Why yo momma won't use Google+ (and why that thrills me to no end)

OK, I’ve been putting many hours into Google+. In just the few days that it’s been released I’ve followed 2,723 people, written many dozens of posts there, and have thoroughly used the product. I’ve also tried to get some normal users into the product, starting with my wife (we argued for 45 minutes about it) and I’ve come to some conclusions. Here’s the biggie:

Your mom won’t use Google+.

How can I state that so clearly? Easy. Most “average users” are locked into Facebook and aren’t willing to consider a new social tool until they hear about it from their friends. Since most of the people who are on Google+ so far are geeks, insiders, social media stars, journalists, and other people (Google admitted tonight they are only accepting people who have strong social graphs so that they can both make sure everyone has a good first experience as well as test out some of the technology before opening it up to a wider audience) the chances normal people (metaphorically speaking, your mom) won’t hear about Google+ from normal users for quite a while.

By then I’m sure Facebook will react (ie, copy) Google+’s best features (Facebook already has called a press conference for next week where they are going to announce something “awesome”). This will mean that normal users, who aren’t really going to get involved at this point in Google+’s life, won’t feel the need to switch.

So, what is Google+ for then?

It’s for us!

Come on now, we geeks and early adopters and social media gurus need a place to talk free of folks who think Justin Bieber is the second coming of Christ. That’s what we have in Google+ right now. Do we really want to mess that up?

Plus, let’s just be honest here. There are pieces of Google+ that are mighty geeky.

Let’s start with how to bold and italicize text. Do you have a pretty editing window like, say, exists on Quora? No way.

To bold text you surround that text with asterisks. *Like this* GEEKY ALERT! Italicize? Put underscores around the text. Strikeout? Put hyphens around it.

And that’s just the little thing. Let’s talk about the big thing. Circles. Now, heavy and passionate users of social media, like myself, really love things like lists and groups. Why? Because we want to spend hundreds of hours making sure our social graphs are really organized.

Normal people do NOT do this. They just want to friend their 20 real-life friends and 30 family folks and be done with it. Average/normal users want the system just to bring them fun stuff without doing any work.

See, if you put the average Silicon Valley geek in front of a TV and tell him to sit on the couch and watch TV for four hours they won’t know what to do. They will start building databases of their favorite shows, start figuring out how to optimize their DVRs so they can fast-forward through commercials faster, and stuff like that.

Normal/average users? They just want to watch TV and drink beer.

So, you getting where I’m going with this? Google+ is for the passionate users of tech. If you just want to sit back and have the system do all the work (which means it’s not perfect, but it’s good enough for most people) then Facebook is gonna be where you stay, especially since your friends are gonna lock you in for quite some time. But if you want to really be able to choose who you listen to, then Google+ is much better.

Oh, and that’s not even considering the new “Hangout” videochat feature. Damn that thing is cool. You can have 10 people call into a room and it lets you all talk to each other. I haven’t used Skype since that shipped.

Anyway, it’s clear Google has turned a corner. They have now proven to everyone that they can do social and get on the playing field.

But they haven’t yet proven that they can convince your mom to use it and that’s just fine with me.

That all is a long way of saying that I really love Google+ and I don’t care what the average user thinks of it. I’m getting a ton of utility out of it and I am having a blast with it. Hope to see you there soon, but please leave yo momma over on Facebook, OK?

338 Replies to “Why yo momma won't use Google+ (and why that thrills me to no end)”

  1. Like your post! And agree with it, which I didn’t thought I would :-). Eventually, when the network comes a bit more mature, I think there will be “normal” people considering it too :-), especially when someone will develop an Facebook import app 😀

    1. Same here… I have to agree. I gave an invite to my wife and after trying it for 5 minutes, her conclusion was that she would never use it… she even said it is hard to use (??!). 

      Another guy on G+ said: “Google+ is making me work. Adding people to circles and stuff. Why can’t we just be friends like on Facebook? Even posing an update needs work to select who to send to.” What the… What’s hard about it? I just don’t get it. The interface is slick intuitive and damn simple to use…

      1. ” Why can’t we just be friends like on Facebook?” – because many of us aren’t friends, we are colleagues, relatives, acquaintances, team members, neighbours, fans etc and we don’t necessarily want to share different aspects of our life with people from other aspects. I’m not “Friends” with my wife or kids, but I would put them in a “Family” circle on Google+ where we can share family things and keep other aspects of my life out of their face.

        People with 450 or more friends, not untypical on Facebook, are deceiving themselves if they think they have that many friends. Do 449 other people really care what you’ve done on Farmville, who who killed in Mafia wars, the sordid details of a night out, etc.

      2. I love it: “many of us aren’t friends”  .. So true. This is why “social search”
        WILL NEVER dominate  Google search. It’s too political , and
        not factual enough..  People want “facts”. They don’t want  people
        influenced  results. I’m so tired of hearing that social search will
        take over. It won’t. This is a fact.  You wanna argue this ?

      3. A few months ago I tried to get a “normal” friend on Facebook. After setting him up and explaining everything to him, he was still asking me several days later how to use it.

        Google+ is easier to use than FB, but people need to spend 15-30 minutes on it to get used to it. Nothing hard about it after that. The only reason they may think or remember Facebook as being easy to learn is because they’ve seen plenty of people using it before. After seeing it so many times at others, and being socially pressured to use it eventually, it might’ve not seem so hard to learn at first.

        Btw, Scoble. The fact that regular users need to hear about it from more friends and see them using it is KEY to this. Mainstream users don’t listen to early adopters, so don’t try to think of them as early adopters and force them to use it 3 days into its existence. Give them time to hear about it everywhere, and they will WANT to join it themselves.

        Besides, a lot of mainstream people use Twitter now. Remember how hard Twitter used to be to use and “get” what it’s for? Heck it still is. But once they started hearing all about it on TV in every single show, and they heard all their beloved actors or singers were on it, they were all over it.

        So remember, it’s still in the early adopter stage. Don’t treat it as if mainstream users will want it from day one. That’s now how they think. But as with all disruptions, it’s only a matter of time *as long as it’s successful with the early adopters*.

      4. btw, I love this Disqus  system. I can edit things if I goof up.And it’s way better than FB comment system. Shows you where they’re at as far simplistic design. Try out their comment system.But make sure you take some anxiety pills beforehand. Also. I was on FB and tried to find a way
        to follow Kellogg’s corp…  to whine about some things. I couldn’t find how to follow Kellogg’s corp. on FACEBOOK AND LEFT HIGHLY AGITATED.

        Wonder if corporation will adapt to this G+  platform ?

      5. btw, I love this Disqus  system. I can edit things if I goof up.And it’s way better than FB comment system. Shows you where they’re at as far simplistic design. Try out their comment system.But make sure you take some anxiety pills beforehand. Also. I was on FB and tried to find a way
        to follow Kellogg’s corp…  to whine about some things. I couldn’t find how to follow Kellogg’s corp. on FACEBOOK AND LEFT HIGHLY AGITATED.

        Wonder if corporation will adapt to this G+  platform ?

      6. Ok… Here we go.. with  people blazing over some words and not really  comprehending them. I wrote :
        I couldn’t find how to —>follow<— Kellogg's corp. on FACEBOOK AND LEFT HIGHLY AGITATED.  FOLLOW (KEY WORD HERE-Sir)!!! I  can type in "kelloggs" in a search box. I can find my way to work everyday.. I  tried it again, to find a way to follow Kellogg's corp on Facebook. there was no tab or button in my view that says "follow Kellogg corp" so once again. I LEFT .I hope Google + is easier to use.

      7. You apparently fail at Facebook, then.  It’s called “Like” on Facebook.  If you “Like” a page, you get that page’s updates in your news feed. And please do not say “I don’t like Kellogg’s … I want to follow them because I dislike them.”  If your only purpose in “following” a company is “to whine about some things” (your words), then you, sir, are part of the problem with today’s society.

      8. Damn man,  broad brush much?  And besides,  unless you are one of the myriad “scolds” in society,  why do you care what the reason is for someone to “like” or “follow” someone else.

      9. Uhm.. sir..this is the dark side of companies using social media. Life isn’t  shiny and happy  all the time. Life isn’t shiny and happy just because company X
        now has  a Facebook page. They’re gonna hear from me.I don’t like being ripped off.

        # 2. I don’t like Kellogg’s corp. What’s
        next ?

      10. #2. Shouldn’t the button communicate to me that if I push this  tab, it will allow me to “follow” Kellogg’s and not “like” them.
        You see where FB  is hard to use ? And they’re supposedly masters at this. ha ha

      11. BIG mistake. I doesn’t matter.After this week. FB will change their whole platform around . trust me 

      12. “Another guy”‘s opinion doesn’t make any sense to me… If you want G+ to act exactly like FB, all you have to do is put all your contacts into one circle, and just share every post with that one circle.  You don’t even have to add them individually! You can select and drag everyone you’ve ever sent an e-mail to and drop them all in at once if you so choose.  It literally could not be easier…

      13. I don’t use FB that much.But do the “likes” (when you favorite a website)
        show somewhere on your FB page ?  Like a compiled .list

      14. The inverse is true of Facebook though, isn’t it? You can easily create groups and choose to share X with Group Y, or share A with groups B, C and D, or with everyone. 

        I still haven’t heard why I should switch. I have an invite just waiting for me… This all seems like Google Wave all over again.

      15. non-techies don’t want to do any work… convincing FB folks they can create groups (circles) and showing them they can actually be completely segregated is like pulling teeth… FB mom’s don’t have time to figure anything out… or just don’wanna …

    2. There is a facebook import app 🙂 check here http://goo.gl/b2ilV
      It is written by Mohamed Mansour, his G+: http://goo.gl/iPqA1

      1. Yep, already started checking that out since yesterday. Also, you can still to some extent (it’s a bit buggy) import your FB graph into Yahoo Mail Contacts, and from there export as CSV to Gmail to G+.

        Given that the thing you mention works as a Chrome extension, it is precisely the thing I predicted would happen. See here: http://alexschleber.amplify.com/2011/05/30/facebook-is-building-a-browser-most-interesting-from-dave-winer/

        “Just saw this, and it makes a good bit of sense, especially if you take into account the ideas I wrote about recently about how Google could use browser plugin or similar “users agent” (= UA = a browser) functionality to extract the social graph back out of Facebook, without Facebook really being able to do anything about it. Except for supplanting Chrome with their own “Facebook Browser” that is, in which case such schemes could be headed off at the source…”

        The Social Wars have just reached the browser layer, but for slightly different reasons than the last Browser Wars between MSFT and Netscape.

    3. Well I am not a geek or a silicon valley person.In fact I am just someone’s Momma but I love tech and I am an internet addict and proud of it. Got an invite from some insider via twitter and I am in there browsing around! so there!

      1. “but I love tech and I am an internet addict and proud of it”

        Just because you’re someone’s momma doesn’t mean you’re not also a geek 🙂

      2. Just my answer too.
        I’m a mom, I am also Ms Techno-superstupid, so that probably automatically disqualifies me from being here.
        But, I’m a wanna-be geek, so I figure if I hang around them long enough I’ll finally learn to be one!
        FB is ok for a late night chat with real friends who don’t live on my island, but it irritates the life out of me when I delete loads of unwanted posts from my newsfeed, only to find them back again when I log back in. I also hate the fact that people ‘friend’ me just because they want to sell me the latest ‘free’ IM training
        There you go, my 1st reply to anything – only been here 30 mins :))

    4. I don’t think G+ will fly. People here seem to forget that for most folks, Facebook was this new and special thing–most folks didn’t know beans about MySpace, never heard of it, it literally didn’t exist for them. For them, FB was the first and only social site they ever experienced. For them, G+ is and will be just this FB clone, a broken one because it doesn’t have FarmVille. Seriously, for an amazingly large percentage of my friends and family, I can safely predict that if G+ doesn’t have FarmVille, then they will have ZERO interest in it.

    5. They already did import the app! I actually just finished importing and now that I’m finished I’m thinking I shouldn’t have.

  2. I so totaly agree. It seems to me that Twitter has to be more worried than Facebook. And +1 for an awesome post… I totaly see the geek building his tv show database 🙂

      1. But Google+ has an advantage that Facebook didn’t:  Facebook.

        Facebook had to beat MySpace largely using real-world word of mouth.  Google+ is propagating largely using virtual word of mouth via Facebook, which is much more effective.

      2. My friends aren’t techy at all, I’ve not seen one mention of Google + from my 200 peeps on Facebook.

        The pull of Facebook is that friends and family are already there…and it’s actually a pretty good service. 

        Can you say Google + is so much better that everyone will jump ship? From what I’ve seen it’s nice but it’s not so much better that people will start re-uploading albums and recreate all the banter around those photos again.There is a emotion attachment to the content on Facebook, sometimes I come across a pic from 2 years ago and read the stream of comments on it and it’s brilliant when it makes you smile or laugh again.I just think Facebook has so much nostalgic content on it now that anything less than jaw-dropingly amazing won’t get people to port over to another network.

      3. Yep it does to me because I’m a UI designer with a interest in tech, I like the layout, interactions etc. 

        To my mates not so much, I guess we’ll see in time.

      4. so far i’m the only person mentioning google + in my fb or twitter space…  but i’m not quite sold on jumping in… i have very specific reasons for never using my real name… anywhere… online… ever… 

      5. Yeah, I’m not thrilled with having to use my name online to use Google+…I signed up for Gmail to use it, but the default use of my real name is seriously creeping me out. 

  3. Once again you manage to make assumptions on presumptions, you really don’t bring your momma into technology unless their kids are using it. You are one day old and your momma is 0. Once your momma learns that you are using it frequently she will join it, till then these are just presumptions.

    1. Of course. Implicit in this blog post is that your momma (IE average people) will be on this service soon enough, so we might as well enjoy this first weekend with just the tech passionate crowd on it.

  4. I agree with the points about the switching cost of the average person moving from FB to Google+.  However, the ‘Hangout’ videochat feature might be a carrot that is too hard to resist for families and ‘normal’ people who use social media.

    1. and why can’t google use it as the video calling for android phones eliminating the use of a phone dialer. you just go to your g+ and click on a contact to hangout with and voila you have an instant facetime. it might even do a thrutu where you can share all sorts of things while you talk like doodles, location, contacts etc. 

    2. you can’t get anyone to talk on a phone anymore… nor im.. or skype even…. so how is a “hangout” gonna be a lure?

  5. Its early days. I think there are two things Google can leverage to make G+ a more interesting proposition than Facebook for moms & pops. 

    1.) GMail. Lots of GMail users, start weaving content from G+ into GMail sidebards to draw in the hords.

    2.) Chrome Marketplace and Android Marketplace app collaboration around Circles.

    1. I agree with you, google already has more users than Facebook through gmail, over one billion. And with the notifications on the top bar, gmail users will not have the option of not using G Plus .

      If you add Android which is the fastest growing mobile OS, I think google could make something big here, let s see when they release their API

      1. Excellent post Robert – I don’t think I have seen you this excited since Twitter started or FriendFeed…the enthusiasm is contagious!

  6. Yeah, I don’t think Google+ will be a compelling competitor to Facebook anytime soon. I haven’t personally used it yet. However, I checked out the video tour and have read a few reviews. Fact is aside from the great barriers you named there is also the fact that pics aren’t a huge part of it. Nowhere to really put a huge gallery. That’s important to a lot of folks – especially older folks who want to see pics of family, and women who want to share pics of themselves with friends (avg woman has 150 pics on FB). 

      1. Oh, I apologize then. It’s tough extrapolating from limited information but I thought I had gotten a good representation of what it was. I stand corrected. 

    1. Hi John,

      They’ve got a big focus on photos, powered by Picassa.  

      You can do all the familiar things with photos, tag, discuss, share (and this appears on Streams as appropriate).  The mobile app for Android is awesome and so easy to get photos up onto G+ for sharing (you can even select the circles on the app) and iOS is stuck in the App approval process with Apple.

      If you’d like to have a look youself, drop me a DM with your email account and I’ll share with you (which indirectly gets you an invite). and you can try it out for yourself.

      1. “The mobile app for Android is awesome”

        that has me curious. But I already have scobleizer bookmarked on Google reader … I don’t see the benefit of G+ … although nerd nirvana does sound nice especially if there are no Farmville like requests

    2. Others have mentioned the great integration with Picasa, but one other point to note is that when you join Google+ your Picasa free storage is effectively upgraded to infinite: you still get just 1GB, but any pictures 2048×2048 or less and videos up to 15 minutes don’t count to ward the 1GB. The only other limits to worry about are 1000 photos per album and 10,000 albums per account.

      1. Save unlimited photos and videos in Google+


    3. yea, it’s very difficult to  put a link in your post somewhere to a Picasa  or Flickr
      account. Why does everything have to be in one spot ?  Are we as a society
      so lazy we can’t click a  link to another site ?

      1. Sadly, yes, that’s often the case.  People usually click on photos because they see a thumbnail and want to view the larger picture.  Provide a link offsite, and there’s generally no thumbnail enticing them to click it.  And then some people are paranoid about clicking links.  Facebook is plagued by fake links that spread themselves automatically.  People click on them, and without their knowledge, the link posts itself to their wall where others can click on it.  To some people, these scam links are obvious, and to others who can’t distinguish them from genuine links, all offsite links on a social networking sites begin seeming like a risk.

    4. The photo galleries in Google+ integrate your Picasa albums, which is fantastic.  Unlike Facebook, the photo quality isn’t butchered.  With FB, I was always trying to encourage people to look at the photos on my Picasa site instead of looking at the low resolution, highly compressed facsimiles on FB.  With Google+, that’s what they see by default.

      Picasa can also store videos in the same albums as photos, and those can get shared via Google+ as well.

      Also, there’s an option where taking a photo from your phone can automatically send it directly to a private album without any extra upload process, and from there you can quickly choose which ones to share or delete.  I don’t generally use my phone to take photos, but for those who do, it couldn’t be easier.

    5. Can’t agree with you there – G+ makes it ridiculously easy to share whole Picasa albums.  Oh and your phone’s pictures can be uploaded instantly as you take them, so you can share them from there or when you get back to computer.  And the sharing is a two-click affair.

  7. Robert, Just thinking if having your own private geek space is that important to you, why not start you own “Only Geeks Invited” space?!  😉

  8. My mom would love to be on Google+ You are totally underestimating the “crowd” Why mom would love to join hte Google Party? She can experience her whole online life in just ONE interface!

  9. You have no +1 button? only a retweet? now I’m gonna hafta go hunt you down on Google+. Thanks a lot for making me have to go use this awesome, fun, fantastical new wonderland of socialness. Just thanks.

    1. Hey-  can you explain the difference between the “post” and “buzz” feature ?

      I would assume post is like FB news feed and “buzz” is like Twitter ?

      If this is a mashup of both..Then  this G+ is a winner. 

       (yep) I guess in the tech world everyone copies everyone else.. That’s just the way it is.

      Zuck built his career on this   activity.

  10. Happy to have my immediate family (mom and brother) on Google+. Since I’m far, far away from home, keeping in touch with family in an intimate way while being very busy with school is important. G+ lets me share with them far better than I could on Facebook or Twitter, and a family hangout to catch up is wonderful. That G+ works for scoble-purpose and for my purposes is an example of what makes it so cool. 

  11. I’m just depressed that Google doesn’t think I have a very good social graph. Granted, it’s the shape of the Norfolk foothills, but I did spend a LOT of time colouring it in.

  12. Amen Brother!

    Only issue I have is… just push the button Google, turn it all on across all your properties.

    I can handle the slow invite, its kind of annoying switching between different looks and interfaces between… ie: gmail, search, you+, docs, maps, reader and so on.

    Pushing out the 2 new gmails themes tonight did help the situation. 

  13. My dad loves Picasa, ’cause this enables him 1-2-3 to share his pics with his friends. Same with my mom and aunt which all use gmail to communicate, google to search and google docs to make their little textwork. So, G+ is a natural next step for them.

    On the other side: there is no farmville and mafia in G+ 😉

  14. but then, the ad revenues are going to come, only when the bulk ‘normal’ users also start using Google+. so, google too needs to bring them on board ASAP. it is the normal ones who click the ads. geeks, seldom bother

  15. If that turns out true, Google+ might already be doomed like Wave. I don’t think that Google’s aspirations for the platform are geeks-only, they want Mam, Papa and Grandma too. Geeks, wish me I am wrong.

    1. I’m not wishing, you are totally wrong! Have you tried the service yet with open mind?

      1. Hm, I think I have an open mind. Otherwise I would have written “I love this awesome kick-ass new social media platform from Google.” – I just do not want to see Google+ die the same death Wave did (which was another awesome kick-ass new social collaboration platform from Google).

  16. Robert,

    Sorry to disagree – my 16 yr old daughter is a massive FB user and my wife has been turned off FB.  They both got the “circles” idea immediately because “you don’t want to share everything with everybody”.  And the “create circle” UI is so ridiculously simple.
    Privacy in sharing is a huge issue that “normal” people care about simply because just plain old privacy is something that normal people expect in real life.
    Don’t underestimate the power of sharing-with-privacy and “take your photos and contacts with you” and the ability of these to influence normal users.

    Yes the lock-in of the FB social graph is huge – but gmail is huge as well and FB hasn’t executed well on email.  I bet the people you refer to use email a lot.  That’s the conduit by which G+ will leak into their lives.

    I know we want this to be the new Friendfeed but it’s going to be a lot less niche and a lot more mainstream than that, IMHO.

    1. if people want privacy they can share over email ..I’ve never understood why
      people moan about privacy  on these public/social platforms.. Then again,i’ve never understood
      human nature  . Very COMPLEX CREATURES !!

  17. I completely agree, this will probably hurt Twitter much more than it will hurt Facebook any time soon. It’s nerdy, but at least it’s Google’s first product with a almost-slick interface.

  18. I’ve been looking at my facebook news feed this morning. There are a lot of what I considered non geeks getting excited about Google+. Whether they will continue to use it is yet to be seen, but as launches go this one appears to have been done very well. There is genuine excitement out there.

  19. Your momma ain’t gonna use it because the cool kids ain’t gonna use it and that’s where it all starts.

    The only thing that will move people off Facebook is when the next Facebook comes along and that is unlikely to be a Facebook clone, produced by Google.

    Google+ might be great for geeks and early adopters but if Google really want to jump the shark they are going to have to do something original, playful and cool.

    1. You do realize that “Jump The Shark” is a BAD thing, right? It comes from the Happy Days episode where Fonzi jumped a shark on skis…and is universally recognized as the day the show was done, over-with, and had nothing more to show us. When we say someone has jumped the shark it means they have gotten to the point of lameness where they are using stupid gimmicks because there is no more hope of attracting interest through real content.

  20. It’s good that you took Google + through hands on testing in the time since its release which I believe lends credibility to this post. The rise of Facebook as the default social experience for everyone from college students to Grandparents is phenomenal and maybe something we’ll never see again. Google will continue to crank out new tools in an effort to dethrone Facebook and we’ll be just as excited with each attempt. To Facebook’s credit, they do a remarkable job of ‘incorporating’ their competitors’ features into its upgrades, which keeps them in the driver’s seat. Time will tell what Google + will become but each attempt brings Google closer to competing and ultimately dethroning Facebook which keeps things interesting in the social space.

  21. When I showed my mum this she thought it looked great and wanted to leave Facebook. General users should just give it a chance, when they see hangouts and huddles they might get pulled in.

  22. Robert, I just adore you!!! Very well put and gotta say, Amen, my sentiments exactly!! “Google+ is for the passionate users of tech…if you want to really be able to choose who you listen
    to, then Google+ is much better.”

    I’ve been digging around in Google+ for just 24 hours now; and I posted on Facebook today that I haven’t felt this excited since I joined Facebook in May 2007! 🙂 Well, excited about a social network, that is! 🙂

    Among the points you make here about the cool interface and ease with which we can select who to listen to, what I’m finding fascinating is that we suddenly have access to pretty much anyone with whom we’d like to connect. For example, by virtue of just drilling down into various users’ circles I can identify top employees at Facebook and Google and more… And there’s no waiting for friend requests to be accepted, just add users to circles if you want to pay attention to them and/or their profile is open to engage with them. Six degrees of separation just dropped yet another degree or two thanks to Google+!

    This is what Facebook was like back in ’07 for me when top speakers, authors, leaders, business owners began joining in droves and we could all connect… except that with Google+, the connections don’t have to be reciprocal. There’s no barrier or lag time. Sure, that part is similar to following someone on Twitter or joining a Facebook fan page… but Google+ just feels much more intimate. Even if and when the masses join, there’s just something beautiful about the simplicity of Google+ and the integration with other Google products.

    (I’m also reminiscing about FriendFeed back in the day – when I would see much more of you, Louis Gray, Loic, Jesse et al in my stream… due to Facebook’s EdgeRank, you all rarely show up in my stream these days, and the whole Friend List filtering was never very elegant!)

    Facebook will continue to prevail and dominate, as you say, for the average user. I’m sure they’ll reach 1Bn members before too long. Meantime, I’m intrigued to see what Google has up their sleeve to cater to those who wish to have a business profile/presence down the road. 😉

    1. mam… how are they gonna reach 1 billion users now ? They were already retracting
      before G+ came out. they have  topped out .. trust me

    2. Mari. I’ve said for a long time that all Google or another credible FB competitor has to shoot for is capturing the 20+% of FB users that would really prefer a “thinking man’s/woman’s” social service. You know, with workable privacy, data portability, and intelligent filtering. So far, it looks like G+ has the first two covered, now if they could only get us some useful per user/group, per keyword filtering/surfacing. Then we’d be all set… 😉

      1. Ha! I love it, Alex — Google+ is the new thinking man/woman’s social service. Genius! Indeedy, I’d love to see far better filtering on those Sparks for starters. A couple keywords searches rendered irrelevant results and I was out of there… well, that feature, I mean. I can’t stop playing with Google+ and have severely neglected my Facebook in the past 48 hours. Lol! I haven’t felt this excited about tech/socnet in years!! 

  23. I just did the same experiment with my sister who is not a tech geek.
    I invited her via the share hack. She added me to a circle, created an album, posted a photo of our kids, chatted with me on the chat+. Pretty much what she did in Facebook. Now, she wont switch anytime soon, but when G+ is officially open for all, maybe she will.
    Now lets she how the wife will do with that shared photo that will land in her gmail.

  24. We don’t need it to be the next Friendfeed, and there is room for us geeks, insiders, and industry folk AND the normal people, moms included. Circles and Huddles make it possible to keep our own space AND have our moms sharing recipes in their circles.

    What I am really more interested in is

    1) Interests Circles
    2) Skill Circles
    3) More integration with other Google Services. I want a collaboration hub for exactly the geeks and industry folks to build even cooler stuff. Google Code, Apps, and Docs are the first things that come to mind.
    4) Invitations – if you think someone would really enjoy a conversation, you should be able to invite them directly. Mentions can serve the same purpose, but I would like explicit invitations, the way Kwippy was.
    5) And, of course, an API 🙂

  25. “Normal people do NOT do this. They just want to friend their 20 real-life friends and 30 family folks and be done with it.”

    According to Facebook(http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics), the average user has 130 friends. And that’s average – so 50% of users have more than that (some a lot more).

    And one of the most common things I’m hearing from normal people is “oh god, my parents have sent me a friend request! I don’t want them seeing pics of me drunk…”. We’ve reached the point where people are looking for a bit more granularity than Facebook really offers (yes, I know you can group people, but it’s clunky and very much NOT centre stage in Facebook’s interface, which means no one knows about it or uses it.)

  26. “Normal people do NOT do this. They just want to friend their 20 real-life friends and 30 family folks and be done with it.”

    According to Facebook(http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics), the average user has 130 friends. And that’s average – so 50% of users have more than that (some a lot more).

    And one of the most common things I’m hearing from normal people is “oh god, my parents have sent me a friend request! I don’t want them seeing pics of me drunk…”. We’ve reached the point where people are looking for a bit more granularity than Facebook really offers (yes, I know you can group people, but it’s clunky and very much NOT centre stage in Facebook’s interface, which means no one knows about it or uses it.)

  27. To summarize: Google+ will be an incestuous geek circlejerk?
    What I wonder is if this is so geeky and cool. Why did diaspora get ignored by most? It’s almost identical in use and idea. Oh, but it doesn’t have the name “Google”..

    1. Diaspora was more hype and “let’s decentralize!” and less actual features/substance. Was there Hangouts/video chat in Diaspora? No. Was there an innovative & easy grouping system built into the CORE of the platform (and not a crummy tack-on to say “we have groups!”)? No.

      Sure, having “Google” attached helps. But even more helpful to G+ was the actual features.

  28. Listen, this new gmail thing is only for the geeks. Your mom is just going to stay on Yahoo or Hotmail … 

    Granted, gmail had a major attraction with it’s “unlimited” storage space compared to yahoo’s 50Megs and Facebook has their act together much more than Yahoo, but still the parallels are striking.

    1. After all these years of Gmail, it still only has less than half the users that Hotmail has, underlining Scoble’s point.

    2. After all these years of Gmail, it still only has less than half the users that Hotmail has, underlining Scoble’s point.

  29. I love G+ as a geek, great hangout with you and Jason today, but I also see great opportunities for brands to engage with geeks. I created a SXSW account for a client, a few circles and people are already interacting with each other and the G+ content.
    I also sent G+ invites to several family members and I’m still waiting for them to activate their account. @socialjulio

  30. I have to disagree with some of the snarkier comments.  I don’t think I’d go so far as to call it a “facebook killer” yet, but it’s certainly the closest thing I’ve seen so far.  There are some features and things that I’m NOT seeing yet – one key for me is FB’s “pages,” since I use one of those as a “public figure” to help drive traffic to my site and notify fans, friends, and followers of new content.

    But, it’s early days yet.  I think when you start seeing the Farmville-type games pop up, that’s when there will be a huge spike in interest among the non-geek set.

    1. Honestly the info you post on  Your FB page is probably NOT reaching  Those who “liked” It!  I see notes from just  two of the 175 pages I  “liked” in my stream!  I even downsized to 130  “friend” on my  personal account! Facebook Has simply ceased to be effective!

      It’s a placebo that enable us to  “believe” we are affecting marketing when we are Not! The page feature needs to mimic the group feature that  shows new post , a simple click and a few sec later  I’m  caught up!

       I now have to  click on “friends stream to see what hey are posting!  The  FB pages I manage are at  a steady  15-25% interaction on post  It make  no sense that I still need to  Email to ensure notification reaches!  I’ve been asking what’s the  purpose… simply to be one of the crowd!

      I’m A Mom
      and my technology has to work for me … not the other way around… BTW Moms In my circle ( “‘m the only “Geek”) loved wave and they love Google…  Google needs to  amp up it’s marketing  but  “ordinary” folks Get it1 Teh Ladies refer to it as their “G” spot!  Google Has a PR problem… not a tech  problem! they’re geeks trying to market…

    1. And yet you chose to mix unnecessary sexism into your unnecessary ageism by snarking mothers, rather than trying for a slight bit of creativity to describe non-tech savvy people without a hoary and insulting stereotype. Poor form, bad writing, dulls the whole point.

  31. I’ve not been fortunate enough to try Google+ yet, so can only go on observations from the side; and while I agree with the sentiment of this post, is it really a good thing? How meaningful is a “social network” or social experience that is confined to a “small few”? I think google has a struggle on its hands here. For starters, google’s services seem like a “bag of bits” and this is no conducive to user adoption. Users pick and choose what to use from google and without seamless integration (from a user perspective) this will be a challenge.

    In fact the thoery of user adoption suggests four things have to come together: Facilitating Conditions (ie. is it relevant to the user); Social Influence (I.e. is your circle using it); Effort expectancy (what do I have to invest in this); Performance expectancy (what will I benefit).

    Google has challenges in more than one of these areas. Although I am typically an early adopter, the “effort expectancy” is a killer for me and many others. I can’t even motivate myself to ask for an invite due to the perception of effort this is all going to take for a reward that is not obvious. Is google, or anyone, able to communicate these rewards in a way that trumps the alternatives I have at the moment?

  32. Having no access to Google+ and looking at it from a business pov, if what you say is correct, then Google won’t consider G+ a success. From Googles pov It’s not about giving geeks a tool, it’s about advertising and getting into the game of social recommendations of hundreds of millions of people. If my mom wont use it, G+ fails.

    So far I haven’t heard of anyhing in G+ that Facebook can’t copy, there’s no “moat” around G+. And if Facebook comes close enough then there won’t be a mass migration to G+.

    1. kindly let me know how facebook will be able to implement circles and sharing along with virtual hangouts… where are the datacenters to help me in Africa hangout with a friend in china, another in greece another in brazil, then another in USA… Google is playing here with their datacenter superiority to give facebook a barrier to entry while they gather users

      1. Look I don’t have a horse in this race though you obviously do. Even if I accept your point about data centres (which I don’t) for Google+ to be successful its going to have to dislodge 100s of millions of peeps from Facebook. The barrier to that happening are the myriad of photos, links, friends etc which already exist on Facebook. Foregoing all that is not going to be easy for typical users who could give a rats behind about cool techy issues or what geeks think or write.. 

        Google+ as you know is a business tool for Google. The smart engineers at G are probably pretty chuffed with their work and their newfound design ethic but the money that pays their wages comes from advertising and at corporate levels this is about tracking a large number of people’s likes and dislikes to improve their advertising, peeps who right now are out of Google’s grasp.. 

        Google+ is going to have to be a lot more successful in comparison to Facebook than Bing is to Google search for Google to realise their goals. Because if 500-750 million people are still on Facebook then Google will not be happy. Facebook isn’t going to just crumble because Google have upped their game. They recently tied in with some top web designers and are apparently in talks with Microsoft/Skype over a videoconferencing deal. This is from my POV for Facebook to lose, without their help, Google can’t win on data centres or IMO with what they’ve launched as G+, as innovative as it might be. 

      2. “… for typical users who could give a rats behind about cool techy issues or what geeks think or write.”

        What ‘typical users’ give a rats behind [sic] about is that they can’t be all parts of themselves on any existing social network. If they use the social network for business, they don’t dare reveal themselves as passionately religious (or partisan or gay) for fear of risking business relationships with those holding opposite views. Those using the social network for purely non-business reasons may desire to share something deeply personal (painful) with a small number of people, but because they can’t share without sharing to the world, they may choose to suffer alone. (Your mileage will vary.)

        Ordinary (non-geek) people are already expending the effort to maintain their various circles. They use LinkedIn for their business circles. They use FaceBook and/or Twitter for their personal & public circles. They use email and texts for their private & family circles.

        The promise of G+ is that it will provide ordinary people a way to expend _less_ effort in curating their various circles than they do now, finally giving us a way to have one platform that allows us to be all parts of ourselves by controlling who among our circles has a view of each part of ourselves.

  33. It could become a replacement for the masses, but the nice thing is that even if it does, it is structured from the start to let you dictate the nature of its use. For those that desire it, it can stay a tech haven and hub. Others will make it all about games or cats.

  34. Exactly. Google+ will “cross the chasm”, too. And I think it won’t be hard at all.

    You’re nitpicking on the wrong things Scoble. Can you even bold text in Facebook? And the overall look and easiness of using Google+ trumps Facebook, so why wouldn’t “normal” people want to use it after they hear about it from several friends? Because they are already on Facebook? Oh, please. People have left social networks before.

    But like anything else, this will follow the normal curve of a product life cycle:

    Techies/Innovators > Early adopters > Early Majority > Late Majority 

  35. Here’s the thing: Wouldn’t you have said the same thing about Twitter five years ago? And now look at the diverse set of people who use Twitter.

  36. You’re so right & it hope it stays this way for a while.  If it turns into another facebook madhouse I’ll quit using the same way I’ve moved away from Facebook.

  37. From reading your article, it occurs to me that Google+ is more a competitor to Twitter, than Facebook. As twitter for me is the place for the Geeks. I have very few ‘normal’ friends who use twitter, yet they are all on Facebook.

    Is Google+ more of a grab for twitter?

    1. There’s been a lot of views about Google + could replace Twitter since they could no longer run after and chase Facebook but I guess what most people miss is the fact that clearly Google is doing something beyond just “trying to be social”.I really want this to work out for Google because this isn’t for just for Social whatsoever or trying to be Facebook or Twitter, it’s more about fixing the search results with the content that your friend’s share and most likely would be valuable to you – and they need us to fix it. The power is in US.

  38. I tweeted the exact sentiment early yesterday morning, after being on for 4-5 hours Wednesday night…the “average” Facebook user is not moving over…Google+ is definitely going to cater to the geeks, techie, social media icons, or whatever you want to call yourself…Google+ plays to a niche demographic and those users are on there now…So everyone relax with FB is the next Myspace…

  39.  Followed 2,723 people?? In four days? Sheesh, I think of myself as somewhat obsessive, but I can’t imagine having enough time that, even though I am no longer working.
    You are spot on about people being locked in to Facebook. Most people are creatures of habit, and even when Facebook makes UI changes, they get thousands (probably millions, given that there are 750 million accounts) of complaints. Changing to an entirely new platform is more than most people are willing to contemplate unless there are some very good reasons — like Hangout videoconferencing, which seems to be the easiest approach that anybody has come up with. I can easily imagine using this at Christmas.

  40. Excellent post Robert. I agree that it is a little too geeky for the average user and the gravitational friend pull of Facebook is exceptionally strong. I find myself also wondering how long it will take Facebook to adopt a circle-like mechanism given how popular that feature is for us on G+.

    Thanks for adding your thought. Clearly your activity level on G+ speaks for itself.

  41. “See, if you put the average Silicon Valley geek in front of a TV and
    tell him to sit on the couch and watch TV for four hours they won’t know
    what to do. They will start building databases of their favorite shows,
    start figuring out how to optimize their DVRs so they can fast-forward
    through commercials faster, and stuff like that.”

    Luv this! Not far off the average evening for an SEO geek either 🙂

  42. the good metaphor will be :
    Facebook = iOS = for average people (hate to tweak, non geeky)
    Google+ = Meego, Symbian, Android = for geeks   

  43. Love your post and completely agree.  Now I hope we just fill Google+ up with interesting people so we can have geek discussions about China, renewable energy, hockey, movies, and maybe even a tv show or two

  44. Robert I agree with your premise that google+ will most likely never appeal to the average user. It has a different use case and is arguably a better product. The question is: will that satisfy google? Having a superior product is arguably not sufficient for most companies. Remember friendfeed? Arguably a far superior product than facebook. Wave was also a very intriguing and innovative product that ended up going nowhere because it wasn’t as popular as google wanted it to be. And don’t even get me started on Buzz. Personally I am curious what Google’s goal is with + and how that will guide its product development.

  45. Robert I agree with your premise that google+ will most likely never appeal to the average user. It has a different use case and is arguably a better product. The question is: will that satisfy google? Having a superior product is arguably not sufficient for most companies. Remember friendfeed? Arguably a far superior product than facebook. Wave was also a very intriguing and innovative product that ended up going nowhere because it wasn’t as popular as google wanted it to be. And don’t even get me started on Buzz. Personally I am curious what Google’s goal is with + and how that will guide its product development.

  46. Hey my dad just joined and he is one of those guys who knows zero.zerozero But now since he uses gmail and there are ubiquitous notifications(not to mention the emails that he will not turn off) I think he will come back until it feels normal.

  47. Hey my dad just joined and he is one of those guys who knows zero.zerozero But now since he uses gmail and there are ubiquitous notifications(not to mention the emails that he will not turn off) I think he will come back until it feels normal.

  48. I have a saying : Nothing happens overnight except death”. The dam^ platform just rolled out. Who knows where it’ll be 2 years from now.
    People didn’t show up on  FB overnight.

    1. i had my fb account for a yr before i saw all my friendster and myspace friends migrating en masse. i had like 30+ invites one day i opened my fb account. i don’t know what triggered it but one day it just all happened. but it took a while for people to catch on. i only opened an FB account because i’m techie and i’ve been hearing quite a lot about it during those days when web 2.0 was a still a popular catch phrase. i didn’t think i was gonna have any use for it.   it did look like it’s just for folks with local (US) school affiliations. it was a surprise that it caught on. i think the same thing will happen with g+.

  49. I think “normal” people want circles too. I think “normal” people have always done that very thing from a very early age. I think the circles idea is something we all do so naturally and intuitively that we don’t even know we do it. Think back to when you were a kid and simply maintained two different behavior patterns when you were with your friends and when you were with your parents. That, I think, is circles.

    However, because it is so embedded in us, I think it is hard, without introspection, to a) recognize it for what it is and b) translate that into a technical feature on a website. It will be up to us geeks and early adopters to help explain why circles is exactly the thing “normal” people never knew they always wanted.

  50. I’ve already been inviting friends onto the service using David Di Franco’s bug found in Google+ to invite people.  I could probably get it embedded into my social group soon.

  51. Gmail introduced (with same manufactured-viral rollout) in 2004, with the same cascade of insider “Please invite me!” frenzy; it was lauded as the “Hotmail / Yahoo mail Killer.” After seven years it still has only roughly half the users of Hotmail, and Hotmail/Yahoo combined dwarf Gmail.  Scoble’s right, there’s an audience for G+, but I’m not expecting FB to wither anytime soon. I also notice that most of my G+ geek friends seem to be spending a lot of time talking about G+ *on Facebook* 🙂

    1. I can’t remember the last time I actually had someone give me a Hotmail address as their primary email address.  So while there are surely a ton of Hotmail accounts that have been created, that isn’t equal to the number of people actively using it as their main email account.  Gmail more than accomplished their goal.

  52. “strong social graphs”
    Yeah right – except that is not the case – you have fake graphs, you and Leo and the rest just see it as yet another advertising platform, not social interaction.

  53. Robert …like your ideas on it being a “geeks” tool but I think your underestimating how women especially (moms,friends,sisters +30 yrs old) are starting to use social to organize their lives. Circles and removal of the fluff from Facebook is EXACTLY what most of them want. & Facebook CAN’T/won’t remove that “fluff” they are planning on it being their bread & butter.

  54. What I like about your column / tweets / etc. is your ability to make a difference between the ‘techies’ (probably your main audience) and the average users. You even make it a little personal by talking about your wife, mom or dad (how is he doing with his ipad btw?). It is refreshing, many tech bloggers do not do that, and it is a testament to your talent.

  55. If G+ cannot/will not launch open membership sooner than it takes FB to adapt itself to compensate, then G+ will remain a niche offering with a very limited (think slim to nil) opportunity for revenue. “Mom” or anyone else isn’t going to be very interested in joining if none of her peers/family/friends is out there to interact with. The elite country club may have a fantastic pool with waterslides and whirlpools, but if I’ve got to know someone to get in, AND all my friends are already at the free city pool, guess where I’m gonna go hang out?

    1. well sounds good in theory but facebook will face infrastructural difficulties to rapidly implement these G+ offerings… thats the whole point of disruptive technologies

  56. Said this in a Facebook thread earlier this morning (ironic, no?): If they don’t re-open the invites pretty soon, they’re going to lose momentum and it will remain a typical Google science project. It’s too good to let that happen. Time for the engineers to step back and let real marketers take it from here. This is where Google has an opportunity to show what it’s got.

  57. I’m sure that Google’s advertising division hates your post.

    Adoption of a tool depends upon its utility. As an example, my college-age daughter likes to video chat with her friends from college. Skype limits her video chatting capabilities, and another service that she tried had really poor quality. Last night as she passed me and my netbook, I told her, “I’m trying out this Google+. I haven’t tried its videochat yet, but supposedly it lets ten people chat at once.” When invites open up again, she wants one.

    I don’t think that any of us can predict which service will be on top five years from now. Perhaps _Facebook_ (_heh_) will have a $35 million value, and Google will have compelling content that attracts our mommas. After all, Google’s job isn’t to please us – Google’s job is to please its advertisers, and advertisers can’t make a ton of money off of the shiny new toy crowd.

  58. Got my mom to mention that she got an invite from her son for G+, now I’ve got a Google spreadsheet with a list of her friend’s emails wanting invites….you know “normal” people…..so this does have some mindshare just a touch….

  59. Fun post, Robert…heard about you from David Scott. I wasn’t as lucky as others to get an invite to Google+, but the advance stuff about circles looks really easy to understand. I’m looking forward to a wider rollout so I can try it.

  60. I’m just not seeing the geeky side of Google+ – unless it’s the self-proclaimed geeks who got invited to the party early. 😉 (No insult intended – I’m one of them.) Really, though – bracketing words in *’s to bold them? Since when is THAT “geeky”? It’s not exactly edlin or vi, now, is it?

  61. Not used Google+ yet but looks like an ideal approach for anyone (like me) interested in a properly joined-up-world of integrated Systems. Not even thinking about Google+ in relationship to FaceBook because FB is not a serious Systems platform. 

    I’m thinking more about how Google+ might play well with public networks, such as Twitter and LinkedIn, in conjunction with multiple [private] membership organisation architectures.

  62. I wonder if that’s exactly what Google wants. G+ doesn’t need to match Facebook or Twitter’s user numbers, just as GMail has nowhere near the number of Hotmail users. Google could keep normals out by never having games, just for one example.

    Gotta say though, if they want to keep us geeks around, they have to add search to G+. That’s one of Facebook’s biggest failings for me, that I can’t search posts or messages. Same with Twitter. I don’t want another transitory social media platform.

  63. Boo! Hiss!
    I’m still weighing what I think of G+ but geez Robert… Way to diss Moms.
    If anything? They tend to adopt things online en masse before most Dads. Hence why you see the strength of the “mommy bloggers” in the space outweighing just about any other blogging genre including tech. Also why the were on Twitter in huge numbers long befor Ashton Kutcher.
    I think perhaps you meant to say “non-Internet savvy” people – regardless of gender.
    But knock it off with perpetuating the stupid stereotype that Moms aren’t early adopters.
    Especially when you, of all people, know better. It’s not funny even as a ‘figure of speech’.

    1. It’s just a demonstration of the insularity of the early beta state of Google+. Robert presumably used the phrase because he saw the rash of “yo momma” jokes on Google+, with references to things like “huddles.” It’s kind of like when FriendFeed people talk about nipple-licking – it’s an inside joke that the unwashed Justin Bieber-loving masses won’t get, and therefore it reinforces the specialness of the “inside” group.

      1. Inside jokes that disenfranchise people? Not so funny. While the title may refer to an “inside joke”? It’s not the only phrase that reinforces the idea that women, in particular women who are Moms, are somehow less capable of or interested in things like G+.  Let’s just put this in reference: if you replace the word ‘mom’ in the sentence: “Your mom won’t use Google+” with another group – let’s say hedge-fund managers – it characterizes the entire group as people who don’t get technology and won’t like G+ strictly because they aren’t geeky enough. Sure, not a lot of hedge-fund managers are going to show up to Robert’s blog and protest. But if you replaced ‘mom’ with a group that was a racial minority? Well, you don’t need me to walk you through that, do you?
        Because if you can replace that group description with another group that makes your knee-jerk reaction “oh that would be discrimination!” then it is.  It’s just passively accepted discrimination.
        The thing is? Robert already knew it was a bad descriptor. He shifted to “normal people” pretty quickly. Only coming back to the metaphor at the end because he was writing a post that he’d already titled before he wrote it.  He’s too accomplished a writer to not keep his theme going.
        But go back and read the part where he said “most of the people who are on Google+ so far are geeks, insiders, social media stars, journalists, and other people” – who the hell are “other people”? Because not only do geeks, insiders, social media stars, journalists and parenthetical “people with strong social graphs” include a TON of moms in their ranks? But so does the G+ user base.

        Hopefully, G+ may be the nudge Facebook needs to reanimate the FriendFeed zombie, but to make the modifications that will give it a chance at competing with G+ — because personally? I’d rather have my FriendFeed back. I’ve had that since *they* were in beta and I don’t really feel like having to reinvent the wheel with my social graph.

      2. I love FriendFeed and still use it regularly – sometimes in native mode, sometimes as my Twitter front-end. But I don’t see any reanimation of the FriendFeed zombie any time in the future.

        As I’ve noted elsewhere, the real customers of Google (and Facebook) aren’t the users, but the advertisers. Google (and Facebook) have proven ways to make money from these advertisers. (From all indications, Twitter is making money now also.)

        I don’t know how you can monetize FriendFeed, so I don’t see any reanimation taking place. I had hopes that FriendFeed might become the lab at which new Facebook ideas were tried, but that obviously hasn’t happened either.

        In the ideal world, we’d be able to import our FriendFeed social graphs to any service that we like. Some services allow you to import from another service, but obviously it’s not in the interest of the other service to export its data, so that doesn’t often happen.

        I know that Google has recently talked a lot about being able to export stuff from Google, but I haven’t checked into the details to see if the claims are valid.

  64. Your mom won’t use Google+.

    Please don’t use mothers (or women in general) as a shortcut for “clueless internet user”.  It’s a sexist (and sometimes ageist, in the case of “so easy your grandma could use it”) meme.  You never see father/grandfather used for this.

  65. Facebook will copy Google+ feature?? What’s the unique feature in Google+ you have found so far? If you say Hangout, then Skype will slap you. If you say Circles, Facebook will kick you.

    1. Hangout has one thing that Skype doesn’t have – the ability to videoconference with 3 to 10 people for free. As I’ve noted elsewhere, this may be the thing that gets my college-age daughter and her friends on Google+.

      With Google Circles vs. Facebook lists or groups or whatever they’re called this week, the difference is in the UI. So perhaps this might spur Facebook to make their process easier – that doesn’t necessarily mean that Facebook will implement “Squares,” however.

      1. Skype may provide the service for free at any moment. Pricing difference is not a unique feature. Also Facebook treats everyone as friends and allows us to create lists for more closed groups whereas Google+ want’s us to categorize our contact list. Mark Zuckerberg earlier said that nobody wants to create lists and they are working to make the process easier.

  66. Great post – It’s true – my mom won’t ever be a fan of Google+, but a hefty handful of us tech folks don’t like it either. Wrote a short piece on how Google+ is like a one night stand, and the fun facebook fistycuffs! http://blog.urge.io/post/7118768208/the-aftermath-of-google-ding-ding – it’s out there on HackerNews too
    Still such mixed opinions on Google+ but I can’t say I’m too thrilled with it in general. Is it true they’re taking the limit off invites now? 

    1. what, exactly, do you not like about it?  Feature for feature, I haven’t been able to find a single thing that I think FB does better.  Google+ has better photos, more coherent and robust privacy options, a much better mobile app, integrated audio/video group chat, stream filters, and a much more elegant interface.

      I just decided to actually read your blog post, assuming it would answer my question, but it doesn’t really… You point out a few features that you like, but your overall conclusion is negative.  It seems like a lot of “reviewers” have similar opinions.  Most of you point out a few features you like, and then point out that it’s not revolutionary.  From technical perspectives, Facebook wasn’t revolutionary.  Neither was Windows.  Neither was the iPod.  Nor was Google’s search engine.  They were all just incremental, but solid, advances to existing products that took off.

      Google+, IMO, is similar.  It simply does what Facebook does, but better, and with a lot more potential to seamlessly integrate with the other stuff we do online, and if it doesn’t catch on simply because it’s not a revolutionary enough change over an entrenched entity, then that’d be a huge shame for all of us who use Facebook out of necessity, but are aware of it’s enormous flaws.
      If that happens, it’ll likely be because of reviewers and bloggers who are more interested in predicting it’s prospects of killing Facebook than in actually giving an unbiased review of the product.

  67. I don’t think you are right because:
    1) Facebook was not the easiest thing to use in itself…people had to teach their Moms to learn facebook too.
    2) The kind of features you say geeky, are there only for geeks. Non geeks won’t notice they exist – which is perfect.
    3) The improved quality of your “Friends” stream, over default Facebook stream, will make up for the fact that you needed to learn it.
    4) Most of the differences between Google+ and Facebook are not tack on features – the underlying concepts are different – and it is not going to be easy for Facebook to copy them. Take Circles, for example: making it work for 700 million people will be really hard – they will run into all sorts of problems with infrastructure, trying to keep all data consistent etc.

    There are only two things which we can say: Google+ feedback is better than anyone expected (including Google and Facebook). Just look at GOOG share price. And with typical Google’s iteration speed, it is going to be awesome as a product. Secondly, Facebook will also start improving at the same pace, which is not what they are currently doing. 

    Who is going to be the winner 5 years from now? Its as good as asking the value of Nasdaq index 5 years in the future.

  68. Not only won’t my Mom (or my wife) use Google+, neither will my destined-to-be-a-computer-geek son who has had a gmail account for 4 years!

    Google FAIL: my 12 yr old was invited to Google+ – when he updated his profile with his real birthdate, Google DISABLED his email! Seems that you can’t have a Google “account” unless you are 13, but instead of just disallowing the account creation, they disabled his email address he has had since he was 8! This is an example of why Google can’t do SOCIAL. They are a bunch of enginerds.

  69. I was a little ambivalent when I saw the title (I’m not a fan of some joking colloquialisms), but great write up Robert.I had a few friends on Facebook question my interest in Google+, mainly stating, “I”m already on Facebook. How many of these things (social networks) can people do at once?” I replied that I understand the reluctance or disinterest in jumping into yet another social pool, if you will, but I see Google+ as something larger than Color, Instagram, or other one-off sites or apps.

    I proudly acknowledge being a nerd. I’m an early adopter. I am a heavy Google user, which accounts for my frustration for not getting a Google+ invite.Put those things together and I am a perfect candidate for Google+.  Add to that, I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook, and would gladly shut that down if Google+ suited my social needs. I don’t need to be spread so thin, and the prospect of using Hangout and Circles is pretty exciting.

    One thing that frustrates me is that you cannot use you Google Apps account to access certain e Google services, such as Google+. Of course, I have a Gmail account, but I use my Google Apps-driven account more frequently. It’s not a deal breaker, though. I will be sure to connect with you once I get into Google+.  Cheers!

    1. Not sure if no one is scrolling through the comments or what…go towards the top – Robert gave out his email address so anyone that wants an invitation could request one…

  70. Holy crap, dude, you nailed it!  I have one piece of bad news for you, though, my Mom *will* be on Google+.  She’ll hack in if she has to, my Mom is a total uber:nerd!

  71. Do fell like saying a hearty thank you to all Google workers out there for G+. Thank you for that article above as well!.
    Ok got a question for someone.. On my Google profile why wasn’t “Posts” and “Buzz” (which are ..posts) turned into the same thing? Will that eventually happen? Does Google have a reason for this that I’m missing? Don’t understand how these two things are to differ from each other.  

  72. Great post. While I agree with you that it will take a while before people are willing to move from Facebook (I remember having friends I had a hard time getting to Facebook from Myspace.) isn’t part of the goal of designing Google+ to break into the realm that has been pretty much dominated by Facebook? It would be wonderful if it stayed elite to the geeks and what not…but this rings of what some of us were saying about Facebook when it went away from being just for college students.

  73. In Innovation they call it “jobs” “outcomes” “unmet needs” in relation to jobs you have technological jobs, obviously this new technology offers great features, especially “hangouts” the ability to filter circle of friends is also a great idea. Then you have “emotional jobs” the idea that people can now be more in tune with what they want to hear from who, and why, throw in the what and Google offers you the how.

    But here’s the biggest job of them all, “functional jobs” and this is where mainstream will make it or break it with Google +, just as this post says, most FB’ers are not willing to make the effort to methodically put their social graph in some filtration mode so that it’s generative to them.

    That’s because there’s this “confusion” that always accompanies new technology, that’s because technology seems to forget about “function” and go right for the emotion. 

    Help people get the function right that aligns with the emotion of the technology and you may have an alternative for the mainstreamers.

  74. no dude. Buzz on Roberts G+ page. Go there and see what i’m talking about. It’s the tab on the far right..———–> buzz -it’s like a micro bloggy thingy.

  75. Is that a slam on beer, in there? Because WE WON’T STAND FOR THAT SORT OF THING, ROBERT!

  76. I’m sure the moms would want to use it if their kids are on it. Moms don’t use SNS because they like the sites, they use it to find out what their kids (and other moms) are doing. All SNS begin to take off with collage kids first, whether your momma will like it is just beside the point.

  77. no one is listening anymore, too much crap on people’s feed, people stop commenting and liking…

    1. I think this is what could be the best part of Google+.  It will encourage people not to over-share.  Facebook automates over-sharing and Twitter is built for it.  The nature of Google+ could potentially create a space for everyone sharing just the right things with just the right people.

    2. can you imagine some secret ,social network is being built as I type  -trust me on this-There’s celebrities getting into
      the social space -dumping all kinds of money into it and are still in stealth mode. They get this news, and must be crushed. Oh. Well. You should have known better. Create another nitch for Pete’s sake.

  78. Dear Silicon Valley.  I am one of those geeks.  Can we talk about fixing my location situation?  Thank you.

  79.  I am itching to try Google+, I am interested to see how it works for someone who is more of a follower then a leader. I watched the latest TWIG live while they were showing off Circles and my second thought after wow that is neat, is there is going to be a lot of hair brushes brought if this becomes popular. Over all I agree with the article, its was hard enough to get my family to use Facebook, my husband in fact is a lost cause and to tell you the truth, I am glad, like Robert it is nice to have a space of your own. 

  80. Remember it’s still in beta for a reason; ‘moms’ might like it in the end.

    The key change from FB is that by being able to target the specific groups, and forcing you to do it, it can promote real conversation. Real as opposed to being a soap box. Real because you include 3 like-minded friends on a post instead of 300 friends, and those 3 friends can see that it’s only them 3. This in turn lets them feel more free to talk.
    I like to think of it as a conversation aggregator, and I just hope that the service encourages others to use it in this same way.

  81. My mom’s not on a computer. But, in reading the user feedback, people asking for things like nested circles….what ever happened to keep it simple? I’m also trying to figure out how I got access. It wasn’t until after I was in a day that I heard it’s still for “special people”. Oh boy!

    Ok, Hootsuite, where is the integration?

  82. He wasn’t referring to you, because you’re the one reading the post.  His post is referring to YOUR mama.  Does she, in any manner of speaking, have “root”?

    …probably not 😉

  83. But Google is not a company that has built value by building things exclusively for tech geeks. The very concept–and utility–of something as core as search is that you don’t need to know things like domains, URLs, and paths. The Google search box doesn’t care whether you type in (to use a somewhat popular example from the normals) “Facebook”, “Facebook login”, or “facebook.com”–it gets you to the right place. (The concept is taken to its logical extension with the Chrome omnibox.) And Google’s revenue model is built around search ads with the knowledge that normal people don’t care whether they get the top organic result or a paid result, they just click on whatever looks like the best match for their search.

    It’s crass to think that the value of Google+ is that it’s built for the tech elite. If that is Google’s goal, it’s already a failure of product vision.

  84. my mom used it and she loves it coz she has always been asking me for the *who you want to listen feature*

  85. I don’t know, you could say that twitter was a ‘geeks-only’ service and look at it now, it’s everywhere. I think is just about the people behind the tool. The geek world move twitter to the place it have now and google is betting that we’re going to do the same with G+.

  86. As a momma with a stronger social graph and geekiness than “normal” people, I like trying a new social tool.  I’ll probably have more time to share over the holiday weekend. Time to try things is big limiting factor in relatively normal lives. I hope its adoption becomes deeper and wider before the next conference I attend.

    Are Google+ invitations working again? I have a few hundred to give out.

  87. For now, I think you described it perfectly. The earlier adopters are geeks and social media stars. But, will we be able to say the same thing long term? The first users on Twitter were the geek types also, and I remember there being a lot of talk about how it wasn’t useful for the average user (a major reason I didn’t start using Twitter sooner and I am kicking myself now). But now, everybody and their MOTHER is using Twitter. Will we be changing our tune about Google+ in a few months?

    On another note, it’s flattering to see that Google feels that I’m one of those people who have “strong social graphs.”

  88. A like button does not make a social network. This is buzz/wave all over again. Cool tech that will be dropped soon. Plus, it won’t work on my google apps account unless I log out and us my unused gmail account

    1. I agree with you about Apps accounts. I hate having to login to an unused Gmail account (which I have forwarding to my Apps account) to use it.

  89. I agree with you at this moment in time, but I’m sure at some point it’ll be more friendly to “average users” like my mom. Naturally, Google wants as many users as possible. It may not be anytime soon, and it may not even be with this particular product, but Google will outlive Facebook.

  90. Have you had neighbors killed, relatives beaten by mobs, and your person assaulted with rocks? I have. I pay good money to get away from that scene, and now I have to deal with black people saying white people “stink” on Twitter. Sorry, to be blunt it kind of kills the experience. Also: you KNOW I’m onto something here. 

  91. Don’t agree at all. This is just a dumbass Chevy Nova facebook that designed exactly for your momma. Simpler, bigger type, less features, no business edge and stupid ‘hangout’ terminology.

    Thi place was designed for family and friends and the teens who are neglecting Facebook and looking for a more intelligent Instagram to share the kittens.

    My guess is that Google would be appalled that the geeks have moved into their brand new space. We’re the last people they need in order to make this place the FB killer they hoped it will be.

  92. My mom just discovered/started using Facebook so I’m not expecting her to really like Google+. Maybe in 5 years time. lol

    However, I’m disappointed that I don’t have and invite because of my social graph? What the hell is social graph??

  93. alot of Second Market investors are feeling a little queazy
    after this week.. I love it.. 

  94. G+ plus is just nostalgia for the web-geeks that looks back to the days when Facebook was young and there still was some innovation and creativity on the web. I dont know – the web is increasingly  owned and controlled by Google and they are sucking all the air out of it.

    I have removed myself from Google as much as possible the last years and now people are giving Google my email-adress to send out invitations. I am not amused.

    What would make me jump would be a private, secure and ad-free Facebook (G+ seems just the opposite). As much P2P as possible. Maybe I should build it 🙂

  95. G+ plus is just nostalgia for the web-geeks that looks back to the days when Facebook was young and there still was some innovation and creativity on the web. I dont know – the web is increasingly  owned and controlled by Google and they are sucking all the air out of it.

    I have removed myself from Google as much as possible the last years and now people are giving Google my email-adress to send out invitations. I am not amused.

    What would make me jump would be a private, secure and ad-free Facebook (G+ seems just the opposite). As much P2P as possible. Maybe I should build it 🙂

  96. My mother started a software company before you kids were born.  Please stop with the sexist & agist language, and implication.  If you want to say “non-technical people” do not say “your mother,” say “non-technical people.”  

    For Google+, between video chat and the ease of organizing who will see what, I expect it to have some traction with my friends and family.  For now, my circle is about 40% female (and of those, about 50% are moms).

  97. Yo momma won’t *walk*, either. Standing up outta the grass and walking and exposing yourself is for geeks. The average person lies crawls in the dirt and burps and farts.

    Geeks tend to be elitist.

  98. A few things…

    1. I think Google+ is awesome.

    2. Facebook people have been compiling their hundreds, thousands of aquaintances, fake friends and real friends for years now. People are not going to want to just get up and leave it all to start new someplace unfamiliar and strange.

    3. Most people are not techy or computer saavy. They turn it on, check their email, check their facebook and thats it. Some dont bother with the computer and just do this from their phone. I know a few people who know even own a traditional computer.

    This is going to take some time before the average Joe is on G+ yukking it up. Thats fine with me, most people from high school are lame and id prefer they stay on FB for a long while. Im all about the now and whats ahead of me, G+ is all that.

    1. Not so. Soon, all those lame friends from high school are going to go onto Google+ just like they went onto Facebook. It is just a matter of time . . .

  99. I’m a 51-year-old momma and I’ve been on G+ since Tuesday, you sexist, ageist whippersnapper.

      1. Some day, if you are lucky and don’t die young, you, too, holy_crap_this_is_boring will become an old person.  

  100. That’s kinda an odd post. So much enthusiam for a product Scoble likes….did he not get that he actually just explained that it will fail for pretty much the same reason Wave and Buzz did? 

  101. If they don’t have it, they should figure out a way to import Facebook Friends and other data. Then maybe Momma would try it. Meanwhile, I await my G+ invite. Guess my social graph isn’t awesome enough.

  102. I really hope that Google+ will not go the way of the Wave, when everyone wanted to join and there was a lot of hype around it, google kept it closed. Then they opened Wave to everyone, but hype was gone, people forgot what that Wave was about and it just died. So I hope Google will not keep G+ closed for very long or people will just forget why they wanted to join the first place (while all these articles on Reuters, CNN and BBC are still fresh).
    Google should allow people to pre-register, may be fill-in their profile and then ask them to wait a bit.

  103. I’m very happy to be organizing my thousands of contacts in Google + with out Bieber fans around, but I can’t help but wonder if some one wrote something similar to this about Facebook and Myspace years ago.

  104. My momma doesn’t use Facebook for some of the reasons you mentioned (Bieber fever, Cityville galore and other random stuff you find on your noisy news feed). However, she’s already using Google+ with me and we actually post a lot more than we normally would have on Facebook. When you restrict posts on Facebook, it feels like you’re hiding something. The same process feels much more natural and intuitive on Google+.

    1. Actually, you don’t I’ve gotten people with yahoo.com emails to sign up, and it uses their yahoo address.

  105. Yes, I much like your idea, and I’ve seen that in Twitter as well in the beginning, which got cluttered by ‘normal’ people later on.
    And, importantly, without these ‘normal’, I don’t think Google+ has stamina to hold more than a year!

  106. I am Mohammad Jobaed Adnan. I am not from Google+ R&D
    team and I never was. But I used to handle local brands in ad agency and now
    work for web development. I have a great love for latest technology which makes
    me tech savvy.

    Here I am sharing some of my thoughts. You do not have to
    agree with me but I do believe this is the right time for thinking about
    tomorrow’s social network.

    I think Google has much better chance than the Facebook. In
    our hearts, the word “Google” is always top of the mind because – in every
    aspect of our life we need Google more than we need Facebook:

    For searching – we need Google

    For mailing – we need Google

    And many of other web services  (YouTube, Picasa, News, Maps, and Shopping
    etc.) – we need Google too.

    Again Google came a very long time ago than the Facebook and
    this is another vital issue that the word “google” is inside our hearts.

    I did not get the invitation from Google+ yet but I heard
    all rumors and read the articles here and there on the web.

    I know brand communication always believes in a thought of
    being 360 degree. Why not making Google+ a 360 degree medium for next
    generation social network:

    Right now in Social websites one important part
    is sharing thoughts/things. The either way we call it sharing a “status”. Now
    we can share various things (via uploading or sharing links) like text, images,
    video, and audio. And we can set an option called “like/dislike”. In real life
    do we only share our emotion through only “like” and “dislike”? Of course we do
    not. We can smile, we can cry, we can do many other things. So why not adding
    such “emotion” inside social sharing?

    We can also add “audio and video comments”
    directly from our phone or via microphone rather than only uploading from web
    links/computer. Uploading kills time and real time audio/video posting means
    real time talking.

    These days many of us (corporates/individuals)
    do create Fan Page/Group. Google+ should add a real time “live video/audio”
    streaming feature so that users can easily stream their live events from their
    phone/laptop/web cam to their audience.

    Say you are a hair salon service provider, now
    you can show what is happing inside your salon to your customer. So that
    customer can see if you are free or not.

    Another thing, someone posted a video/test
    status about something. But you do not agree with it. You can then send a hand
    drawn idea and post it directly without being a “photoshop guy” or having a
    scanner. You can do it with your mobile camera or web cam with live capturing

    Poke with animated cartoon is more emotional.

    Adding “sponsored status” can even help users to
    earn money. Sharing your status with a sponsored label/graphics which can draw
    attention to public. This will add a new way to implement google ad sense. Who
    hates earning money? So more people will come and earn…

    Well, it is already enough talk. Time will say what will be
    inside the Google+. We will wait to see fall/rise of Google’s initiative
    Google+. Best of luck.

    1. There are alternatives to Google for searching, organizing, mailing, etc. I use Google but I also use its competitors services too. Google doesn’t have a monopoly on the Internet . . . yet.

  107.  I think we are looking for the wrong social network to replace. Google+ has more things in common with Twitter than facebook, and I’m pretty sure twitter has decrease the usage in the last couple of days.
     The big (huge?) difference between facebook and twitter/google+ it’s the fact that on facebook you need to allow another person to read you, on twitter, anyone can add you. For example, I know personally, almost everyone on my facebook account, and I speak with at least half of them, once a week. out of my followers on twitter, I may know 10%, and that goes down to 5% of the people I’m following. I know none one of the people in my circles in google + (and I’m not in any circle so far)
     If you think about it, you’ll see google+ won’t take users from facebook, but mostly from twitter, I didn’t play a lot will google plus, but so far, I didn’t find groups, or pages (and I’m not going to talk about games).
     These are my two cents, I agree google + is just for geeks right now (I couldn’t convide neither my wife, sister or brother to even look at google +), but I think google + it’s going to hurt more twitter than facebook, at least in the short term

    1. not able to convince your family?? awesome! that would mean you probably still have some of the invitations left! could you please send me one, at nikhilwalia87atgmaildotcom?

  108. Google + isn’t geeky at all. If you think formatting text is geeky, then 90% of computer users are elite hacker types. Dude, watch me increase the font size and center it in Microsoft Word. BAM! I heard about this dude from Finland who figured out how to add images! he’s like a super genius!

  109. Of course the folks at Google “haven’t yet proven that they can convince your mom to use it” – It’s three days old!!! I don’t yet feel the need to throw predictions of Google+’s (or Facebook’s) future. I’m just enjoying the ride so far…

  110. You calling me a geek bro? Seriously though. I believe G+ can snatch 1/2 of FB’s market in 3 years. At it’ll be better because it would be, as this article pointed out, without your mom and the Beiber drones. Geekier, more intelligent, grown up conversations, clever comedic posts. I think I’d like that a lot more.

    Now just fix my picasa tags/faces and we’ll be okay…

    1. In a few years, the non-geek, non-techies will be on Google+ just like they are on FB right now.  We’ll never to able to escape them.  Even worse, in a few decades most of us will BE one of them.

  111. The Topic at hand is Mom’s adopting  Google+… I help “ordinary” mom adap a and adopt  technology and they are actually  very good at separating their contacts and keeping “list” they’re also  way ahead of most on who gets what info…  it’s been the problem with  Facebook… Too public… I can’t let the “ladies at  work see this side of me”… it’s their number one complaint, why they do not use FB… so they use it for friends or for business not for both!  Frankly the only thing Keeping moms from this is the Invite system!

    Most techies have no  INTERACTION whatsoever outside their moms or family (and even withing that group many  do not  interact via technology)   with “normals” they design  for themselves or early adoptor then wonder why the products do not get  “adopted”

  112. This is one of my favorite posts on Google+. I’ve spent the last hour reading technical reviews of what it will do and not do and yours hits in the most important one for me. I love technology and the social aspect of sharing relevant information sprinkled with some personal candy. I hope that you are right – but I don’t see how google can be successful only populated by such a small group as us. Too bad.

  113. I totally agree with you and I was doing wrong! :PI love the d-n-d clip thing they do when you select more contacts at once…
    I love when you onmouseovering through your albums and see your photos faning out…
    I love how it is smooth…
    I love being such a Google fan boy!

  114. hahaha SO true!! lol If told I HAD to sit in front of the TV for 4 straight hours and I had to do so using a conventional broadcast, I’d easily start building databases of the broadcast and syncing it up to Google Calendar.

  115. Anybody care to sent an invite to ralph dot kazemier at gmail dot com? Thanks a bunch if you do…

  116. the thing that i still don’t get is.. why the all out push for no privacy anymore? i’m sure i’m not the only person on the planet who loves tech, but has very real reasons not to use a real name…

  117. right now Facebook at least lets you keep your personal info private… Google has no intention of allowing that to happen…

  118. right now Facebook at least lets you keep your personal info private… Google has no intention of allowing that to happen…

  119. Hey, really cool page, but I am missing the +1 button to rate your article 😉

    btw invite me too to Google+

  120. Hey, really cool page, but I am missing the +1 button to rate your article 😉

    btw invite me too to Google+

  121. The cool new things facebook unveiled is basically the same thing as the hangout… XD

  122. You’ve highlighted a feature of all social media, actually, that it is always about the devs picking their friends to be in the beta test, people who are likeminded with them, and leaving everyone else out. It’s not a really authentic test, because they don’t take the first sign-ups or random sign-ups, but let people in on the principle of their own personal social graph, doling out invitations to each one, then saying they can invite 6 of their own friends, etc. And that’s why these platforms always feel too wonky and claustrophobic, they are run by geeks and packed by geeks who then don’t like mass culture and don’t like ease of use because they want to keep the club to themselves. It’s funny to see you admit frankly that you’d just as soon have a small club of geeks to talk to, Scoble, how could a project like this ever succeed unless it’s for everybody?!

  123. *cough* as someone who’s children are probably close to your age, I don’t know if I should feel horrified by your presumptions or honored that I’m a geeky old chick…suffice it to say that, while I will agree that not all Mommas will be video chatting via Google+, not all thirty and forty somethings will be either. I am constantly amazed how many “younger” people have absolutely no idea as to the power of social media. This is not a generational issue so much as it is a passion issue. I know WAY more about social media than my college educated, professional children. And, while the jury is still out, I am loving Google+ so far 😉

  124. Soo much of this post is very true! You have to be a thought leader, social media advocate or a really big tech head to have a desire for Google +. As an Internet Marketing graduate from Full Sail, I have totally come to realize that one of the keys to social media is being able to have this passion to check everything hot and new out before it becomes “hot and new” to the average users, who will be more likely to follow their friends instead of following “the leaders” as we trailblaze. 

  125. I am sure with time, our parents, spouses, and other non-techie, outsiders, non-social savvy types will get on Google+ and it will become like FB in that respect. They won’t be content to be on FB when the rest of us are on Google+.  Just with due time . . . so in a sense we are doomed to have to deal with their inane postings on Google+ just as FB is doomed to become the next has-been Myspace/Friendster, etc.

    Then along will come another social network, and everyone will leave Google+ to go to that new network to try to escape their moms, outsiders, the general public, etc. and it will start all over again . . .

  126. It’s ironic that early adopters of Google Plus are trying to get away from their moms, outsiders, non-techie types, but in a few years we will BE one of those types that we are trying so hard to get away from . . . 

  127. To all the people who say that Facebook offers the same features as Google +, you are right, but Facebook hasn’t marketed it big enough like Google has. For example, Google pushes you to create circles and organize your contacts. It’s super simple and the interface makes it not boring. On Facebook, “Groups” are HORRID to use. The interface is horrible, and not that many people use Groups. Skype on Facebook will be big, but Hangouts are even better because you can talk to ALL of your family at once. That was a dealbreaker for me, because my cousins live 6 hours away from me, I can’t see them everyday, but I want to be a part of their lives. G+ just makes more sense to use

  128. good take on “google+”.  i invited my “mom” to google+, and i think she’ll like it… only because she’s NOT already on FB though… time will tell.  now my Grandma on the other hand… 😉

  129. My early though is that Facebook will add (or steal if you prefer although looking at G+ its basic design is an obvious FB rip ) many of the features that make G+ attractive, and therefore make it irrelevant. Unlike Twitter, G+ and FB are more alike than they are different. If you add the asynchronous circle concept to FB, I would probably not ever use G+, and I am the “techiest” person I know (was on Gmail, Wave, Buzz, Docs, Reader, and Calendar beta). The video conference thing I would never use, photo sharing sucks compared to Facebook, +1’s is poorly implemented with no filtering, and the permissions model is more limited… With all that said, I am optimistic that they will add some “must have” features to make this service truly relevant, but just a tad bit.

  130. “….we geeks and early adopters and social media gurus need a place to talk
    free of folks who think Justin Bieber is the second coming of Christ”  THIS IS HILARIOUS!!!!!

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