Google Plus – First Look – What we Love and Hate

GooglePlus

Google plus is the new and much-awaited social network from the search giant. This was also termed as a Facebook-Killer etc. Let’s look inside and see what Google Plus offers.

CirclesYou can add a group of friends into a circle like a Family, Work etc. Having circles would let you select and share selectively. If you’re a school teacher, you should create a different group for your students for your party friends. This way you can share your “Drunken Night” photos with the appropriate audience.

Stream – Like your regular Facebook or Twitter Timeline, where you can see what your friends shared with you and comment/re-share them too. You can also post pictures/videos/links and also your location.

GoogleStream

SparksAll the news about the topics you’re interested in one place. If you’re below 20 or a geek – you probably don’t care much about this anyway.

Hangouts – Video Chat Baby!! You can now group video chat with your friends. Of course if you don’t have a webcam, you could use it to voice chat with your friends. I know that group video chatting has been there for ages – So were touch screens phones before the iPhone set new standard.

Google-Hangout-VideoChat

What we Love

  • It is Fast – opens up in no time.
  • Group Video chat – You can create “Circles” and video chat with multiple friends.
  • Better Notifications/Integration – You can see “Plus” notifications on all the Google apps you use – GMail, Google Reader etc.
    You can also check them and reply back without leaving the page.
    Google-Plus-Notifications
  • Great new “Picture Preview” – you can view the picture and comment right on the picture. The pictures and comments are of course Picasa Web Albums driven.
    GooglePlus-Image-Viewer-Comments-New

What we Hate

  • Invite only (hope it’ll change very soon) – Google has probably the best hardware infrastructure in the world, I’d expect them to launch a social network where I can really socialize. You should start with a feature to support importing “Social Graph” from Facebook.
  • Messaging isn’t very obvious, you can send them a Google Talk IM or create a status update by just sharing it with your “friend”. It’s not as easy as going to someone’s profile and writing on their Facebook wall.
  • No Profile URL – Yuck who wants a random generated integer in their Profile URL? The least they could do is integrate with the Google Profile URL handle.
  • No Reply to comments by email – We love replying back to Facebook comments from our email/phone. We miss that.
  • Doesn’t the Google+ page look empty?
    We’ll probably see more info flowing when Google exposes out APIs and 3rd party services use that to start cluttering your stream.

We believe this definitely is a strong competitor to Facebook, but it’ll take time for people to move away from Facebook (like they eventually did with Orkut). Let there be less spam.

How to get a Google+ Invite?
At the moment, email invitations are not yet enabled temporarily disabled.  Your best bet would be to contact a friend who works at Google. (also don’t pester them). If Google does hand out invites – we’ll do our best to give them to our loyal readers.

UPDATE1 As per Vic Gundotra, Google’s social networking boss – They’ve shutdown new invites for some more time owing to high demand.

UPDATE2 – We’ve learnt a sleazy trick to get a Google+ invite. (Thanks Neil), Here you go

  1. Find a friend who already has a Google Plus account
  2. Ask him to create a new “Status Update” and in that mention your email address.
    i.e if your email is abc@gmail.com,  ask your friend to write it as shown below and Click on “Share”.
    GooglePlus-Invite-Trick
  3. You’ll now receive an email on abc@gmail.com, click on “Learn More” and you will be taken to the signup page (Account already activated).
  4. Voila!, that’s it – Thank us.

 

How to disable email notifications?
If you’re fed up of notifications and also emails for those notifications, go here and disable them.

Let us know what you like and hate about Google Plus too.

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