A guy can dream, can't he?
They still have a big incentive not to, though.
My question is, why wasn't this federated from the outset? Could have made even bigger headlines if they were like "Hey, Facebook, here's you connect your users to ours. [link to wiki/doc/etc]"
(this sounds snarky but I'm quite serious)
Everyone seems to think Circles is a game changer, I'm not so sure. While it seems like a considerable improvement over managing lists in Facebook, I really don't believe that people like my mom really care enough for this to combat the network effect that Facebook already has.
Similarly this is the only thing Facebook does. How long will it take them to steal any innovative interface ideas G+ has? Can Google really stay ahead of Facebook in this space?
The bottom line is Google+ will probably serve ads programmatically, leveraging AdWords and other similar automated technolgies within the company. Facebook has nothing like this, it sells its user data to 3rd parties who could be doing anything with that data.
Facebook doesn't sell any data about its users.
Sure, circles will get plenty of usage in the Bay Area, where the people who built it probably felt if only they could build this one extra feature then people would come flocking to them away from Facebook. But this misses the point.
Nobody on Facebook, other than techno-geeks, have been clamoring for this. Are you the type of person who would consider deleting your Facebook account? You're probably also the type of person that will be interested in Circles. But, you also are the type of person that, unlike 99.99% of the rest of the population, can comprehend having a social life without Facebook being the glue.
Facebook is cool. Facebook gets people laid and lets you participate in more debauchery online once you have stumbled home drunk from the bar. It doesn't feel like a hospital room or a bathroom, it feels like a party.
If Google wants a chance to usurp Facebook's dominance, it needs to do so under a different brand. Repeat after me: the Google brand will never be as cool as Facebook.
More importantly though, it needs to figure out what Facebook is missing. No, Circles are not what Facebook is missing. There's certainly something that Facebook is missing, that the cool kids would want, but odds are whatever it is wouldn't pass the smell test of the type of things Google would consider building.
Imagine you are at a party. It's fun, the music is good, there is booze, and the people are good looking. What's missing? Google's response would be: "The music is hard to hear, we should upgrade the speakers." Facebook's response would be: "cocaine."
The reason Facebook has come up to where they are, after all, stems from the big brass balls they've had for pushing up against the standards of privacy and even decency held by society today, something Google has never and will never be able to (or should want to) do in return. This is why Google will keep fumbling around trying to "out-innovate" Facebook, and will fail again and again in spectacular ways. It's sad, but endearing.
"Cool" is the last thing that comes to my mind when I think of Facebook.
I do agree that it'll be tough to get luddites to jump ship -- but I see that as an overwhelmingly positive thing.
Personally, I hope you're right and the coked-up party bros stay on facebook. Because I'm interested in using technology for reasons other than simply facilitating my offline social life.
But it seems unlikely. Imagine transposing your argument onto Facebook and Myspace just a few years ago.
Anyone who thinks the average person is going to start using Google+ instead of Facebook is delusional at best.
Just listen to those Google+ introductory videos. Who the hell talks like that? Friends being worth your time -- what? "Adding people to your life"? Are these people real?
Here's the real deal: Google+ is sterile and lacks originality -- it's just Buzz and GTalk with a new uninspired interface.
Being able to group people in circles with JS animation is only exciting to geeks. No one else gets off on contact/group management.
Circles is one of the features that will get me away from FB.
And i dont really care about the "cool kidz"
edit: what i forgot we will get away from the auto opt-in google will never do this again since the buzz-fail. Because everytime FB rolls out a new shiny feature i have to look around how to disable it like "auto tagging" ...
Huddle is cool too, but requiring everyone to have an Android phone (and later iPhone) is probably a dealbreaker for most groups.
Young kids will want a way to do private groups as both 1) they get older 2) their parents and other adults hop on facebook--since it's not socially acceptable to say no to your mom on fb. And if google nailed that, I think they have a good shot, as what teenagers, rap artists, and technorati do now is what everyone will be doing in the future.
That said, facebook is a fast follower. Their response to how private groups and sharing could be enough to stave off google.
Article gives a good overview of the type of corner both Facebook and Google don't want to be in.
But what is the penetration of Gmail? 200 million users? Every one of them could fully embrace Google+ and they still wouldn't have 1/4 of the userbase of Facebook.
For this reason I think point #4 should have been listed:
4. Android - Nearly every Android phone owner ends up with a Google account and, we can expect, in the near future that will also mean having the Google+ app prominently positioned and well integrated. At 500k handsets a day this growth rate alone will give Google+ a huge leg up.
Network effects and critical mass. It's hard to launch a brand new social network because people have a high impedance to creating an account on anything.
If 200 million people created a G+ account, how many non GMail users will follow simply because their GMail-toting friends are on this newfangled thing?
Facebook launched from an initial pool of users that's far smaller (just Harvard) - IMO Google's way of breaking the chicken and egg user-signup problem is pretty awesome.
Circles is cool but people already have difficulties with private direct messages. Also, people don't want to curate lists.
Not sure I agree with this. In my experience there was a lot more friending of strangers on MySpace. It was sleazier.
With facebook, individuals are one-to-one, but on G+ it is possible for them to be one-to-many.
As much as I hate to say, I'd rather use what I already have, and what all my friends have... facebook.
If this plays out like Wave, by the time a critical mass of people I'm interested in interacting with are on the service I'll have lost interest.
Maybe I want to send a message to my "friends" circle except not this friend in that circle, and maybe I don't want a new circle for that new group but just for that message (or maybe I do want a new circle on the fly like that called "friends minus person" or "true friends" or something). Maybe I want to send a message to everyone who is in my friends group and my schoolmates group, but not people who are just in one or the other. etc.
And the feedback button on the circles page is stuck on "analyzing the page" so I have to come and post here. Edit: Looks like that was caused by a script blocked by noscript.
I know Google+ doesn't exactly look like a disruptive innovation at first sight, but more like a direct competitor to Facebook, but if Circles re-defines the game, then that pretty much means it's a disruption and it will take the path of that all disruptive innovations take, which is to replace the incumbent (gradually).
after all this talk about who will win, though, why don't we all just use what's best for us :) can they both exist simultaneously? i don't know, but if enough people like each of them, then why not?
A feature that I've seen a lot of the media cover as well, Hangouts, is one that while useful in certain situations I think displays how Google is missing the overall concept of social networking. Hangouts is a great feature if you're in a pinch and need to for some reason host a multi-person video chat but so is oovoo, another group video chatting fad. Its a feature that while nice is not a hook for many people and really doesn't relate to the overall theme of social networking. Social networking's goal is not to create the most realistic online portrayal of your life. It's really, from the perspective of the company, to make managing your network of friends easier and make connecting with them easier and more efficient. Video chatting is not the most efficient way to manage these relationships and is not a unique way to conduct it either as there are many video chatting services that are widely adopted such as Skype. While video is still an important part of our lives with streaming content and live broadcasts, in the sense of the video chatting it is more closely relatable to the phone call which we all know is not favored today like the text message. Which should tell Google something, we as consumers don't want "real relationships" on our social networking site. We want like the text message to have our social network be an efficient and fast way of sharing information, something Facebook has mastered.
Overall Google+ does not bring a bad platform as much as it brings an unnecessary platform to the table. Could there be a cult following by older people who want to strictly share content with their family members? Possibly but more likely than not I see this idea getting a long for a while on its Google name and then folding. The best application I see for Google+ would be a simple collaboration tool for small businesses through the use of group chat and video chat along with the rest of Google Apps.
2008: You sign up for Facebook and are immediately bored. Then you discover pokes and inane surveys, and have some fun once a few friends are signed up.
2011: Facebook entertainment has become Zynga's click-slave crack-code, and that's what brings in the 'normals'.
Google+ is where Facebook was in 2008, but without the fun.
These are the first questions I had upon signing up to Google+, and to my knowledge they are unanswered:
* Where are my friends?
* How do I bring over my contacts from Facebook? (the Facebook --> Yahoo --> Google+ thing was ridiculous)
* What can I do for fun?
Google+ has exactly the same problem that almost every other Google product has had: its value isn't immediately apparent. It's amazingly opaque for a product that people hope will dethrone Facebook. Add to that the fact that there are none of the 'fun' things that Facebook has, and I fail to see how this is any sort of competition.
They seem to be showing up one by one.
How do I bring over my contacts from Facebook? (the Facebook --> Yahoo --> Google+ thing was ridiculous)
Ah, but that's exactly what I don't want to do. I want to start over with a friends list that contains people I actually like and am comfortable sharing stuff with, rather than a sundry collection of people I met twice plus folks I sorta-knew at high school plus ex-girlfriends I can't bring myself to defriend.
What can I do for fun?
So far it's mostly "talk to my friends". And that's not too bad!
Right now, G+ seems like a more "grown-up" place than facebook. If the market segments so that twenty-and-thirty-something professional types are primarily using G+ and facebook remains the hangout of choice for cow-clicking high schoolers and their grandparents then I'm fine with that.
It's not the only kind of fun. But it's fun enough for G+ to be compelling.