After all the chatter and blabbing about Google+, I was interested in hearing some impressions by someone who was actually using it, and I was secretly hoping that that someone would be a competent, tech-savvy journalist. That’s why I enjoyed One month with Google+: why this social network has legs by Jacqui Cheng at Ars Technica.
After one month with Google+, it’s clear to me that this—sending updates to certain groups of people and not to others—is the main appeal of the service. I was one of the first people to loudly declare that you can do the same thing on Facebook, but so few people know this that it’s basically a nonexistent feature; that’s the problem with Facebook. With Google+, sending out certain updates to some people and other updates to other people is right at the forefront of the experience. You are always asked to make a conscious decision about your social circles and about which circles get to see which posts.
And here’s a feature I didn’t know about:
There’s also the (wondrous) ability to “mute” posts on Google+. You know how you “Like” a friend’s photo on Facebook, only to get alerts for every single one of that person’s 300 family members when they end up commenting on the picture and arguing over whose body part is in the corner? Imagine if you could simply hit a button to ensure that you never have to hear about that post ever again—even if it’s your own post. We’re not talking about blocking certain users—sometimes you want to keep a person around, but you just don’t want to hear about a topic anymore. That’s a huge bonus to Google+, and those I’ve spoken to agree that it’s one of the better unsung features of the service.
I agree, this is something I’m sure I would resort to if I started using Google+ (unlikely).
Finally, this is another point I agree with:
However, the most important thing for Google to do right now is to retain its current audience and keep the momentum going. Enough people use Google+ and say enough good new things about it that it could establish itself as a legitimate alternative to Facebook, but fickle users can easily be driven away by boredom at this early stage. So long as Google+ keeps improving, it should be okay; if it implements some of the suggestions thrown out by its users, it could be more than okay.