Google Plus

Google Plus

It’s been a week or so since I got an invite to Google+ and took my test drive. I loved it immediately. Thinking the newness might wear off and I might become less enthused over time, I stayed quiet for a bit.

However, after a week, I still myself hanging out in Google Plus when I have a few idle moments.

Why?

This initial draw for me was the Circles. In Facebook, I fought constantly to keep my private information private. Every time they introduced a new feature, I would have to search to find out where and how to opt-out. With G+ circles, I get to decide on each post, who will have visibility.

Then I fell in love with the way you can use circles to filter your Stream (G+’s version of FB’s newsfeed). With one click, I can view my family’s posts. Another click and I catch up with my work associates. Click once again and view posts from my fellow writers.

Since the user interface looks like Facebook (after a couple of trips through the wash cycle), I expected the same two-step, ask and confirm, friending process. I was surprised to learn that G+ works more like Twitter in this regard. You simply decide who to follow. But unlike Twitter, people you follow may not choose to share anything with you.

Sharing pictures and videos works pretty much like Facebook, except the size when viewed in your stream is much larger — and G+ doesn’t default to low-resolution when you upload (nor does G+ try to scare you into low-res by claiming the upload will take 10x longer.)

There are many other G+ features. Some I haven’t yet explored, like Hangouts,which are video chat sessions with up to ten friends.

I expected that G+ would replace my use of Facebook over time, which it has to a large degree. But what surprised me is how little time I’m spending on Twitter.

I believe the reason for this is that many of my writer friends are already on G+. I find more than enough social interaction with them to fill the time I have available — and the interaction is richer and more fulfilling than on Twitter.

What about you? Have you tried Google+ yet? What do you like — and what do you not like?

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