Since the launch of Google+ on June 29th, there’s been a lot of speculation about what it will and won’t do for the internet and social media world. I’ve read articles talking about how revolutionary this new development will be, how it will change the face of social media all over again, how it will be the new and improved Facebook, as well as articles saying it’s stupid, pointless and futile. Want my opinion? The biggest problem with Google+ so far… it’s invisible.
I get the idea. They were trying to test the waters by only inviting limited users and seeing how it pans out; but seriously? You unveil this revolutionary thing on the largest search engine and public email site in the world and then you expect everyone to sit back and patiently wait to be invited? This is the 21st century, where we’re all used to instantaneous responses and automatic gratification. Don’t make us wait for something we want. If we want it, we want it now.
In fact, if anything, I think this rather twisted unveiling strategy will actually reduce the number of users when Google+ goes public. Offended at not being important or visible enough to get the first invite, many people may just decide to stay with the old stuff. Who really wants to learn new stuff, anyways? I know that every time Facebook or Twitter updates I can actually hear the groans of displeasure at the inconvenience of having to figure out how to use it all over again. It doesn’t take long, of course, but what’s the point of fixing something that wasn’t broken to begin with? Besides, don’t we have enough social media? I’m tired of having to find friends and followers and classify relationships. Aren’t we connected enough?
All this being said, I have found one feature of Google+ in my research that I do find particularly enticing. Granted, being a mere human myself, I haven’t been invited to the revolutionary new feature yet, but given what I know from third parties I will say this. Google+ Circles has the potential to be something really cool and different. Circles is Google+’s unique way of handling your social connections, actually combining the social groups of Facebook and Twitter.
Let me explain. On Facebook, because you have to send out requests, you are usually only connected with people you actually know. Circles has groups for all of these people (Family, Friends, Acquaintances). On Twitter, you may have some actual friends, but mostly you are following celebrities or other people and things you’re interested in. Circles has a solution for this two, with their “Following” designation. And then, of course, they have a “Blocked” category, for those people you never want to see again. The best part? You and only you can see how you categorize your connections. Yes, it’s true, your “friends” won’t know what circle you put them into.
I know, this could be pretty nerve wracking for those of us who post in their Twitter profile “Justin Bieber followed me at 11:47 am on January 12, 2011. Best day of my life my life is 4 u. B.E.L.I.E.B.E.R,” (I wish this wasn’t real but it is). If you’re one of these, then you may struggle with the knowledge that you won’t know what circle you’re in on the Biebs’ page, but for the rest of us who are a little more normal, this may be a refreshing change. I mean, what easier way to fix the relationship drama that ensues via social networks? I think we’re all finally mature enough to decide who our actual friends are, and how we want to interact with these people via internet.
Moral of the story? What are you waiting for Google? Enough with the invitations. Let us all have a crack at Google+.
P.S. – Have you seen McDougall Interactive’s new website design? We’re pretty proud of it!
Image: Sarah G…