How Google+ Got its Groove Back

When Google+ first launched, I hustled my way to get an early invite so that I could grope the shiny UI touches like circles, and oogle the sexy tech features like Hangouts, but up until now, I haven't been an active user of Google+, preferring to rely on my established networks of friends on Facebook, and news and industry knowledge on twitter, but when I saw  the Google+ Hacker News circle, I added myself and followed the circle, realizing it was an awesome, immediate way to tap into the thoughts of the most interesting network on the web

Today, however, I realized that the value of the circle had increased exponentially with the launch of Search plus Your World, adding a layer of magic, it-just-works utility to Google+ that Facebook and twitter just cant match.  Paired with the right network, Google+ now powers the most powerful and natural curated search out there, surfacing vetted results from your network (you'll need to be a member of Google+ and be logged in in order to see the change).

The service just rolled out, and Google+ is still a fairly young network, but based on my initial impressions I really think this is a brilliant play that 1) elegantly solves a need lots of users have, 2) takes Google+ beyond a defensive strategy against facebook and twitter, and 3) doesnt feel too creepy or big-brotherish. 

12 responses
thanks for the tip!
Darn -- they're throttling adds
I agree Google plus is great improvement for search, but still lacks of interactivity of FB or Twitter. Everything is still too fragmented, too much new stuff to learn (big problem for most users) and I am not sure if it can compete with FB as social platform. I like alternatives, but those three I see as pretty different services which can coexist.
If we have time for all of them.
Do we?
Google+ is definitely a quality product and is growing. But few observers are mentioning that Facebook has the world's largest collection of social data and has likely been working on its own search engine project for years now that takes advantage of all of this social data. This is a huge collection of data that Google doesn't have access to and can be used in many creative ways that would likely blow this experience out of the water. Not just people are onboard with how Facebook benefits them, but businesses as well. Look at how many mainstream TV ads promote Facebook URLs. Look at how many companies there are at that do nothing other than promote Facebook pages. Google+ is a great product and this integration with search to personalize it is a big play. Facebook has the similar potential to drop this kind of nuclear bomb as well and that would be fascinating to see. Microsoft and Facebook are cozy. Apple hates Google. Twitter aligns with who? Does Amazon have a social play here? You're going to see a lot of these big companies have their long-term strategies changed with this type of development because people use Facebook 24 hours per day, whether they're at work or on their smartphone while riding the bus home. Google is trying to head this off but they've got some major competition ahead of them.
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