This is the second installment of a series of posts I am writing on the features that Google+ does better than Facebook. While I have heard from some listing things that Facebook does better, I would simply say, I am not writing about that. Google+ is a start up network that has the clear advantage of being created by some of the worlds best programmers, a vast financial resource, and the second mover advantage. The second mover is by nature behind, but also has the ability to dissect what the first mover has done and find ways to incorporate design and strategic elements to improve on the existing first mover example.
Google+ beats Facebook at Openness in Development
Google+ is impressive in its feature set already, as I noted in Part 1 with their superior handling of photos, but Google has stressed in their statements that this is a ‘field trial’ not an alpha release, not a beta release, but a field trial. They have made tweaks and changes, and when they have stumbled, they have acknowledged it and fixed it. One of the most impressive features is the easy to use feedback tab on the lower right corner of every google+ page. When you click on it, you can easily report a problem as you encounter it with this pop up form:
As you can see you actually highlight the problem on your screen, and describe it to them. I have used it and seen the issue resolved within 24 hours. That bodes well for the future of google+. The fact that they make it so easy to report the issue means more will be reported, which means less people will encounter them, and things will work better.
Google+ has its big guns out there talking to Users
You might not know Vic Gundotra but he is a senior vice president at google, a software engineer, who is in charge of much of what google+ is. He is out there every day using the very very cool video chat tool in google+ to “hangout” with users and get feedback about features they want or want to work better. When a team has their superstar that invested good things happen. Think Tom Brady showing up first to practice, and locking the door on his way out.
Google is going to Integrate Google+ with other Products, Carefully.
Gmail, Youtube, Google Search, Google Docs, Picasa, Blogger, Google Talk, Android, Google Calendar, Google Maps, Google Translate… heard of those? Yeah well Google has a stable of horses already running at the front of their races. They will integrate them into Google+ and they have shown that they have learned from the issues they faced with the failed Google Buzz launch.
Take for instance the openness and true desire to hear from users as to how the integration of Gmail should go, shown by Mark Striebeck the Engineer in charge of Gmail’s front end:
Google+, the Path to Success
While I feel like I amy hav elost some readers with this topic, having used the service consistently for a week and a half since launch, this needs to be written now. I have read articles from people who are trying to decide if Google+ is going to succeed or not. To me they are morons just looking to get something written. Google threw the gauntlet down to their employees last year, social was priority #1, and it shows in the out and out dedication I have shown you a glimpse of above. Remember a few things:
- Google has many of the most talented people in software today.
- Google has most of the industry leading online services under their roof.
- Google has the financial strength to do what it wants (not pre-ipo, not a garage start-up)
- Google has motivated the best programmers in the game to get social by tie-ing all bonuses to the success in social.
- Google has the bases covered: Android to Search to Youtube to Gmail – you already are heavily involved in Google+ whether you know it or not.