If you follow tech news at all, you’ve seen countless headlines about the latest entry into the social network space, Google+. A friend of mine passed along an invite, and I spent some time tinkering with it. While it is certainly is better than some of Google’s previous social efforts, there’s only one feature, one I’ve yet to use, that would really drive me to use this over the other existing tools, platforms, etc. – the big gorilla of those being Facebook. Others have eloquently stated that one of the main hurdles Google faces is getting people to migrate all their existing photos, networks, and relationships to their service.
Why am I saying “meh” to the service right now? It boils down to a shocking lack of integration with other Google products. My friend has pointed out that they will likely fix these complaints of mine, but my retort is that they should have been in from the start. My major gripe is the lack of integration with Google Reader. Reader has buttons to “Share” and “Like” news items you are reading. Once my G+ account is activated, why aren’t these buttons connected to the G+ stream/circles service? And where is the +1 button for news posts?
The same goes for YouTube; you can search for YouTube videos from the G+ “add video” feature. But where is the reverse on the YouTube site? If I’m watching a video there, why can I not immediately send it to my Circles? They could have really locked people into using their full suite of products from the start. Instead, I still have to manage a number of different points of sharing. Still have to cut and paste links into different services to make sure all my networks are seeing things.
Meh, I’ll wait and see if enough people I know migrate over and really use the system before I get excited.