well on any UI-based system.
Let the market[er]ing continue.
I liked the huddle text input, you don't choose what gets written... pogo boots vanilla beetroots?
From the tour itself, a lot of things take more than the whole screen, so scrolling is required. Could be that I'm looking at it on a 13' Macbook though.
And as far as features itself, I honestly couldn't get excited about any of them. "Hang out - quickest thing until teleportation is invented"? If I want to talk to friends I actually hang out with, I will call/text - for everyone else, there's Facebook/Email. Sparks - so the only purpose of this is for them to send me relevant ads? How nice. Even Facebook is not that blatant.
The only feature I'm kind of excited about is 'Huddle'. It's very difficult to pull of correctly and even MORE difficult (almost impossible) to get all your friends to use it. If they can do that correctly, I'll start using this ASAP.
Overall - can't say I was too excited by this demo, but I'll give it a try once it goes live.
1. Google has more of everything.
2. When Google commits to something they don't give up after a failed attempt. They learn and come back meaner and badder.
What I like about this service is that it offers (not in beta mind you) actual value as it seems. And I mean that in a productivity sense, not just vanity shots and addictive "click like an automaton" games.
I believe that it is time for someone to hire me as a strategist.
My brain is going crazy with ideas after reading about this. Just imagine the possibilities... hmmmmm :)
which is a 404. I had to manually delete "-GB" to get a 200.
> 404. That’s an error.
> The requested URL /intl/en-GB/+/learnmore/notifyme.html was not found on this server. That’s all we know.