First thoughts on Google+


So what it Google+? Well after a first glance and a couple of hours playing around it seems to be an integrated environment which takes ideas from Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Flickr etc.

There are four main views: Home, Photos, Profile and Circles.

Circles are preset or bespoke groups that you can add people to, like lists in Twitter. The bespoke streams are Friends, Family, Acquaintances and Following

The Home page shows the stream of discussion, comments from people that you have added to your Circles appear in the appropriate stream. You can toggle between them.

The Photos view shows photos that you have uploaded, that others have tagged you in, photos from your circle and photos from your phone.

The Profile view is just that, straightforward.

The Circles view shows people who are in your circles, people who have added you and gives you the facility to find people.

The fact that there are these views or aspects really reminds me of some research that I did with Professor Mark Harman at KCL a few years ago: Aspect Oriented Software Development: Towards A Philosophical Basis I got very excited about it at the time, and actually should have another look at it.

Anyway, so that’s was a very basic description of the views, there are several other features that I’ve discovered so far:

Hangouts which look like videoconferencing with people that you add on the fly….looking forward to trying that later on today.

Sparks look like pre-defined interest based searches, so for example I’ve added Hiking, Bletchley Park and Computer Science to my Sparks.

Chat is, guess what? Yes, a chat facility within Google+.

OK, so that’s a very quick overview of what I’ve found and looked at in a couple of hours. I’ve taken a few screen shots (above) which will help give you a better idea of how it all fits together.

So, apologies as I’ve probably left loads of stuff out, but what do I think of Google+ so far? I’m addicted already! It was painful writing this blog post because it meant spending time away from it. Scary! 

Now I just need to work out how to invite other people …..


  1. What is your opinion on the competition it provides against Twitter and Facebook can you see it over coming it or is this another stab at Google Buzz?

  2. Hi @Tamcuk from a naive users point of view, i.e. me after just a few hours, I’d say it will give them a run for their money. Because it integrates the features of lots of the apps that we (or I anyway) use all the time I think it may diminish their hold on their respective users.

  3. Nice summary of the basic features, Sue.There are a number of really cool things here, and some very important things to note. First and foremost – it’s in early tech preview so this is going to evolve. I like the fact that it ties together the Google profile with various other services like Picasa (which I can now see myself using much more). Hangouts are huge. Free, multiperson video chat, with text chat as well. Up to 10 people in a hangout, and the view changes so that the active speaker is the one shown in the large video view. Very clever technology. It also supports co-viewing of YouTube content which is really awesome.One thing you don’t mentioin is a group chat feature called Huddles, which at the moment is only available in the Android app, and is a clear competitor to both BBM and Apple’s new iMessage, but is likely to be cross-platform and integrated with the Circles.I’m very excited, I’m finding it very sticky as a destination on the web, and I know it is only early days – the mailing list to discuss the API has only just started and other service integrations have yet to happen. It’s a very strong, usable, nice product. Lots of fun.

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