Signed up for a Google+ account a few days ago. If Google+ goes public in the next year (2012), then it may be the end of the world and Facebook. When they go public, it is on like Donkey Kong. I think the guys at Facebook know this and have a plan but given that Google has a larger customer base (1 billion strong) and their innovative products are used by the entire world - they have made their mission clear: become the world’s Social network. Only a powerhouse like Google could do this, with the level of integration between Picasa and Android and the budget to make it #1.
The 3 things that stood out to me about Google+
- Promise for integration with Picasa
- Android mobile integration
- Tightly coupled with Games and Apps (and websites)
If you don’t know about Picasa go check it out. It allows you to organize your photos and even has facial detection software so you can detect people in your album. It’s sort of like tagging your friends in Facebook except that Picasa does it for you automatically. I can imagine this same algorithm would make Google+ very popular in the realm of photography (at least where people you know are actually in the photos).
Why tell Facebook where you are, your phone knows that already. There are so many benefits here I can’t list them. Given that Google rules the Android world, and many of the applications that make smart phones great… they can’t go wrong.
Websites, games and more
After I signed up for Google+, I noticed a whole new experience with in my Chrome browser (also another Google product). It seems that Google+ has this +1 button everywhere, and it will let me know about all the cool stuff Google+ can offer. It’s everywhere. In reality, it is going to be impossible to ignore Google+.
Obviously, I sound like a big Google Fanboy so I’m going to talk about something else besides how wonderful Google is. I’m not a stock guy and over $500 per share seems very, very steep. I have no clue what will happen to Google’s stock but I can guess that apart from a government take over (to prevent googolopoloy), there is great promise in Google Corp.
I know their apps are amazing, and developers (including myself) love to work with the api. It is simple. It is built by creative minds and crafted with simplicity in mind - not to mention the documentation. Google Apps provides clean documentation, tutorials to get started and plenty of client library support.
My biggest beef with Google Apps is that if there is a bug with the products, it’s difficult to get in touch with a “real person.” Also, why have they not opened the developer api for Google+ yet? I may have to put some of my Google experience to use and develop a Google+ application - which will hopefully rival Facebook’s Graph API which happens to be pretty sleek.
Which brings me to my next beef. The APIs change quite frequently and depreciate rapidly (for example, see the Google Spreadsheet API). And Facebook is notorious for changing it’s API constantly. What’s FBML again? Now, granted I am a web developer and not a business hat, I have really been looking at this from the developer perspective and, I can tell you from this view… Google+ has no where to go but up. It’s still not ready to compete with Facebook, but it’s getting closer every day.