Last week Google launched Google Plus, and I got an invite yesterday and really like it so far. It has a lot of features similar to Twitter and Facebook like: messages, commenting, +1 (which is like the “Like Button” on Facebook.), chatting and much more. It also has group chatting which they call Huddle and there are also “Hangouts” which are group video calls which would be great for business meetings or any other video conference call. There is also Circles which allow you to group friends so that you can choose who can see content you share on Google Plus and who’s content you want to see. This is done by selecting a Circle on the left side of the stream which shows post just from the circle. You also can choose which circles have access to posts you put on Plus as well so you could choose to share something just with friends and not family or visa-versa. Facebook and Twitter both have lists, which have similar purposes, but, they are difficult to create, while circles are easy to make and intuitive to use.
Of course since Google Plus is currently in a private beta test right now, so there aren’t many people on yet but, it has been growing a lot and I think that it will continue to grow with the even more new features that I’m sure are coming soon. It is a great social network but, there are two things that I want to be added to make Plus even better.
1. iOS Application: There is already a Google Plus application for Android and rumor has it there has been one submitted for approval for iOS so hopefully it will be coming soon. In the meantime, there is a HTML5 mobile site but, there’s no push notifications, huddle or Hangouts all of which would be great to have on iOS devices.
2. Social Media Integration- I would also like it if I could post all my tweets in Google Plus like I do in Facebook, and also do the same with pictures I post on my Flickr Stream. One thing Google can do is merge Buzz and Google Plus since Buzz already has those features.
But this is a great new network which will give Facebook an Twitter a run for their money. The video Hangouts are a feature that Plus launched with that Facebook didn’t have until they recently announced a partnership with Skype bringing video chat to Skype. However, they still don’t offer group video chat and not nearly as compelling as hangouts. I highly recommend Google Plus and if you can get an invite, give it a try and see what Facebook, Twitter and all other social networks need to compete with.