I recently received my first Google+ invitation. We’ve reviewed the new Google+ here at R-TT before, but the new social network had largely slipped my mind until the invite arrived in my inbox. Curious, I accepted the invite and joined Google+. What I found was a somewhat confusing interface studded with people I know. I’ll admit, I was slightly shocked that so many people had already joined the Google+ network.
But, as it turns out, many people from around the world have begun making their way to the Google+ site. This is a direct result of something that Google has recently done. Google has recently opened up the Google+ site to include an “invite” button. Prior to the inclusion of this button, only a select few people were allowed to join Google+.
Is Exclusivity Really the Way to Go?
Being part of an exclusive list isn’t really a new Internet trend. After all, Facebook began as an exclusive social networking site long ago. Yet, many retailers and companies alike have begun creating websites that can only be accessed if you happen to have the right password, invitation, or know the secret handshake (that last one is a slight exaggeration, but you get the idea).
Google began Google+ by only letting a few people join its ranks. While it may have seemed like a good idea at the onset, creating an exclusive social network only works if the networking idea is a new one. Facebook exclusivity worked because it was the first site of its kind. Google+ isn’t really the first social networking site out there. In fact, it’s one of the last.
A Large Response
Some people are still excluded from Google+. One has to be invited to the site in order to join, though this is something that Google will likely work out within the near future. However, creating an “invite” button has led to many new Google+ users. How many? Google recently told press that the number of people using Google+ is in the millions.
Google is still working on the Google+ site. In fact, Google+ is in its beta form at the moment. Google hopes to work on the kinks, listen to users, and take criticism into account. So, what kind of criticism can be handed down to Google? Well, for starters, the whole “circle” concept is somewhat confusing at first glance.
Perhaps it’s the way that the Google+ instruction copy is written. Or, perhaps it is the interface itself. Either way, it takes a bit of fiddling around to understand how Google+ works. Just like Facebook, you can post on your wall and see what others are posting. You can also add people to difference circles instead of lumping everyone together in a “friends” category.
Of course, this may pose a slight problem: is that colleague you had a few drinks with a “friend,” “acquaintance,” or “colleague?” It’s hard not to insult someone when you have to create groups.
There also seems to be a different vibe happening on Google+.
The tone isn’t anywhere near as causal at Twitter, but it isn’t exactly Facebook-esque either. Likely due to uncertainty, posts on Google+ are, for now, rather businesslike. Only Google knows what the future of this website will be. For now, it looks like Google+ is here to stay – at least for a little while longer.