Google+ is here, and it looks a lot like Facebook, only with that certain Google flair and simplicty that we all came to love about Gmail. Some people (namely my wife) have asked me why I'd use Google+ when all my friends, family, and photos are already on Facebook. There are a lot of reasons, and I'll go over them in a bit, but honestly the biggest reason is that it's new and shiny, and I like new and shiny things (that work). Also, not a lot of people are on it yet, so that makes me kind of hip and trendy. Well, ok, that's not quite true, it's estimated that by tomorrow there will be 10 million users, but of the people I know, I'm one of the first ones using it. Also, it's built right into the top bar when I'm using other Google apps, I don't have to go to Facebook.com or Twitter.com, I can see my notifications right from my Gmail account, which I always have open.
Some of the other reasons I like Google+ better than Facebook or Twitter:
- Best of both worlds privacy options, it's not all or nothing like Twitter, and it's not obscure and hard to use like Facebook. I pick who sees what, and it's pretty darn clear at all times who's going to see what. Have you seen the "See what your Google+ page looks like as a different user..." option? Slick!
- I don't have to "Friend" someone, I can "Coworker" them, or "Programming People" them, or put them in whatever circle makes sense, but I don't have to call them friends just because the social network we're on assumes we're all friends. My wife said to me last night "Yeah, there are a lot of people I'm "friends" with on Facebook who I go out of my way to avoid when I see them in public". Now she can create a circle on Google+ called "Jerks from high school" and put those people in it.
- The fact that all of my pictures and videos from my phone are automatically synced (because I turned that feature on) from my Android phone makes it that much easier to share those pictures and videos.
Overall, I think I'll be spending a lot of time (but not too much time, boss) on Google+, and even less time than I currently spend (which already isn't much) on Facebook or Twitter. I for one welcome our new social network overlords.