After using it for a few days now, there’s a lot I really like about Google Plus. But some choices, I don’t understand. I want to love Google Plus and think that I will eventually but that’s predicated on all the promise it could deliver. And that’s not to say that there isn’t already really compelling stuff about Plus (hangouts and circles of course). This is not an in-depth analysis, rather just some cursory thoughts on Plus. It’s cross-posted in my Plus stream here.
But I don’t see why Google only allows a few invites at a time. This is the same error Google made with Wave. The service is only useful if everyone is using it. Gmail was different, you didn’t need to depend on people having Gmail accounts for it to be immediately useful.
Why doesn’t the sharing functionality from Reader/Buzz integrate with the Plus stream? I’d rather have just one stream that is circle-enabled. Picasa likewise has some integration but still the images in Plus end up being managed separately from my Picasa account. And it’d really be useful if Google Docs sharing worked through Plus circles.
I was surprised that setting up my Plus account, didn’t take advantage of my Gmail contacts. I already have some circle notion set up in my Gmail contacts and while it asked if I wanted to import contacts from other services it only seemed to scan for address in my Gmail account without respect to the stored contacts. Strange.
And finally, I think a multi-state sort of profile element system would be useful. That is, it’d be nice if I could set each part of my profile to display different content for a given circle (or lack of circles). For example, I might have one set of interests set as Public, another set for my friends circle, and a completely different set for my work circle. I think this type of thing is necessary to really fulfill on the circles concept. Right now, I still like having a separate profile for work versus personal life.
There’s a lot of promise in Plus. I find it easier than Facebook and I trust Google a lot more. Google’s attitude toward easily getting data out of its system and opening itself up to third parties makes me feel less trapped in a single company’s walled garden (and I believe walled gardens will always ultimately fail).
The more important value of using Plus, will come not just from Google’s innovative concepts on social media but the way it integrates those with other services. I hope Google hurries and completes everything.