Did you get your Google+ invitation yet? If not, stay tuned because Google is attempting to rock the social networking world with the launch of its Google+ project. The goal: to be a more streamlined, easier-to-use alternative to Facebook, the social networking giant that currently claims 750 million active users (and potential customers for advertisers) around the globe. How’s Google+ doing so far — and will you like it better?
Google+ topped 10 million users in the first two weeks after its June 26 launch and estimates place current users at more than 20 million — that’s a faster leap forward than any other social network. So fast, in fact, it temporarily ran out of disk space early on and had to apologize to its users. Meantime, Facebook has taken down ads that promote Google+ and has blocked a Chrome (from Google) extension for exporting friends.
The main difference between the social networking rivals right now is the way Google+ allows you to share (or not share) information— some of the harshest criticism of Facebook has revolved around privacy issues. Here’s an infographic that compares these features and others. To make it easier to understand and use the connections between Google products, there’s a new black bar along the top of every Google window that shows Google+ notifications. Google+ is included in your Google dashboard, of course, and soon Picasa will be rebranded as “Google Photos” and Blogger as “Google Blogs.”
And while Google+ is currently free from ads (including AdWords) and business members, that’s only temporary. Once integrated, those features will create opportunities that could allow for Google+ to leap far beyond Facebook.