If you’re a big Google user you would have noticed a recent change, the appearance of a black bar across the top of Google. Why the change? Well, as you might have guessed, something new is coming…Google+.There have instantly been claims to this being a ‘threat to Facebook’ and ‘the next big thing’ but Google don’t appear to be screaming about it as much as the intrigued user. But why not? My guess is this is only the beginning. Some of you might remember Google Wave – I gave it a go and so did my friends. There was mixed opinion about it and eventually it ceased being developed. Maybe this wasn’t so much failure but more of a learning curve for those back at Google HQ?
In 2010 Paul Adams released research findings on slideshare about how users understand or fail to understand how the social web works and how developers need to consider individuals communities when developing social web related technologies. After seeing the information about the circles feature for Google+, it seems Google have taken this research onboard and have tried to put together a tool to allow people to separate their different communities and types of relationships.
Due to my lack of invite, I’m only speculating at this point. Will this revolutionise the way we connect with our different groups online or will it just be another time consuming task to complete, separating out all our ‘friends’ only for a different platform to bundle them all together again?
Recently I’ve been swotting up on books written by authors such as Robin Dunbar and Mark Earls that all highlight the need to stop focusing on the technology, to break your misconceptions of humans and to really understand people and the behaviour we’ve always had. I hope that Google are focusing on this too and Google+ is just the beginning of our online world catching up with our offline one.
Are you one of the lucky ones to have used Google+? What do you think so far?