In the weeks following the limited release of Google+, ten million people have already jumped onboard.  Initial reactions to Google+ have been mixed.  It could be another superfluous social networking site that will ultimately cause more headaches than it will solve.  Others, however, see it as an innovative tool that effectively combines all of Google’s features (Chrome, GMail, Google Reader, etc.) into one cohesive social media site.

One of the most praiseworthy features is the interface itself, which is sleek and user-friendly.  Google+ allows users to create different “Circles” of people and share information within these specific circles. This is an intuitive improvement to Facebook’s privacy settings. Facebook received criticism for this as more users were added.  Facebook now allows you to create different groups and restrict their access to your profile; however, Google+’s circles are far more effective at restricting access to different groups of people and are more user friendly.   Facebook was a cleaner, more sophisticated upgrade to the cluttered Myspace, and now it seems that Google+ is just that to Facebook.

Google+ will also impact search responses.  This can either be a good or bad thing, depending on if you want your information to be more readily available on the internet.  For businesses using Google+ as a marketing tool, this is an obvious benefit.  The interface seamlessly integrates Gmail and Google Reader, and by doing so, Google+ connects many sites and flows seamlessly into your web browsing routine.

Google+ is not, however, without criticism.  While most have praised the site for the circles, some have called them too complicated for the average user.  It is also impossible to filter your streams.  The lack of a search bar is also perplexing, considering Google is first and foremost a search engine.  Overall, the consensus is that Google+ deals with features that the public believe should be improved but not changed altogether—it’s a solid first step.

The jury is still out on whether Google+ will make Facebook obsolete, if it will become another social media site, or if people will simply lose interest in it.  It is important to realize that Google+ is still in its first stages, developers still can change and update features to suit the public’s needs.  At this point, Google + has the potential to grow into something lucrative, but only time can tell if it will live up to its initial hype.

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