Well it's been almost a month since Google launched its
latest social networking product, Google Plus. Google describes the rapid
demand for its product as ‘insane', especially after the much less successful
Google Wave and Buzz products. Registrations and invitations have since been
restricted, but fortunately, we here at Elcom are always eager to ‘play with'
new technology, so a few of us signed up before the restrictions.
Here's what we think of Google's latest venture:
Frank Warwick, Project Manager (Elcom,
"I was a frequent user of both Twitter
and Facebook and I believe Google Plus is an intelligent merge of both.
Actually, since using Google Plus, I've stopped using Twitter and only use Facebook
I'm no longer restricted to Twitter's limited 140
character ‘tweets' and can now freely translate my latest ‘light-bulb moment'
into my posts without having to stop and think about how best to say what I
need to say in two lines. Google Plus also has the same concept of ‘followers',
but what makes them a step ahead of Twitter is allowing you to
choose who follows you, and no more posts or tweets littered with adverts and
What else? I love the fact that it's both push and pull
content updates. Unlike Facebook or Twitter, I don't have to refresh my page to
receive live-updates. There is also a ‘circles' feature, so you can group who
you follow. I have a ‘circle' called ‘random people' (inventive I know, but the
name fits the bill), where I drop all my random follows (some are fascinating
and insightful individuals) in my field of interest. It's a great way to
capture live information, feeds and posts relevant to me and my interests.
Information is served for me to enjoy instantly.
At the moment, there is nothing I don't like about Google
Plus. Sure there are teething problems but that's the point of a new tool; I
know they are consistently developing it and I'm excited about what's ahead!
Google Plus is best enjoyed using The Chrome browser."
Adam Lust, Product Specialist (Elcom, Sydney Office)
"The one thing I love about Google Plus is it's ‘circle' feature. This
allows you to really control your privacy levels depending on what group you
have. Facebook has this with groups, but it's not as sophisticated and user
friendly as Google Plus' ‘circles feature'. I can now have colleagues on my Google Plus
without fear of any professional implications. I can ‘friend' them and stay
professional, which is a bonus! I can post party pictures for my friends and
choose not to show them to my family members and various other groups.
The privacy is done
well, it allows you to have complete privacy in some areas and completely
public in others - it's great!
Google Plus is still a
new product, so as expected it has a few bugs. I won't be replacing my Facebook
anytime soon, but will definitely be keen on what Google come up with next.
Will this be the Facebook killer? Who knows, Google might be onto a winner
Bryan Poggo, Project Manager (Elcom,
"Well, I joined because
a friend sent me an invitation and as I'm a self confessed geek, I jumped at
the idea! Without repeating some of the things Frank and Adam have already
covered, I too like the security and circles features in Google Plus. I can now
be selective with who I send ‘tweets' or posts to.
I also like the ‘huddles' feature
which is only available for iPhone and Android at present. Basically it's a way
for friends to chat about a subject for example ‘catching up on the weekend' or
‘the rugby between South Africa and Australia', without sharing the
conversation with all your Google Plus ‘friends' or contacts. On Facebook, you
post a status update or a wall post and all your friends and friends' friends
can see what you're saying. Now you can ‘huddle' together online and have a conversation
privately or publically - you decide.
Again, there are lots of bugs and
people are still trying to find their feet with the product but I have no doubt
that it will be my integrated online social networking and communication portal
once this kicks off. "
Josh Anstey, VP Partner Engagement (Elcom, New
"Google Plus is a great
blend between Facebook and Twitter, of which I am a heavy user of both (now all
Google Plus has a very familiar and easy to use
interface. The security permissions around the ‘circles' are fantastic and
provide a lot of flexibility. It's great that you can completely customize how
these work and filter your feed based on your ‘circles'. The ‘huddles' is
another great idea, and it's great to see the concept of a few friends speaking
offline, now so easy to do online.
I am looking forward to seeing the new business
features that are coming out in the next few months. "
Tell us about your experience with Google Plus in the