I think that Google+ is losing steam. If they had rolled it out to everyone, people might have considered switching from Facebook right away. A lot of people think it isn’t worth the effort to switch. Google should be finding ways to welcome the new people with open arms, as if they were refugees from a country where privacy is nonexistent.
Also, where are all those changes that the engineers are supposed to be making? Why is my default stream still cluttered with people I don’t know? Shouldn’t they be relegated to the nether-regions of my “Following” circle? Why is my stream automatically selected when I would rather see what my friends are doing before I click on the stream that holds my “Following” circle. Should I even disclose that I have a “Following” circle where I just follow random people, a la Twitter? Is talking about your circles like Fight Club?
It looks like Google has positioned Google+ as beyond the normal (AKA not particularly technologically advanced) person’s reach (with the advent of invitations) and has almost cornered themselves. Unless they start rolling the site out of beta and into regular usage, I don’t see how this can actually help them. It’s been three weeks now and I haven’t seen any major changes. I do know a bunch of my friends on G+ but they are still primarily on Facebook because there aren’t enough people on Google+ for it to make sense for them to spend time on it.
There was a criticism from someone I read who said that all that gets talked about on Google+ is Google+. I think that’s quite accurate. It must be incredibly boring for most people to be on Google+ if they’re not posting photos or wanting to talk about Google+. So far, I’ve hung out once. It was a fun experience because my friends from different states could all chime in. Beyond that, however, I don’t see many other people that I know doing things like that.
I foresee Google+ as taking over as a social network for businesses more than anything else. With more people getting on, it’s going to make communicating with people in other departments exceptionally easier. You could be “hanging out” all day if you have a webcam and if that needy intern has a question, they can either IM you or pop on there for a second and then leave you alone. Regular people aren’t hanging out. Google+ engineers, geeks and Newt Gingrich are hanging out.