Google is at it again. Despite failed past attempts at breaking into the social network space, Google announced Google+ yesterday. Google has long had its sights set on becoming a player in the social world, as experts predicted that social media was the search giant’s biggest threat.
After a few days in semi-public beta, reviews are starting to roll in. It seems that where Google+ may have an edge is in its privacy policies. For instance, Dan Gillmor wrote for The Guardian:
What Google has understood, and put (with some glitches) into practice, is what Facebook has resisted. First, privacy has been baked into the service, not added as an afterthought. The privacy settings still need work, but it’s clear that Google has learned from the mistakes it has made and the ongoing privacy insults that Facebook showers on its users.
Gillmor — who gives Google+ an overall B+ — also says the site is good at allowing users to create groups, and share information appropriately. I’m not convinced that I believe Google, the gatekeeper of…well…just about everything, is really concerned with my privacy. In fact, one of the most important privacy settings for me in Facebook was the ability to make my profile not searchable via Google.
Still my skepticism about Google’s forays into the social space has always been about the willingness of millions of users to either add yet another social network into their daily routines, or make the switch. So, I’ll be interested to see if people really embrace this new network, or if it’s just the early adopters and gadget collectors who get on board.