I’ve been manically playing with Google Plus for about an hour now and, while there is disagreement here among the editorial team at Search Engine Land, I give it a qualified “thumbs up.”
At first glance many people will dismiss Google Plus as redundant and derivative of Twitter and Facebook, in particular. This was also true of the ill-fated Buzz. But this is a much better and more thoughtfully designed product than Buzz.
Familiar UI but Takes Getting Used To
Accordingly the interface is familiar and relatively intuitive but Google Plus still takes some “getting used to.” Some have already criticized Google Plus as a “reactive” product, simply mimicking Facebook with some tweaks.
Google’s radically different product Google Wave crashed and burned because people didn’t really know what it was or how to use it. It was too scary unfamiliar. Plus plays it safer and is less of a departure from the known universe of social media tools (Facebook, Twitter) than Wave was from email, for example.
I’m not going to attempt a comprehensive feature tour. No doubt there will be many articles in the days that follow on every conceivable aspect of Google Plus. Instead I’m going to express some initial “hands on” observations about the product and user experience.