First Look at Google+, the Alternative to Facebook from Google

GOOGLE+ (GooglePLUS) or google.com/+/

We can’t see the system yet, but we’ve all heard about Google’s entry into the social network space for years. This most recent SXSWi the talk was about Google’s new social sharing product called Circles. Well, it’s here in the new Google+ And WAVE looks like it might still have signs of live under a new name Huddle and Hangouts.

One thing for sure, Google has the money, the market share and the braintrust to figure this out.

One other thing for sure, the market doesn’t care if your Google or StartupNumberX, if your concept sucks, or your application isn’t ready for primetime, you will know, because no one will use it. And people like me, hungry for Facebook alternatives, will use it hard and call out all the flaws, IMHO, of course. So here’s all we got so far from Google’s LearnMore page.

The intro video is nice, but don’t get to gung ho just yet. The videos for WAVE were amazing. And where’s WAVE today? But on thing that seems pretty clear, your Google Profile is going to be at the heart of Google+, so you might start getting that in order right now. Your links, associations, perhaps even your left over BUZZ. We can all be excited about an alternative to Zuckerberg’s misguided advertising platform, but it’s gotta work seamlessly and offer something better, MUCH better, than facebook. That’s a tall order.

Let’s take a look at the pieces we know about so far.

Circles
A way of connecting your networks of people together by interest. Here’s their description.

The social network from Google

Sparks
Might be a bit like a LIKE and a bit like a Social Bookmark (see Delicious). What if all your “likes” were tagged and stored for you to come back to? Would that be a good thing?

sharing your content with Google+, Sparks

Hangouts
Google+ takes on Skype and Facetime with an open virtual chat room.

Hangouts on Google+

And for “mobile”

Instant upload.
Facebook does this pretty well, so this is merely the Google+ alternative. I wonder if it uses Picasa?

sharing photos with Instant Upload from Google+

And Huddle
A nice form of group IMing.

Virtual groups on IM with Google+ Huddle

So let’s see how they tie all of Google+ together in the coming weeks. I’ll be looking for my invite so I can show you under the covers. For now, go visit the LearnMore page and take the tours. But don’t get too attached to the system just yet. A lot of people invested a lot of time and effort to see Google’s WAVE make it into the mainstream, it failed. And BUZZ, well, it was pretty much a same-as-Twitter-no-benefit project that also failed.

I couldn’t be more hopeful about Google+. The Facebook lock on social needs to be challenged. And Google certainly has the platform and motivation to do it. Let’s see if the social (people) get behind Google’s efforts. Stay tuned, we’ll have front row seats.

Here is my delicious Google+ tag page, where you can find all my Google+ discoveries the second I find them

@jmacofearth
permalink: http://uber.la/2011/06/google-plus/

The LearnMore page about Google+

A few other posts that might be of interest:

Other PLUS posts of interest:

Business Insider: We made PLUS because everybody hates Facebook.
SearchEngineLand: A First Look INSIDE Google +

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