Google+ has everyone talking. Mainly because everyone wants to see what all the fuss is about, but Google’s “limited field trial” means that even if you are invited by a friend, it’s hit or miss whether you’ll get in.
So for the past few days, everyone has been talking about “Hangouts” (group video chat), “circles” (the equivalent of friends lists on Facebook, but probably a little easier on your privacy) and “Sparks” (stuff you’re interested in), while most of us could only hit refresh on the Google+ page and hope the “Join Google+” button would appear.
If it’s a strategy to get people interested, it’s certainly working.
My Twitter timeline is full of people either extolling the virtues of Google+, or complaining that they can’t get in, and what exactly the hell is going on?
Up until yesterday, I was cluttering up other people’s feeds with complaints that Google+ didn’t appear to want me. After a brief tease where it showed me the sign in button, and then yanked it away when I clicked on it, I was pretty much convinced I was destined to be Google+-less for the forseeable future.
But last night, thanks to some eagle-eyed Twitter users, I finally managed to get in.
And as of 9.30am, I’m still not quite sure what I’m doing with it.
In theory though, I like it.
The circles feature means I can keep work and friends separate. And the Sparks section, well I’m still building that one.
But I have only a handful of friends on it, so trying out the video chat will have to wait. It won’t be replacing Facebook just yet. I can see some of my less tech-aware friends being totally baffled by it though.
In the meantime, Facebook has been doing some development of its own. Namely video chat, thanks to a tie-in with Skype, and group messaging. No it’s not revolutionary, they haven’t done it first, but it makes communicating with friends a little easier.