Obviously only time will tell whether or not Google+ truly takes off and begins to take over Facebook but I do have some thoughts on what makes Google+ great and what is holding it back.
+1 The sparks integrated news feed is a great idea. If it takes off, it would serve to keep you in Google+ instead of having to venture off the social grid for your news digest.
+1 The integration with Google products is nice. It is always good to have a common platform for things like email, networking, news etc.
+/- It’s layout is very similar to Facebook. Good because it is familiar to us, and bad because it is not a new and exciting concept.
-1 No “wall”. Instead you “share” your posts with circles directly on your own feed. What this means is that there is essentially no point in having a profile as people will not be visiting your wall to share with you.
-1 The idea of circles is neat but I already find myself adding everyone to the same circle so I don’t have to bother trying to figure out how to share with. Facebook has taught us to share with everyone and I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing.
-1 Launch was a failure (in my opinion) simply because they have restricted those who can join. Perhaps they are trying to generate a buzz around it (which they have) but they could always lose out on the window of opportunity to steal share from Facebook. By the time they open it to everybody Google+ might be a thing of the past.
Overall, Google+ has had a fairly promising start but I can certainly see it fading away like other failed Google social attempts. They failed to get everyone on at once which means people are already bored of playing on it with the 3 people who actually got invites. This is certainly the downfall for me as I have no reason to go on and play around with few people on the network.
In the end, Google+ will need to find a way to convince the vast majority of Facebook users to switch, otherwise Facebook will stick. No one wants to use a social network with only 5% of their friends. For now, I’m still an avid Facebook user.
What are your thoughts?