Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Google+, An iPad Moment

iPad. The word evokes a magical product experience that opens up the mind to the possibilities and utility of technology - elegant, pleasant to hold, and a window to a world of applications and content.

For me, using Google+ hit me just as hard. Within an hour of using the service, I began to recognize not only the power of Google's social offering but value in the social layer over Google's incredibly rich product offering set - mail, calendar, video chat, IM, documents, search, photos, blog platform, Android phones, netbooks....

The + circle metaphor maps brilliantly to a world I know alt-tab between: LinkedIn, Gmail, Facebook, Blogger, Twitter, etc, while allowing me to design the appropriate filters and groupings of people I know, admire, keep to update from, etc.

Moreover, Google+ instantly changed my sense of Facebook's value. Prior to the + launch, Facebook's ascendancy and victory seemed written in stone. 100s of millions of users, no competition, brands flocking to Fan Pages, etc.  In my first + session, I realized how easy it is to switch from Facebook to + - outside of my contacts and the occasional photo, leaving behind Facebook, just like I left Blackberry behind to go to the iPhone, proved a no-brainer and truly easy.

Google+ serves to further bind me to Google - mail, calendaring, photos, blog, social communication, video chatting...and when they tie in Google Apps, I will have my work colleagues, family, friends, and extended social circles all on a single platform. + makes me much more likely to buy a Nexus phone and dramatically increased the amount of time I spend with Google each day.

As with my first iPad session, I fell in love with + on first sight and it opened my eyes to the power of Google's product portfolio and to Facebook's precarious position in our lives.

Finally, I think + will put a major hamper on Facebook's IPO prospects, while revealing in a very tangible way how shitty Twitter is from a product perspective. Twitter is now in danger of being a $7bn company with a product offering virtually identical to the day it started.