Last week Google released a new service called Google plus which integrates social,group messaging functionalities into one single service . Its Google’s yet another try in social space where they failed miserably with Buzz (anyone remembers? ) and more ambitious Google Wave. Google plus is through invite only, which means you will be not able to directly sign up for the service . It is similar to the invite only model of Gmail when it launched in 2004.

I was lucky enough to get an invite on second day after release and i m playing with it for a week now . This post is all about how i feel about the overall experience and what may be coming next. Though one week is not enough to declare any service success or failure,first impression always matters .

So what I like about Google plus?

###1. Invitation only model is a killer marketing strategy

When google launched Gmail 7 years ago , people were crazy to get an invitation from peers .In every blog,every forum people were requesting for the invitation. Same happening with Google plus. Its natural tendency of people to get attracted which is open only to few people. Its now becoming like status like saying “ Hey I have G+ account” .Even some of the people are selling invites on eBay for 0.99$ !!!.

So making Google plus invitation only Google made sure that people will get excited about new service and it also given them chance to get lot of feedback about the product before opening the product into public.It worked in case of GMail and now its working with Google plus too.

###2. A Fresh start for social strategy

From day one Google made clear that Google plus is new service without any dependency on other Google services. Though it beautifully integrates all Google services it lives in its own sandbox. The biggest problem with Buzz was it totally slowed down the GMail and for extent it was a distraction.So lot of people just disabled Buzz from GMail. But in the case of Google plus , there is no distraction in other google services.

###3. Ubiquitous notification bar

From the launch of Google Plus , all google properties like,GMail are showing a black notification bar where u get the new notification from Google plus. Its is one of the killer feature of Google plus. In case of other Social networks like Face Book you have to be in the site to know that someone shared something with you. But Google plus notification bars makes is very easy to move between other google services without worrying about missing the notifications. Though now this notification bar is only shown in Google properties I am sure that there will be chrome,FireFox extensions to put the bar above all websites. May be its going to be inter grated into next versions of Chrome. So Google Plus brings ubiquitous notification system of Android to the web.Notification bar not only shows you the notifications it also allows you to comment right away which a is very nice and notable feature.

###4. Mobile from Day one

Google released Google plus Android app on the day of launch.If you ever used Facebook Android app you know it sucks. Its like less powerful version of mobile web app. But Google plus Android app is slick and full functional one like the web counter part. Instant upload feature, which enables you to upload the photos taken on mobile automatically to the Google plus,shows how the application is specifically built for mobile use cases.Even group chatting feature,called as Huddle,which is unique to Android app makes group chatting a joy. So Google plus is solid to use on the Mobile too.

###5. Circles and a holistic approach to UI/UX design

Circles is one biggest feature of Google plus which makes it real Social network. The UI is fantastic. Its no more boring and painful to create groups. Its fun,intuitive and more importantly fully integrated in the service.Google plus encourages you to share only with few people you care rather than share with all nature of Facebook.

Over all user interface and user experience(UX) rocks in Google plus . Right from creating circles, editing profile,uploading pics and changing profile pic is so fun that it encourages you to play with service rather than getting bored.It also shows how much advancement happened in web technologies which enabling to built joyful ,powerful user interfaces on web . Thank you HTML5.

###6. Simple , straight forward privacy

Privacy in Facebook is chaotic. There are so many menus and options it becomes so hard to say who sees your posts. But with Google plus the things are simple . You can tune each part of profile like contact no.,places etc. to your own wish and profile editing experience is very nice . No more boring check boxes and no more submit buttons.Google plus even gives you ability to see how your profile is seen by other people which is similar to twitter and orkut.

##So now the time to say what I miss in Google plus

###1. Why no Hangout in mobile and Huddle in web

Hangout feature in Google plus available only in Web counterpart . Hangouts allows video chat with 10 people at a time.I want it in mobile too. Now, front camera so common in mobile phones (I own Nexus S, which has a front cam) it would have been great to chat right from mobile in hangouts and again it uses Google chat infrastructure and already GChat application supports video chat on Android .It was disappoint to see hangout not available in Android app.

Same holds good with huddle. It would have been great to chat with group from web interface which makes sense since all other group messaging services are allowing you to chat right from web.

I just hope these feature becomes ubiquitous so that we can switch between the interfaces.

###2. No straight forward way to migrate from orkut to Google plus

Orkut is yet another Social network developed by Google few years back. Thought it dint get universal appeal , there are millions people using it especially in Brazil and India. As of now , there is no way to export all the info , photos from orkut to Google plus. If google makes it easy to migrate people and their information from orkut it gives a huge user base to Google plus which is big boost for the service and also Google doesn’t want to maintain lot of social networks .So they should make it very easy to migrate from Orkut to Google plus.

###3. I don’t need sparks . I want my Google Reader.

Google plus has a feature called sparks which makes content discovery easier. But as of now the content discovery is so poor that its not worth using. So i need Google reader kind of functionality which pulls me the right content . So rather than specifying feeds like in Reader , i just want to specify the topics and i want Google plus to pull content from different sources even from my own Reader .So if they integrate Reader itself into Google plus it would be great.

So these are the things what i felt after using the service for one week . I am also want to try to answer the some of questions i come across when I speak about Google plus. So some of them are below.

###Is Google plus is a Facebook Killer ? ( its another way of asking do I have to jump from Facebook to Google plus)

I don’t think Google plus as a Facebook killer. Though it directly competes with Facebook , it not going to beat Facebook at-least for few years. But one thing is clear that Google plus brings very interesting concept to Social networks like circles which may force other social networks to innovate . I think Google plus is similar to Google chrome . Having bigger market share was never the focus with Chrome. It was just to push the browser technology forward. So i think Google plus going to push other social networks to innovate.

###Is Google plus going to be killed similar to Wave and sooner like Buzz? Discontinuing Google wave gave a negative image to Google , people just fear that any new Social attempt by Google might fail. But in the case of Wave, even Google was not sure where its going to be used.Thought it was great technology there was no clear use case for it. But unlike Wave, Google plus has a clear use case which is making online sharing simple . So its just not about technology but it also about what problem exactly its trying to solve . So I think Google plus is going to stay on the horizon unlike Wave.


So Google plus is new fresh look of the Social networking. Its fun to share with friends by its stellar user interface and so easy to understand concepts. So i think It has a bright future So why you are waiting?? Just request for an invite in comments and then start exploring Google plus. :)