I have to hand it to the people at Google. They managed to create a lot of buzz about their latest project, getting millions of people to start using it in less than a month. Unfortunately for Google, my first reaction to Google+ is, “So what?”
It’s not that Google+ is a bad product. It’s more that it’s a product that does not yet have a need. It’s a superficial clone of all the other social media experiments going on out there that doesn’t add a whole lot new to what people are already doing.
That’s not to say it couldn’t. Google has the potential to weave together its impressive array of products using Google+ in a way that could revolutionize the way people use computers and the internet. But, so far that hasn’t happened. Instead, Google+ is a sophisticated chat board.
So, what would I like to see in Google+ that would get me excited? Here are a few things:
- I already use a battery of different services to maintain an online presence. Having to migrate all of that information to Google+ by hand is the single biggest detriment to me using it. If Google wants its product to be amazing, figure out a way to let me import information from places like Facebook and LinkedIn so I don’t have to reproduce it.
- Create a way to support groups. Facebook may have botched the attempt, but it had a good idea in introducing the concept.
- Tie Blogger, Google Docs, Sites, and other Google based web presence applications into Google+. For me, my Facebook pages, especially for my businesses, are valuable enough to deal with the annoyance of the rest of Google.
- Figure out a way to tell me my streams have updated in some sort of unobtrusive way.
I think the biggest thing Google could do is develop Google+ with business applications in mind. Make Google+ a clearinghouse for small businesses trying to get the word out about who they are and what they do, and I think people would join in droves.