Google+ already has many millions of users, possibly hundreds of millions of users by the time you read this. As with many other Google services, it’s “Still in beta”; and because it is “Still in beta”, we are supposed to forgive and accept all shortcomings. Why? Because.. “It’s still in beta”.
I’m somewhat confused at Google’s approach to launching what is probably the most serious attempt at removing Facebook from the Social Community throne. And let’s “face it” (no pun intended), Google is probably the only player that can present a threat to Facebook in the foreseeable future as far as Social Communities go.
Google has zillions of dollars (though the dollar bill may soon have the Apple logo printed on it, considering the current “net worth” of Apple), they have almost as many talented coders and co-workers, and they are not short of public exposure nor useful ideas. Google’s approach to releasing services has often been “slow and stealth-like”. First they create the whispers, then they get the media to hype it, then they release the “It’s still in beta” service, and then they improve it one step at a time until God and everyone else endorse it like the greatest thing since sliced bread.
The Google+ Android App is mediocre at best; it lacks many features found in the web version. I understand if some features don’t find their way to a “smartphone” application, but something as basic as a +1 button on a comment to a post seems rather fundamental in the Google+ concept to me. This is from the company that brought you the Android operating system and the Google search engine.
Uploading and sharing media is confusing at best. Being a casual Picasa (Photo service by Google) user, I want to share a photo from one of my albums onto my Google+ stream. All I can find is a “Google Buzz” button when I’m album browse mode. “Google Buzz”? Isn’t that the very service that Google was going to retire? Where’s the “Share on Google+” button? Sure, I can copy the public link to a photo, copy & paste it into a post on Google+, but why all the hassle .. ? And if you “upload a photo to a post”, it ends up in a Picasa album called “Photos from posts” that is by no means virtual. You can not re-organize it or move photos from it to your more “permanent” albums. If I upload a video to YouTube and then want to share it on Google+, I sometime get it working, and sometimes it simply shows the “YouTube – Broadcast Yourself.” heading from YouTube (instead of my own description of the video).
Most plugins for popular web publishing tools such as WordPress that I have checked since the “launch” of Google+ are still lacking support for sharing items on Google+, unless you count the little “+1 this” button.
Android Apps like Glympse and others still don’t have “Share this on Google+” functionality.
In a word? WTF?!
I realize Google doesn’t own the entire IT industry (yet), but I’m surprised at the lack of coordination.
While everyone was (and still are) hyping Google+ as lightyears ahead of Facebook, the Facebook team hooked up with Skype and went out and added some awesome functionality in one swift move.
I have no doubt Google+ will succeed; too many people are betting on Google+ to do it right, and too many “IT industry gurus”-wanna-be:s have put their money on Google+ for it to fail, so they will keep telling me and everyone else how great it is until we’re all zombified into agreeing. Google+ has some great potential, when it’s ready. So far, the greatest thing (IMHO) is the ability to handle Circles in a swift, easy and efficient manner to control visibility and scope of your posts. Facebook has this too, but it’s much more cumbersome and hard to use.
Yeah, I know.. it’s “Still in beta”.