Tour of the New Google+ (with screenshots) and Invitation

In honor of National Social Media Day today, I spent yesterday evening digging through the test version of the new Google+ social network so I could share my experience and screenshots with you.

Basically, Google+ was created to win over three main areas of social media:  privacy, video conferencing, and content consumption.  One major complaint of Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and others is that our entire network sees every post, even though most of us have thoughts we’d like to share that some parts of our social network won’t care for. Consequently, we tend to only share watered down updates, pictures, and articles that won’t confuse, irritate, or offend anyone.

At least that’s what smart people do.

Facebook is like the dinner table with family, friends, and colleagues all together. Google+ aims to be the big house with different rooms (with thick walls) for the different groups of people you know.  You can share your sports talk with the friends, the work talk with coworkers, and the deeply personal conversations with your inner circle.

This was not easily done before.

Will it change social media forever?  Only time will tell.  Take a look below and see for yourself, then post your thoughts in the comment section.

 

Welcome Page

The welcome screen is fairly simple (click the image below for a full size version). Right now it highlights the three main Google+ innovations:  Circles, Hangouts, and Sparks. I’ll get into those in more detail below.

 

Circles Page

This section is the first of three main innovations that Google is hoping will put this project on the path to social media stardom.  Basically, it allows you to segment all contacts whatever way you’d like.  Family, friends, acquaintances are all standard, but I’ve gone even further and segmented the people I know by type of work they do. That way everyone gets relevant discussion.  My friends don’t have to hear my work talk and my colleagues don’t have to hear my family reunion plans.

Everyone wins.

The user interface is clean, simple, and uses a drag and drop type method to sort through contacts.  It was quite easy to use.

 

 

Hangouts Page

Here is their play at Skype.  The only difference is that Skype makes you pay for video conferencing, where as Google Hangouts does not.  It will allow up to 10 people at a time into a video chat.

This is the first major thing that leaders ought to look at.  You’ll be able to easily conference with remote staff members, clients, and others all on video.  All free.

(Did I mention that Google is desperate to get into social media?)

 

Sparks Page

The Sparks page is basically Google News that remembers your favorite topics and allows you to share them with whatever circle you would like.  It’s more like a public news feed than a social media channel.  I wasn’t impressed when I searched for a topic and 7 out of 10 articles were the same exact topic.  Until they fix that, I’ll stick with Twitter for news and reading material.

 

 

Profile Page

It’s simple.  It’s public.  It’s got a map.

Click the image to see for yourself.

 

Pictures Page

Fairly standard pictures page. Very similar to Facebook, however it’s worth noting that Google+ has an photo sharing feature from mobile phones that keeps all pictures stored on your Google+ photo section instantly. Nice.

 

Stream Page

Much like Facebook.  In fact, for a second, I thought I was on Facebook…just with fewer ads.

 

Google +1 Page

When signing up, they already had all the items listed that got a +1 click from me on Google search since the +1 service started.  This was intriguing and looks like an attempt to provide a social bookmarking service like StumbleUpon, Del.icio.us, or Digg.

 

If you’re interested, later today I’ll be inviting the 8pm Warrior email subscriber list to join me on Google+ and I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts on it.  Come on back and share your thoughts.

Will you use this?

Will this beat Facebook in the long run?

Have a great night!

Aaron@Biebert
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Published by Aaron Biebert

I'm a director, film/video exec producer, leader & 8pm Warrior. I am passionately chasing my goals at all times. I'm listening. Let's talk!

45 comments on “Tour of the New Google+ (with screenshots) and Invitation”

  1. Pingback: Quora
  2. Thanks for this, it looks a lot better than I anticipated. I am particularly impressed with the free video conferencing… I can think of many occasions where you would have a group of people (I assume in a circle) and you would all want to get on a video chat.

    1. Yes, I think the video chat may be the carrot that gets quite a few families and corporate groups to use Google+. As for user interface, I’m on Orkut (not much) and it is also has an well designed feel to it so I’m not surprised they got that right.

      However, I am surprised they didn’t just take the same interface and plan on merging them down the road. Why have two? :-)

  3. Can’t say anything about Facebook… Facebook v/s Google+ = Popularity v/s Market Value…. you can expect a cold-war b/w both..
    My Thought: Relax… Enjoy the show

  4. Aaron,

    Great article – I appreciate the breakdown on each feature.

    Honestly, I have started to feel overloaded with all these buttons, and rolled my eyes when I heard about Google +1, and now Google +. But I see it’s use, and have appreciation, thanks to your effort.

    Looks like I might become a little more intimate with my Google panel after all!

    Thanks again,

    ~Keri

    1. I agree Keri! SOOOOoooo many buttons!

      With the launch of Google+, I am seeing it all come together. Won’t be long before I throw a +1 button here on my blog as well. Just trying to keep it uncluttered.

      Thanks for the comment.

  5. It looks awesome! I can’t wait to try out Circles especially. I’d love an invite if you have one.

    Joe

  6. This is very informative! I was asked by an author to start using the button on a blog of his that I follow. So I did.
    P.S. I’m a reader who still reads your blog via email. #justsayin

  7. The Google + instant sharing/posting of ANY photo to someone’s profile is bringing all sorts of pranksterish thoughts to my head. Facebook hijacking through unattended phones is rampant in my social circle. This could be even funnier.

  8. Oh yeah like the late Michael Jackson “I’ll be there, just send an invite and I’ll be there, look at your friends list buddy, Wooooh i’ll be there” lol

  9. Awesome, you’ve just saved me a ton of time wading through everything! Now I can go ahead and set it up! Love the Hangout feature. This is going to save me a ton of time.

  10. You can’t deny the similarities between the interfaces… it looks almost as if Google+1 just went with a straight Facebook look so that people wouldn’t be confused.

  11. Great post Aaron, remember to send me an invite. I may have to get a Google account after all! :)
    PS if you use a plugin for your buttons, search for really simple facebook twitter share in the plugins section, that includes all the sharing options including +1, they are smaller and neater enabling more of them

  12. Hi Aaron, Google+ looks sterling and I can’t wait to get my hands dirty. Please send me an invite and let’s connect. Many thanks. Cheers!

  13. Hey Aaron I was just reading about Google + when I came across your review. I think you did a great job with the pics and explantions and I would like to check it out. I subed to your blog under ahmedmaye18 at gmail dot com. Let me know if you still got any invites left. Thanks a ton.

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