The majority of comments here are about too long of an invite window, nymwars, and Google Apps. While I appreciate those are important issues for people, acting like they are going to kill Google+ is extremely shortsighted and uninteresting. They are about as much of a factor in Google+'s success as the quality of the concession stands at Fenway to the Red Sox's success.
You have one chance to launch a service like this for a large audience. If you want to do an invite only private beta to get the kinks out then you would probably have to do that under a different name. Once you associate the google brand with it people expect it to work and expect it to work at scale.
Anything less is blowing your first impression. 90 days to wait to try a new service? People are simply not going to wait that long, they might have tried it in the first week but three months is a relatively long period to feel left out, that's a negative first impression. It takes a lot of work to undo a negative first impression.
As for google+ not going to be killed, they did it to wave and plenty of other products that did not attract enough users to be good enough for google, why would google+ be different, especially with a purposefully slowed down launch like this? That only increases the chance.
I don't think Google has done a huge marketing push, yet, considering how big a product this is for them.
They've done little press and haven't bought advertising online or in the real world - something they did for Chrome. They've so far done pretty much the minimum a company of such scale could do for a product this big. It was inevitable that a lot of people would want to join as soon as they heard of Google's plans.
I have a feeling that the marketing push is very much still to come.
sign out of google services and go to google.com
If everyone gets that little arrow, that's a pretty big marketing push...
What huge marketing push? All Google did was post a blog about it and send out some invites.
+1 is a social recommendation and bookmarking service integrated into 3rd party websites and Google's search. It is orthogonal to Google+ (although both Google+ and +1 use the same social graph).
I think they are deliberately meant to be similar.
A couple of levels up I mistakenly thought that the +1 buttons next to my search results were an early buzz effort for Google+. I thought "recommend this page" implied "recommend this page to my friends on Google+". I made that mistake because of the name similarity and the timing of release. If a marketer introduces an ambiguity, I don't think it's the responsibility of the target to disambiguate the message.
I was desperately looking for a way to add posts to my Google+ stream (like a tumble blog) from Firefox and I kept getting ways to +1 stuff, which does end up in Google +1, but hidden away and, grotesquely, with no way to even promote it to a full post.
And then there's these odd news feed like topics you can subscribe to in Plus -- which I guess might work if you're interested in sports or whatever, but I just keep wishing I could use it as a link to the similar-but-different Reader. Incidentally, what happens if you star something in Reader, does it +1 it, Buzz it, or is that another way of socially promoting it?
On a side, yet related, note: did anyone had a google email account in the late 90s? Long before gmail, google had an email service, it was by far the worst email service I've used, full of bugs, many long downtimes and countless other issues.
If web users associate the +1 buttons with Google+ then it is free advertising for Google+.
On any given week, for instance, the floodgates would appear to be randomly open or randomly closed, and I'd send out a small trickle of invites while I could. I would have little indication of when the gates opened and closed, so eventually, I just stopped bothering trying to invite people.
Needless to say, this did not make for a robust graph. Sure, I had my "inner" circles up and running just fine. But whenever I wanted to broadcast something -- in the true sense of that word -- I'd have to go back to Facebook for the bigger friend set.
At the end of the day, you can't toy with people on the inside or outside of a product like this. Users on the inside want their friends inside. And users on the outside want in, to be with their friends. The seemingly capricious, chaotic, and extended open/closed period really caused an inordinate amount of frustration for both groups. Social networking is about one's social network, and when people already had extant social networks, they were extremely anxious to port those networks over.
[Bear in mind that I remain a loyal G+ user and really do believe it's a great product. I just think the extended beta was a bit too extended, and bit too schizophrenic in its betaness.]
 And you can count me as another victim, here. I'm frankly dumbfounded that they'd keep thumbing their noses at the users over this, and I can't believe they either 1) still didn't understand that this would be the first thing folks commented on or 2) don't think it's important. To me it just smacks of unprofessionalism.
The overall number of users in the system isn't something important, it's how many users I know. A network with 10,000 users at Harvard will spread out much faster than one with 10m dotted around the US as it represents a contiguous userbase that is a solid foundation for social interaction.
On Google+ I've got 100+ people who have me in circles, but they are all hardcore geek early adopter net-fiends like myself. Very little of my real friends and family social circle is on Google+... many were interested when I explained it but have since lost interest due to their initial inability to join when the service was the hot new thing.
This was exactly my experience with Google+.
The invite window won't kill G+, but apathy will. About a fifth of my Facebook friends are on it, but only 3 out of a hundred post anything. A successful competitor would need to stand for something other than "well, it's not Facebook."
It may find a niche as a long-form twitter (which is something I can't believe Facebook waited so long to do) but the initial excitement has run its course.
Except for going back to Facebook. :) I got bored with that after about 2 weeks, too.
- APIs (looks like there's significant progress)
- Open-source/open standards/federation (nothing yet)
(I think the second one would really sort of take care of the nymwars and the Google Apps issues, too.)
I've got a ton of feature requests, but those two are what I would consider serious/disruptive.
Regarding the second ("open"), we're taking our usual approach, building on open protocols wherever we can, and creating them when we have to. In this case, Activity Streams and Portable Contacts, with no doubt more to come as we launch new platform features.
As far as federation goes, love it, though one step at a time of course. Let's get the product itself off the ground and stable (today's open signups is a big step toward that) and we'll see what people want to do with it as a platform.
Thanks, Joe! The feedback is always appreciated.
The new Hangout stuff is great, and the addition of screen sharing has now obviated my need to use Skype. Maybe when On Air opens up I'll be able to broadcast my programming sessions.
And that's where a lot of the bitter comes from. Google's built an amazing product that many of us want to use, but they've screwed up a lot of "small", separate things - so that pretty much everyone has been hurt by a policy, be it the Real Name Fiasco, No Paid Users Fiasco, No Friends Allowed Without Invites Fiasco, etc. It seems like they went out of their way to piss off every single user in a different way.
I love the product Google+, but I can't stand how they're handling it.
I want Facebook to die, and it seemed Google understood that they can't afford to anger their users with Facebook-like policies -- when they're so far behind as it is.
Then came the Real Name or We Delete Your Online Life stories. That truly angered me, and I no longer advocate Google+ to any of my friends.
My wife has always been an intermittent Facebook user, because she was never sure how private anything was, and the periodic UI changes confused her. She's perfectly intelligent and reasonably technically savvy, but not a huge tech nerd, and not willing to invest time into figuring out all the nuances of FB. So I was really surprised when, after trying Google+ for a few days, she said, "I think this is really going to make my family closer."
I don't know if there's a better measure of success for a social networking service than that.
Since then, she's continued to intermittently use Facebook, but has become something of a G+ evangelist to her friends, which I've never seen her do before, at least not for a tech product.
I'm looking forward to using G+ Hangouts on my phone.
Apple gets away with it because they've always kind of admitted they were assholes/auteurs.
Articles that point out how MS is crippling innovation through extortion of Linux users receive relatively little attention.
Google is an extremely open company (with respect to user data and user rights as well as contributions to open source software). However, most comments about Google products and contributions seem to take the most negative view possible. Case in point, today's article on Richard Stallman's comments on Android focused on how he was critical of Android, mostly ignoring that he said "Android is a major step towards an ethical, user-controlled, free-software portable phone..." Android is still the most open major platform out there. It's put Linux on millions of devices.
If you want to do crazy stuff on your iPhone you jailbreak it. If you want to do crazy stuff on your average Android you root it. How does using Linux alone make something 'more open'?
I also think that most metrics for being "open" are missing the big point about the cloud. Yeah, maybe Google's business code is written in FOSS tech and they give people a FOSS browser and one or two FOSS mobile OS to use their services. Where's the practical open-ness for the end user? It's still a cloud ecosystem, the one thing that is worse than a closed-source desktop ecosystem.</rant>
"Google+ is not yet available for Google Apps. Learn More."
I should have known better than to get my hopes up...
So, let me tell you this: You made a good decision. While dealing with multiple accounts on the desktop is annoying, it's utterly terrible on mobile because their slow-as-hell multiple sign-in feature doesn't work on mobile.
Yeah. While on the desktop it's annoying but not that much of a hassle to sign out and back in, it's terrible to having to do that on a phone - especially once you enable two factor authentication.
Before they "fixed" (note the quotes) the apps accounts so they can use (not quite) all of google's services, I could at least stay signed in with both accounts. Not any more.
This ended up with me having two browsers, one for plus, reader and all other google services I had much prior to creating the apps account and one for reading mail in gmail.
Yes. I could migrate to an Android phone. Been there. Done that. Multiple times. I really tried. Over two years on and off.
While Gmail works much better, everything else is just full of paper cuts and annoys the hell out of me over time, so I'd rather stay with the iPhone.
So. If anybody from Google is seeing this, I admit it freely, rant: Please, please, please, please fix this.
At least give us multiple sing-on on your mobile apps, at best let us stay signed in with multiple accounts at once or, alternatively, give us the Android Gmail app on iOS (it's not much more than a website anyways).
> 99.9% uptime guarantee SLA and 24x7 support"
I would imagine they will only open up new services once they believe they can meet the SLA on them. As a paying apps customer I am miffed on how long this takes though.
We should star the following issue:
Apparently, no-one had thought to let Google know that this is a needed feature (despite Googlers posting once in a blue-moon about this issue over on the discussion groups).
The big question is, whether they integrate circles in a special Apps-specific way (ie, default circle, private shared circles -- assuming "shared circles" are upcoming, etc)... some Apps domain owners (big orgs, gov) may NOT WANT G+ inclusion for their flock.
"You must be over a certain age to use this feature."
Facebook is already copying the features that make G+ cool/useful (circles, etc), and the one big, inherent advantage you had in your favor (Your user base, e.g every Google account) you alienated by keeping it "invite only" for too long.
Either open it to everyone sooner, or hold off on this prolonged "invite period" so you don't risk confusing / alienating people that want to try G+ but can't.
G+ feels like its the same 10 guys posting the same thing over and over, while Facebook feels like, well.. Facebook.
The comparisons aren't really that important (to me at least). It's possible that these products can (and will) coexist. What is with the need to pronounce a winner as soon as possible? A product like Google+ is going to take a while to gain a user base and mature (just like Facebook). Launching in the shadow of a massive competitor (just like Facebook did VS MySpace) doesn't call for an instant death-knell.
I'll repeat something I've said here before. People said the same thing about Chrome weeks after it launched. It. Took. Time. How about sitting back and letting things shake out a bit before pontificating?
> The comparisons aren't really that important (to me at least).
Instead of universal limits on access, Google should have kept the first iteration a truly closed and internal beta then opened it up to everyone.
Facebook won by default. Google+ had a chance, it really could have succeeded, but something went terribly wrong with it's management. Piss poor execution and hints that Google is really struggling to find good talent to run it's new enterprises.
It's pretty clear to me that the account freezing thing was a mistake, and one acknowledged by everyone, including Google. It won't happen again, at least in that form. Facebook has made similar goofs, and both companies will screw other things up in the future.
Honestly, this seems like after-the-fact reasoning. You've decided to cheer for the Facebook team, and went hunting for an argument.
GMail by itself is fine. I do nothing that would cause it to be shutdown and I have not heard of anyones gmail being shutdown by using it. What I do have a problem with is taking on additional services which add little value to me personally, yet massively increase the risk of my very important email account being seemingly randomly chosen for closure with little chance of appeal. Google had one chance to win everyone over and it failed.
To be perfectly blunt about it, I think Microsoft could actually do it. If they put together a great new-tech team and pulled something together I think they could be a serious competitor to Facebook. Embed within win8 with no BS and I would sign-up in a flash. It's funny how its come full circle, but right now, Microsoft are the only tech company I would trust not to delete my important work at seemingly random and to respect my privacy and that of my data.
... wat? Either you trust Google or you don't. What does Google+ have to do with it (other than being the handle on which you've hung your argument)?
See last item of: http://www.google.com/support/plus/bin/answer.py?hl=en&a...
They will never be an option. Privacy is not only about performance, but about trust. Facebook is not trustworthy.
Gmail accounts only get shut down if the user is a spammer, or under 13 (blame the law), or some other extreme circumstance like that. Having a non-"real" name will not cause that.
Facebook's API is very, very easy to crawl around. Why was there not an option within G+ to migrate all of my data (my pictures, my status updates, etc.) from facebook to google?
Personally I ended up writing a set of tools to do this...but why did I have to? Google, what the hell?
I mean...cool product, terrible implementation.
Regardless of what you think about whether this is a good or bad rule (and I tend to agree it's a bad one), no one is served under any interpretation of the rule by disallowing celebrities from posting under their stage names.
Basically, if it's an exception to the rule, then it's a sane and well-justified one. If it's a subtle edge case, then so be it. I think it makes very bad evidence of hypocrisy on Google's part.
Edit: according to this, you're not even logging in to the same service. http://www.google.com/support/accounts/bin/static.py?page=gu... That's... not optimal.
During this process, users who maintained secondary accounts were encouraged to merge them into their Apps account. I used to have two accounts, one for Apps services on my own domain, and another for things like Reader. I now only have one, my Apps account, because the accounts clashed and had to be merged.
So the doubly galling thing about this Google+ farrago is that a) it proves that the accounts transition did not in fact stop Apps accounts being second-class citizens, but also b) most of us no longer have our secondary accounts, because we merged them at Google's insistence.
Add to this several years of teeth-grinding annoyance at the incompatibilities between Google Apps and the rest of the Google world, and, well, that's why people are complaining. :-)
"Monthly Uptime Percentage" means total number of minutes in a calendar month minus the number of minutes of Downtime suffered in a calendar month, divided by the total number of minutes in a calendar month.
For average month of length 30.4 days (~43776 minutes in total) that means acceptable downtime of 437.something minutes or 7 hours of combined unavailability.
Minding all of that, there is also a term "Google Apps Covered Services", which is explained as:
"Google Apps Covered Services" means the Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Talk, Google Docs, Google Groups and Google Sites components of the Service. This does not include the Gmail Labs functionality, Google Apps - Postini Services, Gmail Voice or Video Chat components of the Service.
So, legally speaking, there is no uptime guarantee for Google+.
You're off by one power-of-10: 43776*(100%-99.9%) = 43.8 minutes of acceptable downtime.
And yes, I am one of those who cannot participate with my Google Apps account.
Windows of opportunity come and they go just as fast. Google+ had a chance, I think they've missed their connection.
The only people who I've seen are affected by the "nymwars" seem to be celebrity accounts or people that like to go by pen names on social networks. With my various fake accounts I have had no issues yet, most likely because they don't get a ton of traffic and fly under the radar. It is not like Facebook hasn't had these issues either, whereby they will lock people out of their account until they send in a photo ID (locking out out of your Facebook mail/text messaging stuff as well).
I keep hearing stories about how people consider it a desert or that certain articles and stories are claiming that there is 40% less activity. I've noticed that I have started to become more careful as to who gets to see my posts and if they are allowed to share them. More information is shared in specific circles rather than publicly. I've also found that there is much more engagement on Google+ than any other social service.
When I post something on Google+ I get more feedback, more people commenting on my posts and more people having intelligent discourse than on Facebook or Twitter, or even my blog. Since I can target specific circles I am able to categorise my friends based on what I think they would be interested in, so instead of having non-tech friends get techy stuff from me and thus becoming disinterested they only get my personal stuff that they might find interesting, like how it is going in my life.
Yes, Facebook has had that for a while as well, however it was always more tedious to set it up, get people into the various circles, and now that it has been made easier they have cocked it up royally:
For me so far Google+ has become more interesting, more targeted and has much less noise compared to the signal. Will that change as more people join? Maybe, I'm not so sure, as I think people will realise that with circles they don't have to include me in a conversation (nor will it show up in my stream) with a mutual friend... (public walls ...)
I just get more selective of what posts I do that with. Generally I try to keep it short, or just a link to a blog post so that it is easier to skim over it and realise that it is not of interest.
Google+'s feature of allowing people to mute a post is absolutely fantastic as well, and allows people to control whether or not their stream gets my content that is actively being commented on.
Would I love a feature that would allow me to post publicly but not include certain circles (or rather, not force it into their stream), absolutely. Have some way of doing soft suggestions when posting publicly, as in, this circle may be interested in it, and those following me may be interested in it, but my family isn't interested in it so don't push it to their stream.
Really bizarre oversight.
Although it's unclear that Archer is set in the modern day and would have access to Google.
<< The characters wear 1960s clothing and hair styles and several episodes feature references to the Soviet Union as a current nation (the episode "Movie Star" hinges on the assassination of "the new Soviet Premier"). The technological sophistication within the series varies, with characters using computers that are dated i.e. reel-to-reel mainframe systems, dot-matrix printers and punchcards, yet also use cell phones, GPS devices, laser gunsights, and modern day insults (such as "suck it", "screw you", and "douche bag"). Adam Reed was asked about the conflicting style, and concluded, "I just think it's ill-defined." >>
Because Google Apps is largely targeted at business/enterprise customers, it takes a while for some new updates and products to make their way into it; presumably the lag time is so that the the paid product can be kept as stable as possible.
So long, Google+
Seriously, what was the reasoning for this? It's not like Google don't have the infrastructure/capability to scale quickly.
When my co-worker placed me in his "work" circle on Facebook I automatically received a request to verify that I indeed do work at "Company X" with "John Smith", when I clicked that this was correct it automatically added it to my profile.
I keep my profile on Facebook clean. I don't have many page "likes" nor do I have my full employment history on there, I don't want it there either, I've got LinkedIn for that, or my personal portfolio site.
Why did Facebook consider it a good idea to automatically send me notifications when my co-worker categorises what "circles" I should be in?
This is not limited to just work, if you add someone to your family "circle" they get asked what relationship they have to you (parent, sibling, stuff like that).
As a friend of a friend said:
"So if I add someone to my douche bag does it ask them to confirm they are a douche bag? Or does it just scan their photo for aeropostale and their comments for their use of, "bro"."
To the extent that Google does integrate these two products, G+ will greatly benefit from having the huge Android user base as a source of growth and content, attracting many more engaged users to the platform.
One also wonders how this route will affect their demographics long-term... it's got a bit of a "geeky" slant so far, which seems to be working for them, but might not be in their best interests against Facebook.
Edit: kadabra9 makes a good point in saying that Facebook can (and rapidly seems to be!) copying/nullifying any advantage that Google+ provided so perhaps they shot themselves in the foot by not growing as big and as fast as they could. Time will tell.
Edit: I deserve some flack for using the word "buzz", I know ;)
Not a great choice of words there!
Many people talk about how quickly G+ achieved N million users, but the import part is the engagement from users. I don't think G+ has achieved anything like that yet. Many people start using it due to the integration with Gmail but then just stop and go back to FB and Twitter.
Facebook is doing a good job matching Circles, improving photos on the feed, improving chat, etc. Almost every unique features of G+ are now competing with a 'good enough' counterpart on Facebook. Expect Facebook to match any new ones popping up from Google's camp all the while rolling out more new stuff around music, videos and photos.
I'm amazed that after all these years there's still no real open standard for instant messaging that is also actually the defacto standard.
XMPP is pretty much the standard instant messaging protocol these days and it is supported by google talk... im not sure about Huddle though... i assume it is also through google talk just with a special ui for selecting circles.
Google+ offers quick and continuous iteration of new features.
The user experience is going to (or at least should) change very significantly to fix numerous bugs. With more (and less sophisticated) users on board, this will be more problematic.
But I don't know how it will play out.
I've always found that multiple people editing a document was a killer feature. And with hangouts that seems to make it even better.
They blocked lots of active users of many Google services, this way.
- Identity theft
Honestly, if this is the worst that anti-googlers can come up with, well... it isn't much.
One can have no real data searchable in facebook.
I'm no anti-nothing, by the way. Grew up past that long ago.