On GooglePlus for the last few hours and here are my first thoughts
- Account Settings: The classic Google Account Settings takes a new shape once you sign up for Google Plus. The settings are more social networking centric now and have lots of checks and balances on what to share and what not to. A few visits to account settings are needed to fine tune how you look and interact eventually on the social networking space.
- Circles: This is the feature that has the best initial impact when you sign up for GooglePlus. However, in my case, the initial circles I created are not that well populated, mainly because many of my folks are not yet on GooglePlus. Having an ability to put people in circles (and I can keep people on multiple circles) is a very intuitive start to the social networking. Now I don’t have to bother people with updates that they may not care about. On a side note, it may also reduce the explosive growth that usually happens due to spill overs across social boundaries. Circles may limit stuff to preconceived set of users.
- Sparks: My first feeling is that it looked like a canned search. I am yet to use this feature to an extent to see the benefits or lack of them.
- Streams: Combined with circles, the streams seem to offer well segregated content distribution. The traffic on my GooglePlus account is limited at this point. But whatever content I have, I see that well categorized.
- Notifications: The notifications looked relatively noisy to me. Not so optimized way of using the real estate on the screen is the first reason for that. Styling the unread notifications and already read notifications in the same way is a usability issue to me personally.
- Photos: One biggest advantage I saw here is the linkage to Picasaweb. I am there already with lot of legacy content ready to share.
- Navigation: Some of the navigation plus points personally for me are the google reader like (character based) navigation through posts. For example, use the keys ‘j’ and ‘k’ as down-arrow and up-arrow. I am a big user of google reader and classic vi editor on unix boxes, so I feel home here.
- Hangouts: Haven’t used it yet. Need a weekend and also more people in my circles. Just configured and left it like that..
Well, overall, we have another potential successful player in social networking space this time.