Why I'm Rooting For Google+

The day Google+ launched, I sent a friend at Google who was involved in building the service an email requesting an invite. I got the invite late that day and started playing with the service. Here's my profile. I'm not sure if this page is public or you need a Google+ login to see it. At some point Google will open the service to everyone and I expect this page will be public, but I'm not sure.

In any case, I hope Google+ succeeds. Given the blog posts saying this will kill Tumblr, Twitter, Foursquare, etc, you might wonder why I feel that way. Well first, I don't think competitors kill companies and services. I think the vast majority of "deaths" are self inflicted. Facebook didn't kill MySpace and Friendster, they killed themsleves by failing to address the shortcomings of their services and their inability to respond to changing market dynamics, in some cases brought on by competitors. Of course, that fate could be in store for any company, including our portfolio companies, but it won't be because of Google+.

My vision for social media is:

every single human being posting their thoughts and experiences in any number of ways to the Internet

Not everyone wants a Facebook experience; default private, mutual follow, best for close friends and family. Not everyone wants a Twitter experience; default public, asymmetric follow, best for broadcasting short burts of information to large networks. Not everyone wants a Tumblr experience; totally public, asymmetric follow, best for posting microchunked media.

My dad, for example, doesn't want any of those experiences. He might like Google+. It's a lot like email. He can curate groups of friends; his friends from school, his friends from the army, his friends from the community he lives in, and share information with them quickly and easily. I can see The Gotham Gal's dad loving Google+ too. It's very utilitarian and functional and powerful for certain kinds of users.

I've never thought that there would be one social service to rule them all. I've never thought that there would be one social graph for the web. I believe we'll need a multitude of social services to satsify the needs and desires of all the users of the web. Google+ fills a void between public and private, it serves what is likely to be an older demo less interested in hooking up or hipstering out and more interested in the social utility it provides. That's a good thing. We'll get more people "posting their thoughts and experiences in any number of ways to the Internet."

And there's another reason I hope Google+ succeeds. Developers need more social platforms of scale. A friend on Twitter posted a link yesterday to the post I wrote on the USV blog when we first publicly acknowledged our investment in Zynga. We first invested in Zynga in the fall of 2007 and back then I was eager to see Zynga build a business on multiple social platforms. I wrote:

Currently all of Zynga's games run inside social networks, largely Facebook, but also Bebo and several others. And that list of social nets will grow longer in the next few weeks.

Developers like Zynga benefit from having multiple large social nets to build on top of. Tech blogs have noted that Google+ has hooks for social gaming built in. That is great. My dad would love some of the Zynga games. Maybe he'll join Google+ and play them with his friends (including me) there.

My line about "don't be a xyz bitch" is all about controlling your own destiny. These social platforms are awesome to build and launch on. They give you instant distribution, instant users, instant social identity. But in a perfect world you don't want to be dependent on any single one of them. The more social platforms of scale there are, and we have a bunch now, including Twitter, Tumblr, and Foursquare, the better world it will be for developers. And our business at USV is investing in and helping developers build companies. So I'm rooting for Google+. I think it will serve users who aren't being served well (or at all) on the social web right now. And I think it will be a strong new platform for developers. And both of those are great things for the web, our business, and entrepreneurs.

#VC & Technology#Web/Tech

Comments (Archived):

  1. Martin Weigert

    “I’m not sure if this page is public or you need a Google+ login to see it”It’s public. Like a lot of content on Google+ . Just blogged about that http://martinweigert.com/ir

    1. fredwilson

      sweet. i love being public.

      1. kirklove

        We live in Public. Version 2011. Joshua Harris was 15 years ahead of everyone. ūüėČ

        1. fredwilson

          yes and he still is

  2. Guest

    I want google+ to succeed too, it is quite a nice facebook+twitter+skype combo rolled seamlessly into one. And android/various google services will ensure google+ will have a wide distribution. Lots of people have actively used google accounts(numbering in the hundreds of millions). I wish chrome includes the google+ bar on every website, instead of just google properties, or atleast give us an option to do that, that would be very nice. In that case, we will not have to wait for websites to implement +1 buttonr or google+ sharing buttons.

  3. C K

    I just sent a request for an invite. P.S. I really enjoyed The Gotham Gal’s post this morning – octopus tacos ūüôā

    1. fredwilson

      those octopus tacos are sublime

  4. Tim Davis

    I think we all need to appreciate the fact most people use Facebook and/or Twitter because they are agnostic – that is, are not tied or linked to any singular email account. I have a Gmail account – albeit “lay persons” in the tech world – use Yahoo or Hotmail, and sure, some use Gmail [shocking generalization :)]. Most, in some capacity, usually check FB and/or Twitter on their mobiles and website daily. Many do not even “log into Google” to use the search engine [why would they?]Facebook works. Twitter works. All their friends already exist on it – FB friends list are closed, Twitter’s are open. Both do everything they could possibly want it to do “connect to their friends” and “find what’s happening in the world”. In my mind – it’s “Google and Bing” all over. For example, Bing is arguably just as good as Google now yet everyone continues to use Google. Why will Google+ bring about such a “rapid shift” that it will lead to a hemorrhaging of users from Twitter and/or Facebook ?Google+ – great for technology people who want to “control their data”. My friends don’t even understand what “exporting data for portability” even means. They use Facebook, see their friends posts, upload photos, check-in to places and they love that. Those that use Twitter do so to find out instant real-time updates and news from around the world. Twitter focus on this and this only – not building and trying to be “everything to everyone”.Facebook will improve their “groups” feature to something similar to Circles and continue to innovative [i.e. just see http://www.circlehack.com/ built in like 1 day from 1 FB engineer]. Twitter will continue to expand as the real-time news service because it is so ingrained in modern culture now. People “tweet” it just like people “Google it” [in the verb sense].Google+ – is great for “forcing” FB to continue to innovate – but I am still a cynic in relation to it’s ability to have such a high incentive draw that users leave FB or leave Twitter “exclusively” – or even “in addition to” – Google+. I think it will attract a different crowd again – but will not “rival” FB.

    1. Guest

      probably because people like google more than they like facebook IMHO atleast, people dont like facebook or don’t have a need to like facebook, they are on facebook because of their friends, somewhat similar to how microsoft was and is. You are forced to use microsoft products, because the world runs on it. I have no need for MS office, but yet I am forced to use it occasionally because the world runs on MS office. Your bing/google captures the point perfectly. People ‘like’ to use google search. Google is like Apple in that regard, Facebook is more like Microsoft. Facebook is the one ripe for disruption. Google+ will be only one of the thousand cuts that will impact facebook.

      1. Tim Davis

        “Your bing/google captures the point perfectly. People ‘like’ to use google search”So they don’t “like” to use Facebook [pun intended ūüôā ] ? This means that because they don’t “like” to use Facebook they will move their entire social experience to Google+ ?¬†Even though a vast majority of users don’t login to Google when they perform searches ? And new social platforms require data portability – which FB doesn’t have ? So users have to “recreate” their FB friends list “somehow” on Google +? Barriers to entry create significant problems in the social context in this regard – the whole reason why Google attempt to “put pressure” on FB to open up its service.I understand Google+ is being touted as the “next big platform”. But I’m seeing very little “devils advocacy” in relation to it. I’m just not seeing anything that shifts the value proposition over existing services other than “shiny and new”. As I stated, Facebook wants to “connect you to your friends” – it does this and will continue to do it. I just don’t see Google+ causing a hemorrhaging of users from FB – in addition to FB’s new Skype announcement – which just makes use of existing services and makes it easier again.On the “flip side” – while I don’t “trust” FB with my data – the “power” that Google holds in relation to searches / advertising data and now social networks is something that needs to be closely looked at. Facebook has questionable practices – but they don’t have your search history. Gmail, Reader, Social, Searches, Advertising …. [any thoughts on this aspect @fredwilson ? ]

        1. Guest

          my friends are on google+ already and are all in various circles neatly sorted, atleast the friends I care about, rest can go to hell ūüėČ I use twitter, facebook, linkedin separately, for me atleast google+ can fully replace facecbook and twitter. Most of ¬†the people I follow on twitter are on google+ already. By the way google+ is integrated with google contacts, so friend list was already there for me automatically. Facebook has neatly cloned/ripped twitter, disqus, foursquare, tumblr, yet all these other services continue to grow, maybe there is a facebook fatigue. Google may have enormous power, but ultimately its most important service is search, and you don’t keep searching throughout the day, you search and get to the site quickly, search is a utility and is only one of the ways you find out about the info. But facebook is different, facebook is designed to keep you on the site forever, and it follows you everywhere, maybe just maybe people don’t like to spend all their time on one property only. Once a exciting new coffee shop or a new pub comes along, you and your friends will try it out despite the earlier coffee shops and pubs being perfectly all right. Maps, search, gmail, chrome are not exciting services, they are utilities. IMO facebook is attempting to do the impossible. I don’t know what impact google+ will have on facebook, but google+ will be one of the thousand cuts administered to facebook which will weaken it undoubtedly.And I fully intend to pressurize/cajole/motivate my family members to migrate to google+, because I ‘like’ google+ and want google+ to succeed.

          1. fredwilson

            i would not be able to get my family on google+. they are on FB and quite happy there

          2. Alex Murphy

            Soon enough, there will be a company that reads from many social platforms and joins the conversations into one reader. ¬†Kind of like how long distance phone calls allowed people to call from one phone system in LA to another in NY.When this happens, your family won’t have to switch.

          3. Anjul

            Yep everyone have got a choice. Some people like Facebook, Some like Google+ and so on… This is like any other non-human thing in life!

          4. ShanaC

            Depending on what gets built out on their API – I can see google+ being very useful for the gotham gal because it so tightly integrates into your contact book. All it needs is a pretty party tool and to more tightly interlink into google calendars, and I think I would be set socially for life- as long as I can organize my contacts (which I am finding incredibly difficult)

        2. Guest

          there are 230 million active users of gmail according to comscore and everyday 500K google profiles are being activated(via android), thats a lot. And yes people do like google, did you think back in 2008 there was a room for another browser like chrome ? when people were more or less happy with firefox with all its myriad extensions? Yet Google chrome is widely used and widely liked, despite no compulsion on the part of end user to use google chrome. Yes Google does advertise chrome heavily, but advertising is only one part, the product has to be great for continued usage. People like me are willing to try out a new google service, similar to the initial wave of people who use Apple devices. And if it is good, it catches on. That is actually a moat which microsoft and I daresay even facebook does not have.

          1. Tim Davis

            @google-916d4d8f7ee424ab3846ccd588def839:disqus¬†“That is actually a moat which microsoft and I daresay even facebook does not have.”any discussions of “moats” screams “anti-trust” to me ūüôā¬†“banning abusive behavior by a firm dominating a market, or anti-competitive practices that tend to lead to such a dominant position.”MSFT were there – Google needs to be careful. Legislators and Regulators don’t like the presumed notion of “Gmail, Reader, Social, Searches, Advertising ….”¬†

          2. Guest

            what I meant was there are tons of people like me who are willing to try out a new google service, just because it is from google and are willing to evangelize for free.  Similar to the early adopters of Apple devices. That is a powerful moat. Word of mouth marketing. This is something which microsoft lacks.

        3. ShanaC

          and why would you “trust” google with the same data? In certain respects, because Google is looking to expand more deeply into display – wouldn’t the Google have more questionable practices since they will know so much about you?

      2. howardlindzon

        Interesting Sandeep…

    2. fredwilson

      i agree with most of this critique but i also think google+ will be very useful for a cohort of users who are not well served by FB, Twitter, Tumblr, et al

      1. Tim Davis

        @fredwilson:disqus¬†– agree fred. Reading¬†http://scobleizer.com/2011/…¬†seems to characterize the audience as much like that on Quora – that is, a place for “tech¬†enthusiasts” ala “techies” [which is albietly cool but not the goal i’m sure ūüôā ]

        1. David Semeria

          But that’s how Twitter got going. Now it’s mainstream…

          1. Tim Davis

            @hymanroth:disqus¬†¬†But Twitter != Facebook – they are mutually exclusive in their “pure” sense whereas Google+ == Facebook from a “connect with your friends” perspective.Twitter – Instant updates from your friends, industry experts, favorite celebrities, and what‚Äôs happening around the world. ¬†Facebook – Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life. ¬†Google+ – The Google+ project makes sharing online more like sharing in real life.FB && G+ are aiming for the same market – except I don’t think the later will get there to the same degree [due to all the above comments]

          2. Guest

            you can follow people on google+, just by dragging the people you like to follow into a circle, you get to see all those people’s public posts and it appears in that circles’ stream, which is exactly like how twitter functions. And if those other people add you to their circles, those people get to see your posts and appear in their stream which is similar to facebook. So Google+=twitter+facebook(for me atleast). Google+ is neither symmetrical nor assymetrical, somewhere in between. Makes sense to me atleast.

          3. David Semeria

            Sure, I was just making the point that frequently products initially used by geeks spill over to normals. cf. Twitter, Quora, StackOverflow, etc

          4. Guest

            yep even google search was initially used by techies and geeks, they were the ones who spread the word out into the world.

          5. Guest

            come to think , because there is no permission involved, google+ can be thought of as the much better ’email’. I hope google+ has a way to include all those people who will not have google+ or not willing to have and allow them to reply directly/participate in conversations/discussions via email just like conversation feature on google docs.

          6. Tim Davis

            @hymanroth:disqus¬†sure – I was just suggesting that Twitter and FB were never “really” competing against each other [despite all the hype in this regard] – different use cases.Google+ is aiming squarely for FB. Most of the features are indeed the same – FB must innovate which is a +1 thing and when it does – the “wow features” of Google+ will become common and the incentive to leave FB is reduced [sure, not extinguished to the right “crowd” of people ala sandeep etc]

          7. Anjul

            Why don’t some service comes up and integrate both the worlds beautifully !? I think with their APIs someone will definitely try this as soon as their apis are released. ūüôā

          8. ShanaC

            I’m not sharing the same way I share in life. ¬†I’m finding that people don’t neatly overlap.

      2. matthughes

        I have a Twitter and Tumblr, and see no reason why G+ will replace either.I don’t use FB. I can’t put my finger on it but the words contrived and kitschy come to mind. I just think it leaves a lot to be desired (and more importantly, a lot not to be desired).I see G+ as the ideal alternative – a more functional, cleaner experience. I’m really looking forward to using it…

    3. raycote

      @¬†Tim Davis”Google+ – great for technology people who want to “control their data”.I think everyone would like to control their Data.At present the process is a bit like having bees live in your head. It is just too much learning and complexity for most people who do not live tech centered lives.Looking forward?With simpler, more evolved, interface¬†standards and a population that has grown up embedded in digital network memes Data-Control mastery will be for the rest of us as well!

  5. DGentry

    Its been an amazing few days on Google+. I’m sure a peak and trough are coming, because thats the way the cycle of all things work, but right now its still onward and upward.

    1. fredwilson

      i’ve not had that experiencenone of my good friends are active on the service

      1. DGentry

        I believe future invites are preferentially going to those invited bymultiple people, trying to ensure a solid social graph will be in place.

        1. Mark Essel

          I’ve been inviting folks by email and inclusion in a new circle.¬†Is that not the preferred method?

  6. Jason Hirschhorn

    I analyzed MySpace at Viacom. At MySpace, I dug into it’s past and data as President + Chief Product Officer. Fred is right. At the end of the day we can talk about cool, brand, etc. But it’s about product. Product, product, product. And if you don’t lead or copy and enhance better than the rest you die. Never underestimate the new guy and revere product over image. On the web, it’s easy to leave and move on to somewhere else. You have to delight and deliver. Constantly.¬†

    1. fredwilson

      word

      1. Keith Teare

        werd ūüôā

    2. Donna Brewington White

      Have to tweet and tumblr this!

    3. ShanaC

      I’m not feeling the product completely yet. ¬†When I started facebook, it was just me and the people I was meeting at college (you couldn’t have intercollege friendships yet). ¬†Now it is everyone I have ever met from prek till now, which have to be organized. ¬†If I were to pull in all the people I know from work, play, and life, it would be a serious amount of people. ¬†As a result I’m just feeling overwhelmed with the organizational aspect

      1. tyronerubin

        The control will hopefully not make it overwhelming. If you have a gmail account, you can start playing with it slowly. Try hangout at first, its something new and fun. Move into it slowly and you might find a use for it, alongside FB, twitter and tumblr. 

  7. kirklove

    Dan and I were talking about Google+ yesterday and today followed it up with a discussion of Phil’s Law:¬†The inverse correlation between the time it takes to scale a social network and the durability of that social network.Google is big. It’s tried this before and failed miserably. The downside of being so big is you can’t make a mistake. You also can’t just plop down a social network. It takes time. Google+ is slick, I want it to succeed as well. Google just needs to be patient. Like years patient. We’ll see.

    1. Lucian Armasu

      I agree with that. It’s also one of the reasons why Buzz failed. They tried to force all Gmail users to use it. These services need to grow organically not forced like that. But so far they got it right. People WANT to join Google+. I think they’ll surprise everyone when they announce the initial numbers of users (think 10+ million).Also, I’ve never really liked Facebook or Twitter, but I did join them, more because I had to. I knew they were going to be big, so I wanted to be there, but it was’t because I liked them. Facebook had mediocre design at best, and Twitter has had a pretty terrible UX.But Google+ is awesome, and addicting, and I love using it.

      1. fredwilson

        UI is like wine and food. to each his own.i love Twitter’s UI. it is simple and straightforwardi hate Google+’s UI. it gives me a headache.you have the exact opposite reactionthat is why we will always have a number of large social nets of scale

        1. David Shellabarger

          Stop using the circles UI. That is the worst part and can be completely avoided. Find people through search and Incoming (shows post of people following your that you are not following) the hover over their name.

  8. David Semeria

    I think Google have really got it together this time.Service integration and restricted access is the key.I’m already looking forward to using the chat / video / docs functionality but *¬†restricted* to members of my team.FB should be worried.

    1. Lucian Armasu

      Many have said that Google doesn’t get social, or at least they DIDN’T get social. But this time I believe they out-social’ed Facebook. Circles are a much more realistic social experience, and so are Hangouts.

      1. fredwilson

        circles are work. work that i don’t want to do inside a service. i know some will love them. facebook should use the circles UI for its groups service

        1. Dan Berger

          Agreed. They are work but Google has the tech to make them automated (like the “also include X” in emails)… hopefully they’ll roll that out soon

        2. Will

          I am not sure I agree that they are completely work. There is no compulsion to use circles, you can simply add everyone to a big circle called “Friends” and emulate facebook/twitter if you don’t agree with the concept. However I personally find that putting a few of my close family and friends into their own circle is a very low amount of work for a massive gain in being able to quickly and safely share my holiday pictures and check-ins etc.

        3. David Shellabarger

          For those wanting circles in facebook, there is a site for that already.http://www.circlehack.com/That hackers are fast.

        4. aswath

          I think you correctly say that G+ is like email. With that frame of mind, consider Circle is an easy to add recipients to the To field. In other words you mention the name of the Circle instead of adding one name at a time. In this concept, Circle is not categorizing the contacts. 

        5. Alex Murphy

          it would seem fair for FB to take some of the look & feel elements from G+ considering Google took the main layout from FB.

        6. ShanaC

          Thank you for just saying this aloud – and I think in certain aspects of having to organize, you’re typical.This feels like organizing a and b lists, but on a massive massive scale.

    2. fredwilson

      FB doesn’t need to worry about anything other than getting big, bureaucratic, and boring. their service is the closest thing to crack on the internet. i don’t use it but i am surrounded by people who do. it is huge and powerful and the google/microsoft of its generation of web services

      1. David Semeria

        You could have said exactly the same about MySpace.

        1. ethanosten

          MySpace was never addictive, though, not in the same way as Facebook; until relatively late it didn’t even have something as simple as a news feed. You had to do a lot of manual labor to see if anything changed on MySpace, and except for a handful of close friends I never bothered to do so. That too discouraged things like picture uploading and status messages (things that are essential to Facebook’s addictiveness) because no-one would ever see them.

          1. David Semeria

            In 2004 to 2005 EVERYBODY was rushing to get a MySpace page. It was the hottest¬†property¬†on the web.Obviously you can’t compare MS functionality then to FB’s now.

          2. ethanosten

            I know; I had one then. I also remember why every one of my friends stopped using it in 2007; it hadn’t become less useful, they just didn’t even think about it with Facebook around.

        2. Alex Murphy

          MySpace was simply Big. ¬†MySpace was more like Hotmail in that regard, but the difference was that MySpace didn’t have people hooked in the same way that Hotmail did / does.

        3. tyronerubin

          I used MySpace back in the day but never would have said that about it at all. 

        4. JamesHRH

          David – MySpace lacked consistency. Consumer brands explode based on an expectation fulfilled. Format level creative expression does not scale; content level does. Respectfully, you could not say what Fred said, about MySpace. All the services listed in this thread have format consistency ( Tumblr, Twitter, Fb, etc. )

          1. David Semeria

            You are 100% correct.The key reason FB overtook MS was based on consistency of format, nothing more.This became crucial when the next level of adopters were everyday folks. Such people found comfort in FB’s graphical consistency. It made them feel *safer*.But that wasn’t my point. I can vividly remember a time when not having a MS page meant you were totally unhip. This was their golden¬†moment – then they blew it.

          2. JamesHRH

            David:Apple mail put this in Junk. Sorry to miss it.Was FB ever hip? Even the Winklevii are incredibly square, despite their ridiculously impressive everything. I like scale, so hip is not my area of interest.Take Lulu Lemon. They somehow managed to make yoga Squaresville (on their way to a billion dollars in revenue).I don’t think hip scales, so MS never had a chance………

        5. Mark Essel

          I have never witnessed anyone use other social networks like my wife uses Facebook.

      2. MartinEdic

        Fred, this is the most telling comment of this exchange. How can you not use Facebook? Seriously, they are miles beyond anything out there including Twitter, Tumblr, etc. For a very good reason: I think they actually get regular people and don’t give a sh*t about early adopters and techies. I’m in my fifties and virtually everyone I know is active on a Facebook. Seeing a friend post an upcoming band gig and having people from all over the country (and world) noting how they wish they could be there, etc., is amazing. You don’t see that with the other platforms (and I love Tumblr), at all.Not sure how a non-user can criticize a platform, especially one with 750 million users, fifty percent twice daily. The market votes with its feet.

  9. Desertron

    It would be nice to have an invite…

    1. David Semeria

      You don’t need an invite. Just get someone to share something with you via email.That’s how Mark Essel got me in (thanks again, Mark!)

      1. Ron Bottorff

        Thank you. I’ll just have to wait for someone to share something!

      2. PHC

        Do you mind sharing it with me so I can join the elite Google+ club?

        1. David Semeria

          Sure, email me your gmail addr to my one (dsemeria) 

    2. Guest

      rwa dong

  10. awaldstein

    Fred…I believe that more is better and that the marketcontinuously sorts itself out.One day into Google+ I just don’t know enough about it yet but I don’t initially think that the open/closed, public/private paradigm captures it for me. Nor defines its real value.Facebook is easy and useful to aggregate groups that have defined membership,i.e., European wine bloggers. Really useless to broaden your networks and I‚Äôm tiring of it as it is just too structurally static.What I want, for myself and the companies I work with is better socialdiscovery tools. Better ways to make new connections explicitly aroundcontextual interests, implicitly around footprints of interest.To me, community is key to life interests and company growth. Dynamic platforms need to attract¬† and have some sort of social gravity.¬† Enable exchange and conversation. And be connectors and self sorting.We do this at AVC on Disqus but it is less a function of the platform as yetand more a function of the context of the community.Will Google + inspire discovery and community? I‚Äôm in if it does.

    1. David Semeria

      One step at a time Arnold.It really annoys me that when I make comments in some very specific areas (web, tech, etc) and all my FB connections get to see them.There’s a whole bunch of my friends who used to think I was (reasonably) hip and now think I’m a nerd – thanks FB!G+ is going back to how FB started off (ie a private network for your close contacts) before they panicked in front of twitter’s publishing model.All the interest-based stuff will come later.They’re currently focused on fixing the big problem I mentioned above – which is good.

      1. awaldstein

        I accept ‘patience’ as good reminder David. Especially from folks that know me.

      2. Carl J. Mistlebauer

        …Ah, Dave….If your friends know anything about being “hip” they would have realized that the “nerd” is the new cool!….thank Bill Gates for making nerdiness a long term trend….

        1. David Semeria

          Bill Gates is hip? In his white slacks and loafers?¬†So a golf buggy is cooler than a Harley?¬†ūüėČ

          1. Carl J. Mistlebauer

            The coolness of a Harley is a throwback to the 60’s and 70’s when being a rebel was cool.Kind of like letter jackets and class rings in the 50’sNowadays its black rimmed glasses and pocket protectors…..I remember in the 70’s when nerds ate at a table by themselves in the school cafeteria…..now my young IT guy is the stud of the office….he gets dates just cause he can program cell phones and make computers run better….

          2. David Semeria

            Ok, I’m officially old.But I will never carry a Man Bag!

          3. awaldstein

            Yes…but the change is greater than that I think.We are all ‘geeks’ as we, by definition, have unfettered access to information and generally, people are more informed and more able to and more encouraged and more expected to dive deep into their interests.I think ‘nerd’ is gone and ‘geek’ is here…and it is info based and not connected to technology but to info depth. Wine geeks. Movie geeks. Music geeks.¬†And on and on.Seems like a good direction to me.

      3. ShanaC

        I have no problem being seen as nerdy (I am nerdy) – I have a problem with organizing the extent of my nerdiness in particular areas. ¬†Right now, I feel overwhelmed with the organizational aspects. ¬†I’m not sure if the public/private is enough of tradeoff to just del with the organization of my many overlapping circles

      4. Mark Essel

        Funny how new societies must ponderously progress through intermediate technologies, even archaic ones. The layers of technology exist on top of and because of their predecessors.

    2. William Mougayar

      Agreed Arnold.¬†I think social is a “plugin” to our lives/online worlds, not the central thing. Yes, we need bi-directional tools to dip in and dip out, but if you make social a total center, I’m not sure it would be a complete or sustainable picture.

      1. awaldstein

        True…but that balance is not easy at times.Interesting though that I’m learning more today by just blurting out my first thoughts on the topic and getting some good feedback from friends.¬†More a conversation and less an intersection of well formed phrases and opinions.

        1. William Mougayar

          I like your technique. So it’s like you throw a fishing line out there with various baits & Eqentia is the net that brings it all back together for you to sift through the fish that gets caught.

          1. awaldstein

            ūüėČ More contextual than that I would hope…

  11. Lucian Armasu

    Fred, everything is defaulted to public on Facebook: posts, comments, photos – everything. Maybe you made some of them private yourself in the settings, but the default for posting is still public. You need to select Friends only to send only to your friend list.

    1. fredwilson

      i can assure you that much of what my kids post to facebook is private. that’s where facebook started and that is what it’s position in the market is and forever will be

    2. David Shellabarger

      You still have to be logged into Facebook to see anything. Even “public” posts are hard to find b/c search engines can’t see them (except for pages.)

  12. obscurelyfamous

    I’m rooting for it for those reasons but I also think it’s a good product with a strong philosophy behind it.I think you wrote that you didn’t have a good impression when using it – what sucks?

    1. fredwilson

      too complicated. it gives me a headache.i don’t want to slot all my relationships into bucketsthat is worki prefer to use a service, like disqus, tumblr, twitter, foursquare, etc to curate a unique social graph around a specific utility

      1. falicon

        I agree with this thought…so far I’ve liked Google+ but also feel like I haven’t really figured it out…at it’s current stage it just feels like too much *work* to figure out and so I’m basically sitting and watching…hoping that it gets easier to use/figure out and ads some value to my world.The more places that conversations can happen…the places that conversations *will* happen…and that’s a great thing in my world (and of course an even greater thing for knowabout.it — Goolge+ just added another notch in the million reasons a service like knowabout.it is needed). ūüėČ

      2. Guto Araujo

        I agree it will wear people out to bucket everybody into circles at Google+ but I would expect many single purpose apps to use G+ Circles’ once they make their APIs available.That way it will feel more natural (or people won’t even realize they are building a circle). That seems a good alternative to many mobile apps that just pull all my Facebook contacts in assuming I want to share with all.

  13. pankaj013

    I got onto Google+ yesterday and at first sight it looked like whats the world was waiting for. But since yesterday I am getting added by people whom I dont think I ever talked or met or know since my last 7 lives. Thats what killed Buzz and I hope that doesnt kill Google+ also. Problem with Google social (orkut, buzz and now google+) is that it always ties my gmail account to social and my gmail account was never to be social to begin with. In my years of using gmail I have mailed zillions of people whom I never knew or cared to know expect for that one email I sent them and suddenly they pop up as friends. With facebook, there was no history, I started with a fresh slate and built my social network from scratch, one friend at a time. 

    1. Will Paoletto

      “But since yesterday I am getting added by people whom I don’t think I ever talked or met or know since my last 7 lives.”Added you..just kidding. Well, maybe I will. I think you raise a good point. I didn’t expect my gmail account to be social, and I’m not sure that it should be.

      1. Rkt

        I’m curious… how is this different from how Blogspot or Google Reader share data… I don’t think email addresses are ever public. On top of that, I’ve heard that people are signing into Google Plus with non-gmail addresses.¬†Unlike Buzz, Google Plus is an independent product which u can get without Gmail (thats what I’ve heard). And even if you are using the same account, please file a bug if you do see any kind of leak of private information.¬†Google is actively listening and fixing issues brought up in the field trial… thats why they call this a “field trial”.

        1. David Shellabarger

          You do have to have a Google account though. And an Apps account doesn’t work.I don’t know anyone has a google account without a gmail account, but maybe they are out there.

          1. larskinn

            It’s entirely possible to have a Google account without a gmail account/address.

          2. Ryan

            My wife signs into Google Reader with her Yahoo! address. “Google accounts” have nothing to do with Gmail. It just so happens that setting up a Gmail account gives you a Google account as well.

    2. fredwilson

      i have that issue too. but i’m used to it from twitter. i have 175k followers on twitter. it’s something you have to wrap your head around in some of these services

      1. aswath

        One way to handle is what we have done in EnThinnai: You will get notifications from only your contacts. This way you will not get alerted when random people add you to their Circles or when they mention you in their posts.The asymmetric follow used in EnThinnai and G+ is different from Twitter’s and we can take advantage of it.

      2. pankaj013

        Fred, I totally agree with you. Twitter is more of a information blast out service. You fire and forget. Facebook experience is more bi-directional. You upload a picture or a status update and your friends comment back and you comments on their comments and the conversation happens. Google+ is trying to be a facebook and a twitter all at once which is a fair goal to have but confusing to begin with. While I started creating circles, I ended up with circles like family, extended family, family&friend, closefriends,¬†colleague,¬†colleague&friend etc etc because I was thinking about the types of updates I will be sending and potential groups I will target to. Eventually I figured if I just created 2 circles – facebook and twitter, I will mostly be covered :).PS: Since I follow you on twitter, you might get an email about you being added to my circle (twitter circle) ūüôā

    3. Guest

      They added you – you can choose to simply ignore them, just like Twitter.

      1. tyronerubin

        100% right, you have loads of controls with circles. Look at Scoble, he is totally taking charge here.

    4. rumurphy

      I find that these seemingly random people adding you to their circle is just like someone adding you as a contact in Gmail.. except now you get alerted by it. As long as you limit your posts to YOUR circles (that these random people aren’t in) and not public.. they will see absolutely nothing from you but your profile pic.

      1. anitasvv

        Since people are still learning – and shaping – how to use Google +, I think the difference between how we deal with friends & acquaintances will shift with time.¬†I know I spent time sorting people into different circles – and that includes adding people I haven’t spoken with in years but want to make sure I keep in the virtual Rolodex – before I realized that everyone was getting an alert in their inbox.¬†

    5. nirudha

      even though they’ve added you they only see post that you make public. everything else is restricted to people you add to your social circles.¬†as for what they share with you you need to specifically look in the “incoming” stream. only posts by your selected friends and contacts (i.e. those in your “circles”) show up for you by default.

    6. Your New Friend

      I added you to to my circle of Friends. I love to make new friends. I think Google + is great at making new friends.

      1. tyronerubin

        Looks like it, and whats interesting is, its still limited. I heard they are continuing to iterate as they go. How amazing is that? Facebook is now set, Google + will be watching, listening and creating. It was massive when FB opened up to developers. I was excited for buzz, but it wore off quickly, was so similar to FB, this looks different and interesting, but early days.

    7. Pvpmandr

      Hi Guys- I need an invite to get on to it? Anyone there who will play the host?

  14. Boris Wertz

    Am with you that we need more social platforms but also do think that Google+ is way to un-differentiated to have a chance against Facebook. Most people don’t care enough about better privacy controls and more efficient sharing (especially not the people that love sharing everything, have the most amount of friends and could be early adopters of a new social network). New social platforms can only emerge around very specific product needs that enough people are really passionate about – once they reach scale in that niche, they have a chance to become a fully-fledged social network. That will be the way to build new social platforms, not Google’s top-down approach.¬†

    1. fredwilson

      i said i was rooting for google+i did not say it was awesomei don’t think it does anything particularly useful for mefor the reasons you cite borisbut i think it will be very useful to many people

    2. Guest

      people were passionate about location based checkins ? isn’t that the concept around which foursquare appeared ?. Successful/great companies don’t solve needs, they ‘create’ needs. By putting circles up front and center and making/creating circles easy and intuitive and the central piece of attraction on google+, google is forcing people to think in a different direction than facebook. It may or may not succeed, it sure is different to facebook where the ‘circle’ concept is an afterthought.

      1. Boris Wertz

        I don’t think that companies create needs – companies create products that people didn’t know they needed to fulfill a need that they might not even have been aware of. If people did not have a need to share their location with friends, Foursquare would be doomed.¬†

    3. William Carleton

      Your first sentence grabs me because Google+ so far feels to me like the Facebook I would use rather than the actual clunky Facebook cluttered with ads and the frustration of not being able to find anything.For me, it’s a bit like moving from an iPhone to an Android phone; you feel that much more in the driver’s seat.The desktop Google+ relates well to Chrome and feels, anyway, like you are still opening out to the world wide web instead of closing the doors and windows (Facebook). And it’s delightful to see the robustness of the web service on the android app, for the most part.

      1. Boris Wertz

        Love what Google has done with Android but much harder to move people from one social network to another than getting them to buy a new piece of hardware. Google+ had good features and a great UI but this will not be enough IMO to get masses of people using it.

    4. raycote

      I think, with GooglePlus, Google has finally found religion. User-Interface-Design-Religion that is. This is the magic sauce that they have been missing. They need to keep this more unified, perceptual ergonomic,¬†user friendly interface stuff coming.With a more effective,¬†consistent and universal menu bar of Google services they are creating a great launching pad for integrating social with all their other services.Better, more unified, interfacing will allow Google to incrementally, step by step, add transparent integration with all their other services. Creating an osmotic,¬†slipstream¬†learning-curve¬†that eases a user’s transition into sophisticated services integration one step at a time is a much better approach than doing a Google-Wave, master of the universe, mega feature dump that scares the complexity pants right off all your potential users.If Google-Wave had have had a more natural interface and it had been introduce as step by step incremental feature additions to gMail it might still be with us. I thought¬†Google-Wave¬†was to social what cell structure is to the biosphere(flexible – universal – recombinant). Hopefully Google can use GooglePlus to weave a¬†Google-Wave like social¬†integration of all their services.

      1. Boris Wertz

        A great UI is important and I am glad that Google puts more emphasis on it – not quite sure if will be enough to create enough appeal for people to switch their social network.

        1. raycote

          I don’t think people will switch just for the UI improvements.I think the cross service integrated UI will help draw users of all their other services into the Google+ vortex over time.

  15. Carl J. Mistlebauer

    I think the concept of “competition” is one that very few people truly understand.¬† We are brought up to believe that competitors are to be seen as threats but the reality is that without competition no one and nothing improves.Looking back at my past basketball career I realize that the games I remember the most vividly were not the ones that we won by the most points but rather the ones I had to play the hardest in….in fact, the game I consider “the best” was one we lost.The folks at Facebook should be the first ones to ask for an invite….Bring it on!¬† ūüôā

    1. fredwilson

      yessssssssssss

    2. David Shellabarger

      Here is Zuck for the curious:¬†https://plus.google.com/104…

  16. Pete Griffiths

    Fred – fyi – I believe it is possible to access your public profile without a google+ account.

    1. fredwilson

      excellent

  17. Aacolman

    “So I’m rooting for Google+. I think it will serve users who aren’t being served well” – and, for those that are being over served. I look forward to richer features with circles, for me, that’s my fb killer. The next couple of years will see the development of great vertical products sitting on top of these layers and I cannot wait.

  18. Eran Back

    I think each social network has its place as long they have a unique “feature”.Twitter – the 140#char status line.4sq – Location.Tumblr – easy¬†blogging.Google+ ?Goole+ can be a successful social network as long they would find a unique feature to stand out. The circles & video is a pale start.¬†

    1. fredwilson

      totally agree with your assertion at the start of your comment. that is exactly right.i think circles is a unique feature for a subset of web users and for them google+ is perfecthuddles are awesome. this should be a different service with hooks into google+ but not a central part of it

      1. David Shellabarger

        I’m curious why you think Huddles should be a¬†separate¬†product? Should Hangouts also be a separate product?I know you invest in startups that tend to be more focused on 1 major feature but why is that better? Huddles built on top of circles makes sense to me. Kik is in a similar space. I don’t use Kik b/c I don’t know anyone else using Kik. G+ seems to solve that issue.

  19. Tian Yang

    ‚Äúevery single human being posting their thoughts and experiences in any number of ways to the Internet‚ÄĚThis is certainly how social media is today, which IMO isn’t the most natural experience. A big assumption is that we need to “post” to get involved in social media. Someday someone will come up with a way to skip the “posting” part.¬†

    1. fredwilson

      instant upload from android to google+ is a super neat feature in google+ that gets us close to that

      1. Tian Yang

        Cheers, look forward to trying that feature once it goes public!

      2. Nik Souris

        Just used the instant upload which is a big time saver and I am sure will evolve. I too am pulling for Google+¬† as history so often repeats itself – i doubt that this happens but would not be shocked to see Facebook go public and pull a Netscape with Google+ playing the role of MSIE. #justsaying ūüôā¬† Happy 4th to you there in the Big Apple!

  20. Greg Krajewski

    To the person in this comment section who mentioned they just wanted a better social discovery tool is spot on. ¬†The issue I have with G+ is that when you do searches for people if they’ve had more than 1 gmail account associated with their name, you have to then decide which one to choose to include in your circle. ¬†Not a good thing.On the notion G+ will kill twitter I have to disagree. ¬†Twitter is an identification platform in that I am¬†@entrepreneur:disqus¬†on Twitter (if someone were to ask). ¬†No one has ever asked me who I am on FB, and they won’t for G+. ¬†You’ll have to send them a link or they’ll have to do a search for you. ¬†And then hopefully you don’t have multiple GMAIL accounts (LOL).I do think G+ will serve a purpose. It will also kill a few business. ¬†That much I do know. ¬†I think it’s going to kill LinkedIn. ¬†Afterall, how many biz owners use their GMAIL accounts. ¬†The circles feature coupled with the hangout section would be appealing to biz owners wanting to connect. ¬†It will also kill Quora. ¬† G+ allows you to drone on.In the end it will come down to the ¬†G+ app. ¬†With Google they can bake G+ into any android phone they want. ¬† Social networks will be virtually all mobile someday. ¬†This is where I think it will make it’s true splash onto the networks.

    1. fredwilson

      linked in is the resume service for the web. google+ will not replace that unless linkedin really screws up and i don’t think they will

  21. shareme

    Fred, they will see the profile but not rest of the G+ site.What I found compelling from a business strategy standpoint is that sharing/privacy and Google integration concepts equally serve the end user to protect privacy while allowing finely-user-controlled sharing  while at the same time meet the business objective of being able to index user created content that is marked pubic, etc..Given the quality user-controlled sharing controls I can see Corporations relaxing IT policy to not block Google+ as well.

  22. WuxVoo

    Never even really thought about it liek that. Makes sense dude.www.anon-toolz.url-Go.com

  23. Fukkyout

    just sick of all those screen social crap where everybody post his boring thoughts of thoughts he experience from the thoughts of other thoughts.99% of blogs are just boring – but what should i expect from somebody who sits all day on his ass and reads other blogs.

    1. David Semeria

      Just sick of all those screen social crap where everybody post his boring thoughts of thoughts he experience from the thoughts of other thoughts.Awesome comment. You’ve just reinvented the Russell Paradox.

  24. Peter Sullivan

    I love the idea of a new platform to build from. What I don’t love is the lack of innovation. Now I don’t have an account yet, but based upon the videos and reviews it seems to be an update to google groups or mailing lists. I think it might serve demographics that don’t associate themselves with facebook, or organizations like youth baseball teams, etc. But that also requires a migration of people with different email accounts to sign up for gmail, and the mom and dad generations tend to still have yahoo and msn accounts from 2002.¬†Its funny though. I was a heavy user of gchat when I lived in San Francisco. I guess this was partially due to the fact of the surrounds and the young urban individuals I was hanging out with. It was also because of the shitty Facebook chat service that was available at the time. Now it seems most of my conversation goes on in Facebook and thats simply because they have a bigger playing pool of individuals. Thats the one reason Facebook remains supreme. They have everyone you know, so why change.The one thing I wish Google really really focused on more was their Google Voice products. I love them for sms while on the computer and making calls to the US from Europe. I think VOIP is the future and they should continue to try and kill the existing phone carriers.¬†+ looks nice and clean but for me it doesn’t provide enough ADDITIONAL VALUE to what I am already using. And thats the key for any startup I think.¬†

  25. Mike Bell

    Dear Fred,You’ve always been a giant Google fanboi and have been pushing Android and other Google services. That’s interesting considering how many of your portfolio companies are threatened by the big evil Google.Sincerely,Mike

    1. Guest

      lol , facebook is even more of a threat to the portfolio companies of Fred Wilson, facebook is busy ripping out instagram and no doubt will clone the circles and hangout and whatever other neat features that G+ has. So I guess to Fred Wilson, Google is a lesser threat than facebook for the time being.

  26. Will

    Just a quick note that might be able to clarify somethings. The profile page you linked to is actually the standard Google Profiles, and as a result they will always have something public, I think the default is name, picture and country, this is to help other users find you. In addition to this, now Buzz and you +1 streams, as well as photos, videos and connected accounts are all visible there with their visibility under your control. For example any public posts you make in G+ will show up there, and public Buzz posts and any public Picasa albums etc. However when you look at your profile page you can completely tune the granularity of every one of these elements, from hidden to a custom set of circles. There is a “view as” tool, which included “anyone on the web” that can help you get a good idea of just what is visible :).

  27. Kaffenated

    Google+ looks very interesting. The one thing that any social network to date has lacked is the ability to easily distinguish between public, private, and “sorta” private (and manage data accordingly). At the very least, there needs to be two “circles” of data – an “inner” and “outer” circle. The ability to add more “circles” would be even better. Data would be published or accepted based on “circle”. This would – to some extent – mimic our outside world where we have family, close friends, acquaintances, work friends, and “other”. In many instances, they are all different circles of people we associate. Google – if you are listening – circles would be a nice things to have.

    1. Kaffenated

      ¬†(read: Google was listening) Kudo’s!

  28. William Mougayar

    Still waiting for my invite, and jealous of those that are in it already.¬†The interface flow reminded me of FriendFeed a bit.¬†One thing that worries me about the multiplicity of social media tools is that we end-up spending too much time on serendipitous discovery and there is less available time left for targeted discovery. I don’t believe that everything one needs to know about is on social channels.Social media has more mindshare than market share (content wise at least):¬†http://www.eqentia.com/2011…

  29. jonsteinberg

    Im rooting for it too because I want more places and ways for people to be able to share content. Also, I agree competition is over-discussed and monitored. I’ve often blogged that few companies are competed out of business.

  30. Vikram Bellapravalu

    Basically, Zynga, Playfish, Crowdstar, and other social app developers have their Playstation. Now someone needs to credibly develop a Wii and Xbox to avoid a future platform monopoly.

  31. Bob Monsour

    It would be interesting to know the age breakdown of FB users. As I look at the rate that my 16 year-old son adds “friends,” I suspect that the high school and college crowd is all facebook, all the time. As they move on in their lives, I have trouble seeing a migration to what appears a direct social network competitor like G+. It’s somewhat similar to what’s happening with Apple’s market share gains. College students have moved to the Mac in large numbers over recent years and it will continue to pay large dividends to Apple as they move into the workforce.Having said that, it means that it will certainly motivate FB to continue the march forward (unlike the way MS has, in many ways, failed in their response to Apple).From my first looks at G+, the most compelling feature does indeed seem to be circles. And, as you noted Fred, for some cohorts where the ability to selectively share is important, it’s a big win. Robert Scoble wrote about this yesterday (http://scoble.it/krysI2). It would seem that FB’s ability to deliver simpler selective sharing will crimp some of the interest in G+ (very hard to say).

  32. Bob Monsour

    Having just written that, I now see circlehack, an FB form of circles from a handful of FB engineers… http://techcrunch.com/2011/

  33. Jason Hanley

    You need a +1 button on your blog articles! :)Totally agreed on your Google+ take.The service is very clean, very well thought out, and could end up being complimentary to other social sites.

  34. William Mougayar

    I’m still uninspired by Google+. Why can’t Google innovate instead of copying and aggregating other ideas? What void are they filling here that others haven’t fulfilled?Google = data. They have tons of it. Give us a service that uses that data for us.¬†

  35. Jordan Elpern-Waxman

    I agree w/ Fred’s basic premise that different users and different use cases will lead to the adoption and survival of multiple social network platforms.¬† However what is missing from this is that for most people it is prohibitively expensive, from a time allocation point of view, to manage too many social network identities.¬† I just about manage to keep my LinkedIn, FB, and Twitter profiles up-to-date, reasonably curated, and properly permission on privacy settings, without even getting into newer, more niche services like Hashable, Plancast, Dinevore, Foursquare, TripIt, MeetUp (w/ actually requires a seperate profile for each of the 13 meetup groups I am a part of), Buzz, Google Account, Disqus, Tumblr, Blogger, Doostang, etc., all of which I have accounts on.¬† And that doesn’t even take into account the MySpace, Friendster and Plaxo profiles that I still have floating out there somewhere in the ether, owned by god knows who (Justin Timberlake?) and whose passwords probably are somewhere to be found along w/ the keys I lost to the apartment I lived in back in 2003 and the missing socks from the laundromat (and if I try to get them to send me a password update link they probably go to a Hotmail or Yahoo email that I haven’t logged into since 2004).The point of my little rant is that the idea of being able to seamlessly manage different identities on different parts of the Web is a holy grail that remains practically elusive.¬† We think that b/c we can do this in real life, be a different person at work, at a bar, in our photography club, w/ our family, etc., we should be able to do this online.¬† But in real life we shift identities intrinsically, with very little conscious curation, as many pieces of psychology research have shown (and even in real life we’ve all experienced the awkwardness of running into a boss or professor at a nightclub, after they’ve had one too many drinks).¬† Online, where identities are much more publicly visible and personal branding much more explicit, there is a certain “natural monopoly” that the incumbent social networks have established (FB for personal, LinkedIn for professional), and this will make it hard for new entrants to displace them.¬† I for one an all about competition and wish Google+ the best, but the idea of having to manage *another* online identity exhausts me just thinking about it.That said, if anybody has an invite or “share” they can send me, I’m as curious as everyone else in this group to play w/ the shiny new toy before my “identity exhaustion” kicks in ūüôā

    1. Guest

      its rather simple, facebook built the network first and the apps came later on its road to dominating the identity space, google is building out apps/services first like search, mail, docs, youtube, gmaps, google voice and is trying to stitch an identity service later. Google is the unacknowledged third giant of online identity provider(first two being facebook and twitter). I think it is actually bigger than twitter. Linkedin is nice, but people generally use it when switching/applying for new jobs, not something that people do daily. 

  36. David Shellabarger

    I, for one will defiantly be using Google+ quite a bit.So far I see 4 major use cases for me.1. Most of the Android people I follow got invites to Google+ and + is way better having conversations than Twitter is (which is where I followed them before)2. Hangouts is awesome! If you haven’t tried it, you really need to. Video chat with¬†multiple¬†people is completely different then 1 on 1. It really feels like a party instead of an¬†interrogation.3. It will be the best social network for¬†photographers. Here is 1 share with over 400 photographers in the comments:¬†https://plus.google.com/105… It looks like photos will be first class citizens in + and Flickr has been getting stale ever since Yahoo bought it. Photo sharing isn’t better than Flickr on + yet, but it looks like it will be.4. Notifications built into Google.com is like crack.You can circle me on + at:¬†https://plus.google.com/107…

    1. David Semeria

      Defiant users rock.

  37. Andrew

    I find it interesting that you’re using your Dad as a case-study for who will use Plus. I’m not in it yet, but whenever I read about the Circles I think “That’s perfect!”– not for people I’m already ‘friends’ with on Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr, but for people I’d like some non-email form of online interaction with: my parents, older members of my extended family, some co-workers…None of them are going to join Facebook or Twitter, but I could see them joining this. The fact that you can share things with non “Plus” users and it shows up as email makes it even better, and even more likely I’ll use it this way. It’s as if the privacy/ubiquity of email groups are being combined with the improved conversational format of Facebook commenting.

  38. David Shellabarger

    All social networks should use the name hover box. Its so easy to add people on + and put them in a group. Its easier to do both of those actions then it is to just friend someone on FB. Twitter is possible the worse offender here. Its at least 5 clicks to friend someone and group them on Twitter as opposed to a couple hovers and 1 click on +.1 click to add and group someone on + is amazing!

  39. Guest

    When Google was perceived to be the most powerful search engine others tried to beat them by trying to develop a better search engine (tree thinking). When now obviously FB is dominating the social network business Google tries to compete with FB with their version of social network (tree thinking).¬†I wrote a blog called “They do it already or the mindset of imitators”. Google came toooo late in the social network game, they will always be perceived as imitators and therefor inferior to FB. With Goggle+ they are running straight into a danger zone to loose their IMAGE as a search engine. In one way or another they confess that the web will be socially created. Most people won’t trust them to accumulate their private information. Products like Google+ which come from a billion dollar company are top down set: They have no soul. Nothing to worry about for other social networks and startups. ūüôā

  40. Doug Lee

    tighter integration with gmail will blow this thing out of the water.

    1. David Shellabarger

      How?

  41. gzino

    I’d like G+ to extend platform, e.g. enable me as user to add Twitter and other apps to a Circle, like I’d add a friend.I trust G w/ my data – media, links, social graphs, etc. – as much as any provider. ¬†I’d set my permissions, preferences in G+ – potentially different for each Circle – such that I don’t need to do so in (n) apps, at least not for basic settings. ¬†I then just choose which Circle to put each app in. ¬†That works if G+ lets those apps grab the permissions etc from the Circles that I add them to. ¬†In doing so Google would potentially give up some potential land share and focus on the lower layers of the platform, their strength anyways. ¬†Of course not easy decision as they will certainly do quite well getting land share in other areas if they don’t open up G+ like that.¬†But if so I’ll use (n) apps for (n) different use cases – completely decentralized and distributed the way it should be – as opposed to FB one ring to rule them all – but won’t have the overhead of managing (n) apps.¬†

  42. ryanborn

    Do you believe the AIU (Average Internet User) understands the difference between default public and default private? ¬†AIU = Average, everyday people – no college degree, no MBA’s, no master’s degree, etc.¬†

    1. David Shellabarger

      Yes.I’m pretty sure people understand the difference between their living room and a coffee shop. One is public by default and the other is private by default.

      1. ryanborn

        Yeah and I’m pretty sure Fred agrees. I respectfully don’t. Ask around with your own mom and dad if they are on Twitter and FB (and don’t load the question). Just ask if they can tell you what the difference between the two is in terms of who reads your messages. My own personal data says most don’t. It’s a little like when Jay Leno and David Letterman ask easy questions to people on the street – you’d think they know it when in fact they have no clue or give a silly response.

        1. Dave W Baldwin

          Your question is wrong… you said stupid people then changed to Mom/Dad.If you ask the stupid people (your implication) in the 30-55 age group if they know and the reason they know is…. there are things they privately look at and things not…. if you don’t get that, stay out of surveying.Otherwise, all age groups have those that are simply paranoid.And in the group of smart people, ask them if they know what Twitter is and they probably don’t.¬† That’s because they have assistants who do everthing for them.

          1. ryanborn

            I didn’t ask you, I asked fred and I never used the word stupid, you did. I asked about the AIU. Go away troll.—– Reply message —–

  43. Carl J. Mistlebauer

    My biggest issue with social media is that we do not allow it to be social media.¬† What I mean is that people are now concerned that their wild spring break pictures from college my come back to haunt them….Or people who hide behind privacy settings so that their employers or potential employers won’t access anything.To my way of thinking that really destroys the whole basis of social media.¬† I really don’t understand the concept of connecting with the world only to hide from what is real or to hide the real.¬† I have never searched the web on any applicant and while I do block porn on the network at work, I am not stupid enough to attempt to limit much of anything else.¬†I really never paid much attention to Twitter and only set up an account there three weeks ago, but much to my surprise it is quite a goldmine!¬† Somehow I am now followed by about 40 independent screen print brands; it used to take years to find new ideas for art and now they are finding me!¬† Wish I had connected with Twitter years ago….now I am working on an idea to bring them all together to develop a concept that makes everyone money.Linkedin is odd…again, I only began using it seriously a month ago.¬†Having spent awhile trying to remember people’s names so I could reconnect, I then found myself being asked to connect by key employees of the 800lb guerilla in my niche industry…and I have no idea how they could even have any clue who I am.¬† It got me in invitation to NYC.¬†At the same time someone else does a mailing to announce a service they provide which I have no need for at this time but one that I know I will need in the future and when I ask for a connection they grill me….okay, forget it I will hire someone else.Personally, I am not all that big of a fan of Facebook, and will definitely explore Google +….I want to get beyond friends and family and meet new people, real people who share honestly.¬† Facebook is limiting in that way, besides, my mom is on Facebook and she steals all my friends!¬† ūüôā¬†¬† ¬†

  44. Neil Fernandes

    Hi Fred,¬†The textbox with “View profile as …” on the right lets you see how your profile appears to a person in your circles or anyone on the web.Cheers,Neil

  45. Cem BaŇüman

    We must stop a Balkanization into mini-regions and mini-tribes. Every social platform wants to get a share of your social graph. Google+ is no exception even if Google is a giant player. Not all of your friends and family, fellows and followers will follow your trails. The result is that every time you add to a new en vogue platform you split your social graph into smaller and smaller parts on different platforms. Think about that everytime you fell in love with a new exciting playground. 

    1. Dave W Baldwin

      It isn’t Balkanization… yes, some treat networks like discovering chat rooms during dial up.¬† Growing the personalization and ability of networks will not hurt the bigger equation.I.e., our 30 something annual float trip (guys extended weekend) is coming up in a few weeks… in planning that, do we need outsiders inside the messages?… no.¬† Because we could have used something instead outside of e-mail other than Fbook/Twitter does that mean we’re splitting with humanity?… no.Fbook did the “how problematic can we make it for you re HS friends” and now have to claim world ownership.¬† Then you have Twitter that short messages those that know will happen (co workers knowing you’re on sales trip) offering a way for those in the need be to know.You can have one company with 100 mini/specialized caves on their mountain resort.¬†¬†You can have 100 specialized companies offering their own cave.¬†Or, you can do the ‘thing’ that breaks down the walls which will cause an explosion of interaction between those that don’t personally know each other.

  46. Lucius

    Googleis not competing against FB, but instead the aggregate ofFB+MS+Nokia+Skype+Carriers.Googlehas pissed off Apple too.Googlehas no patent portfolio to defend against the growing Android litigations.Google’spublic image is changing. Only the naive user¬†believes “Don’t beevil”.They havesimply made too many enemies, and thereby have made it almost trivial forcompetitors to throw enough road blocks in their way to keep them fromsucceeding in social. The quality of the product is secondary.

  47. yourdoingitwrong

    do one thing one thing well. google+ is a FAIL

  48. Bradley Horowitz

    Much appreciated Fred.  Thanks for the kind words.

  49. Guest

    ¬†I would not even begin to guess as to why… ‘cept that I am not in the +.When I view your your + profile I get one of Google’s “There was a problem completing this action. Please try again.” notifications.¬† I dont know what element of the + I am missing but I believe I am seeing everything I should.

  50. ekine

    I would love to get an invite but oh well… ^^

  51. MomLiza

    I’m not sure on what hemisphere Google launched Google+, it hasn’t reached me yet. I can’t wait to be invited :)))

  52. Eduardo Mourao

    Why Google+ will fail:- People don’t like mixing their personas (social, professional, etc)- There won’t be a native iphone app- Fatigue is hitting not only FB, but google too- Kids hate google, and will hate that UI. Kids are way more powerful than us.- Facebook will copy Google+ innovations- While FB is “old” in the US, only now most of the world is migrating to FB- Media outlets hate Google and will stay using facebook/twitter for their “social connections”- Google is not cool, is corporate.- Google+ is great, but it lacks coolness. If you don’t have pop-celebrities using it, you are dead. Google+ is not attractive to those people.RIP Google+.

  53. Cheap android tablet

    After reading this post, I decide to sign up a google+ account to see what it really is. Thank you for your post.

  54. Eric Marcoullier

    Anyone seen the post (at http://bit.ly/mSn0iF) that “MySpace Tom” sent out on Google+ today? Interesting how it overlaps with Fred’s comments.I especially love the statement “Then I choked and Facebook realized that vision. ūüėČ “There’s a ton of wisdom AND humility in that sentence.

  55. PC

    I hope Google+ is successful and gives Facebook a run for their money but I hope they don’t “win.” I also hope they don’t dominate social networking. Here’s why:When it comes down to it, Google is a search company that makes it’s money off of ads. That is, search is their forte and ads are their money-makers.Did they suddenly have the burning desire to create a new social networking solution for the sake of connecting people? No. They saw social as a huge driver of traffic and want to access their traffic to, yes, drive ads to them.¬†That’s not to say that Facebook does not have ads. The point is that Facebook’s primary mission IS the social network. Having some competition there is good. But, to Google, social networking is simply a means to an end. That end is traffic and ads. Facebook has those same goals but I think Zuckerberg’s core goal is social networking.Because of this, if Google were ever in a winning/dominating position in the social networking arena I feel that they would grow complacent and their product would languish. Vic Gundotra, while extremely talented, is no Mark Zuckerberg.¬†

    1. Guest

      I am not sure why google is criticized for thinking about ads, you need some monetization strategy lol, after all without money you cannot innovate or provide new services or improve existing services. Google has been very clear about why they creaetd google+. They want the data from google+ to improve their various webservices/webapps with social data. That is why the name google+. They want google services improved. You could make the same argument about chrome, their vision for chrome is not about software excellence, but simply about ads, but guess what chrome is better than any other browser out there, including those put out by software companies like microsoft.Assumptions, Assumptions, Assumptions are so wrong.

      1. PC

        I’m not against ads. The point was that, at the end of the day, ads is what Google really cares about. This is compared to, at the end of the day, Facebook caring about social networking. In short, Facebook’s core motivation is the social networking product while Google’s isn’t. Google is simply trying to enter a hot space.WRT Chrome. If anything, you just proved my point. But let’s take a step back in the browser world.Back in the day, Netscape had the best browser. Internet explorer was crap. But Microsoft had to get in this game because browsers were the next big thing (we’re talking around ’96). Microsoft decided, hey, let’s make IE free. That was the beginning of the end of Netscape.Long story short, the inferior product won and then stagnated. Look at the path that IE took since that day. It’s never been the best browser.The same story is happening with Chrome and Firefox, it’s just taking longer. Firefox was the best browser before Chrome. Google saw an opportunity and created Chrome. Chrome, while popular, still has not “won.” It still has minority market share.Yet it’s quite feasible that, in time, Chrome will completely dominate the market and Firefox will disappear. When that day comes, you can expect Chrome to stagnate (at which point there will be room for disruption).It’s a story that’s as old as history when it comes to business. I don’t see why you think Google is immune to this.¬†

        1. mlr3000

          At the end of the day, Facebook’s motivation is about ads. They are just currently less aggressively obvious about it then Google. It’s a mistake to believe Facebook’s end goal and Google’s are somehow different.¬†

          1. PC

            The difference being that Google has many other avenues they can go to to serve you ads. Facebook only has one source. So Facebook has a higher incentive to give a good product and user experience to keep people coming back. Google only has to make it good enough so people stay and keep it part of their diversified strategy of getting you to go on their many sites.I think Facebook-haters/Google-fans are willing being blind about this. After all, tell me, what was Google’s motivation to build a social network? Did they suddenly have the burning desire to connect people?¬†When it comes down to it, Facebook is social network 1st, ads 2nd. Ads, to them, is one avenue of monetization. They also have other ways like monetizing the platform (eg. 30% cut from Zynga). Ergo, there’s an incentive not to completely ruin the product experience.Google is ads 1st, social network 2th/5th/10th? How important is it to them (other than them saying it’s their number 1 priority this year)? Perhaps, in time, they’ll monetize the social platform similarly to Facebook. But one can bet that ads is on the top of that list.

  56. Eric Leebow

    Great post, haven’t tried it out yet, but would love to get an invite because they are doing things I’ve been thinking about for a while, just thought about them a bit differently. It would be interesting to see how other social services can link to this one or vice versa. ¬†I also see as a social network visionary in this space, how other sites can help them succeed in some ways as well by building a layer for the user to link some social groups back to them, or broadcast a tweet. ¬†It’s great for the whole social networking service space, nobody wants just one way, yet more efficient or interesting concepts. ¬†

  57. Suresh Kumar G

    yea i too heard that zynga games are rolling into yahoo messenger too. If zynga games come into the google + also then facebook surely drops down

  58. Emilio

    what if facebook add those funcionalities? google plus will be stucked like the did with orkut! in my opinion it will be another Fail

  59. MartinEdic

    Honestly I’ve shown Google+ to a number of my ‘normal’ friends and their eyes glaze over almost immediately. As usual with Google products (excepting search), the interface makes way too many assumptions of knowledge, engineer-driven assumptions. And the feature set is equally mystifying compared to Facebook.My biggest issue, ironically, is Google Contacts integration. Contacts is a still a crappy mess and I have many I do not want to have any access to my social networks. Frankly, a major upgrade to Contacts would be far more desirable to nearly everyone I know.I’m a skeptic. I think there’s another great social network concept out there. I wish I knew what it is! But this isn’t it IMHO. Hope I’m wrong…

  60. Abelott

    @ Fred – But in a perfect world you don’t want to be dependent on anysingle one of them”.I read today an article about Zynga and one of the points that werementioned as problematic was that in many ways Zynga is dependent on itsrelationship with FB.(Obviously in every IPO one has to “state”something that will present the risks involved but still.. it is somewhat problematic.)You use FB b/c that is where its easiest to get the people, as they arealready there.If you already had Google (the sworn competitor of FB ) invest in Zynga,then besides showing that you have other options, you obviously realize thatyou can’t be dependent on one giant, no matter how big they are. ¬†Exactly what you just said above.All¬† this brings to my mind thequestion, why don‚Äôt your portfolio companies and Zynga ¬†go more seriously for domains that will bringin quality traffic, now and in the long run??The traffic would come by direct navigation but also would help in SEO whetherit be yahoo, bing or google. ¬†In additiongeneric domains¬† can be used in anyadvertising campaign as they are generic and easier to remember. ¬†Social networks, are best for personal recommendation,and what is easier to pass on or remember than a generic domain?Many know about Zynga, but how long did it take until zynga= socialgames in people’s minds?? ¬†How much did theyspend on it?? With a name like “games” or “social games” itwould have been easier as its intuitive, while Zynga with all due respect isnot. I love dogs. Had one for 16 years until he died.. smart, funny and thebest friend one can ask for. ¬†But it’s not the best name for a gaming company‚Ķ How many people in Chinahave heard of Zynga?? How many in Israel?? There are plenty who have not heardof them. ¬†So yes, the top brand can stillbe Zynga but to make your life easier and less dependent on FB, it would makesense to use generic domains. That is what people search for. So in Israel thereare 600,000!! exact searches on google in Hebrew for the word “games”and it is only second to youtube, facebook and one Israeli portal . That saysit all. You will eventually get more traffic going down this road, or at leastgetting the traffic both ways..Likewise in other countries. ¬†Just my 2 cents‚ĶSorry for the lousy ¬†English butit is not my mother tongue.

    1. Abelott

      @ Fred¬† – Oops… I seem to have posted this in the wrong location in the thread.Didn’t mean to disrupt anything. If you think its worth moving to a better spot and deleting this comment or previous one feel free.

  61. paramendra

    Obviously you don’t think Google Plus is Google Wave or Google Buzz.¬†

  62. Paul Smith

    Social media will inevitably proliferate and fragment. In light of that, we must urgently start making privacy options more self-evident to non-technical users. One step¬†towards¬†this is to adopt consistent phraseology and iconography to describe¬†users’¬†privacy options for their content.For a napkin example, imagine if a few networks would agree on verb choices and icon pairing conventions. “Post (globe),” “Share (stick figures)” and “Store (locker)” have similar but nuanced meanings, and make the distinction pretty clear: You’re sharing with the world, or with specific individuals / groups, or just place-shifting for your private use.The point of this is, the whole default public / private distinction needn’t (and maybe shouldn’t) be a default in the first place. By giving users different verbs instead of a default, user education could be faster and more effective.

  63. Vitomir Jevremovic

    Integration will be massive.. it’s Google people.G+ + Gmail + Gtalk + Search + Docs + Contacts + Calendar + AdWords + AdSense + Analytics + Chrome + AndroidOS + YouTube + Maps + Earth + WebApps + …they already started with Google black bar.if they¬†successfully¬†integrate and cross reference all these services and merge them with social we will have a next BIG disruption¬†

  64. Mia Kline

    I paid $32.67 for a XBOX 360 and my mom got a 17 inch Toshiba laptop for $94.83 being delivered to our house tomorrow by FedEX. I will never again pay expensive retail prices at stores. I even sold a 46 inch HDTV to my boss for $650 and it only cost me $52.78 to get. Here is the website we using to get all this stuff, LiveCent.com

  65. Youssef Rahoui

    Agreed. Where it not for its intrinsic qualities, we should root for Google+ for mere market health. Facebook and Twitter (sorry!) dominance make it dangerous for any startup to build a business based on these social networks.But to go further, I think that what is really missing is:- a protocol that would enable every user to export and import his data in any social network- a consensus that users own and control their data.

  66. M. Edward (Ed) Borasky

    Whether it is a “strong new platform for developers” depends entirely on the terms of service and the business model. Twitter can be annoying but Facebook, Google, Apple and Microsoft are big enough that they can literally kill a developer’s business overnight. They might have to back down under pressure from an Amazon or an Adobe, but not when confronted by a smaller outfit.The bigger they are, the harder *you* fall.

  67. BuyGiftsItems

    It just so happens that setting up a Gmail account gives you a Google account as well.  a deal a day

  68. Dave W Baldwin

    Have only had time to read thru the older comments with not much time.¬†My advice is to open your minds a little.¬† No, it is not a matter of whichever social company taking away and killing the other.¬† Stop referring to it that way.¬† The reason you had Facebook followed by Twitter is there are that many more people on the PC and mobile.¬† Now we’re increasing the options mobile taking it around to the new PC being the television (evolution).Google+ will serve whom it fits… and that will be random people at random moments.¬† However many randoms coming on board does not mean however many less FB or Twitter.¬† If FB and/or Twitter were to stay cemented to a platform serving 2010 next and not 2012, they will go down on their own.Some have found useful explaining the human machine in machinery terms to the non professionals because most can understand it that way.¬† During this decade, the better machine is going to have biological attributes.In the arena of social networking, the user base is maturing and a company depending on that customer’s lifetime usage due to whatever herd mentality resulting from the ‘cool’ factor produces shorter and shorter shelf lives.The network that is fluid/flexible/adjusting to whatever random moment happening in the customer’s mind delivering data (pic/text/link) will win.¬† The reason it will win is because it attracts to itself without only surviving at the elimination of the competitor.

  69. Arundhati Sampath

    I agree that not everyone wants the Facebook or Twitter experience and many users may not be served well by current social networks. But the experience alone will not drive whether people switch to Google +. The more important factor is whether their friends (at least the ones they care about) will go with them. The network effect is a more important factor than individual features no matter how awesome these are. Here is my post on this topic: http://techstuff123.wordpre

  70. Wasiq Ashraf

    Hey i am a google+ user now how can i invite people on google+  as these days google+ is not allowing to add more people onto it.

  71. Heidi Cohen

    Fred–I like your point about MySpace and Friendster killing themselves by not meeting evolving needs. Any company that doesn’t change looses its edge and forgets to care about its customers’ needs.¬†Happy marketing,¬†Heidi Cohen

  72. www.facebook.com/helmy.elsaid

    Vertue of competition.

  73. Kevin Fremon

    I’m sitting right next to you around the Google+ camp fire, Fred.¬† It was like a breath of fresh air and a nice evolutionary step in social media. I look forward to their success and global user adoption. Aside from a G+ love tear, I had to point out this quote of yours…”I believe we’ll need a multitude of social services to satsify the needs and desires of all the users of the web.”I couldn’t agree more. A great example of this for me is Instagram which I choose to share all my photos on.¬† Also why I’ve created http://vibe.me which allows me to share my vibe (sentiment) through out the day.¬† I think there is something very drawing about these specific “micro-networks” for users along side the big boys like G+ or Facebook.

  74. Prokofy

    This is what I think of it so far:http://secondthoughts.typep…Basically, Google+ has the potential to make a more interesting news feed for me to curate because search works better than on Facebook to turn up people with interesting key words for me on their profiles. If it ads the ability to search all their streams, so much the better. So far, there isn’t the clutter of groups, causes, corporations, auto-generated fan pages, etc. etc. that clutter up searches on Facebook now.But if Steve Gillmor puts gets the devs to put in “track block,” i.e. the ability to block people from seeing your public streams (currently not possible in Twitter, as distinct from just blocking them from seeing your tweets in their own stream), that could make it a very elitist club of power users who manipulate the streams of the millions of followers.It’s still being used like broadcasting, few-to-many.And you’re a good example, because like all influencers, you’ve made tiny circles of people you want in your little circles, while letting numerous people circle *you*. And you’ll revel in the ability to say certain privileged things to certain circles you’ve devised, while having the masses see your public statements — influencing them, yet unable to be influenced by them.

  75. David Semeria

    Get a life, Charlie!

  76. awaldstein

    Agree on ‘Facebook Fatigue’ completely Charlie. My network there gets bigger and my connections with those ‘friends’ less. Something is broken.

  77. David Semeria

    Well in that case your forgiven ūüėČ

  78. Mark Essel

    As an incorrigible mispeller I always appreciate a correction. I feel terrible when one slips into a post title.

  79. greengar

    you’re, not yourlol

  80. David Semeria

    Small worm catch many fish.

  81. iamichi

    spot on

  82. awaldstein

    Will do.

  83. awaldstein

    I handle it in a similar fashion.At first, I kept Facebook to people I know/knew. But I found that groups, especially groups I knew in Europe in the wine world were using this generally as a gathering spot. It’s now just a channel and I let it grow.But, mostly across Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and of course, here, I’m always conscious that I’m on stage. I’m straightforward and honest, but cognizant that we live in public on and offline.

  84. David Semeria

    So many people have the same problem with FB.They’re a victim of their own success.¬†In theory, this couldn’t happen with G+ because all your connections are never in one big bucket.

  85. raycote

    “Put free software into the little plug server in the wall, and you would have a Freedom Box that would decentralize information and power”- Columbia law professor Eben Moglenfreedomboxfoundation.org/”Smart devices whose engineered purpose is to work together to facilitate free communication among people, safely and securely, beyond the ambition of the strongest power to penetrate, they can make freedom of thought and information a permanent, ineradicable feature of the net that holds our souls.”-¬†Eben MoglenEben Moglen video interview at –¬†Personal Democracy Formhttp://www.internetevolutio…Eben Moglen video lecture at NYU Feb 5 2010 – Freedom in The Cloudhttp://www.youtube.com/watc…

  86. AR

    “An incorrigible”