I love it.
What I like about Google+:
*It's like Facebook, with a major difference--privacy and added control. I am not friends with most of you on Facebook simply because I want to keep some things private. On Google+, you create Circles and assign people to them, and when you post something on your wall, you can select which Circles you want to see it. Currently, I have about ten Circles:
C Family (cousins on Dad's side)
D Family (cousins on Mom's side)
Bloggers I Actually Know
Bloggers I Actually Know
Blog Business Contacts
(And yes, some people are in more than one of my circles)If our neighborhood is planning a block party, I can put up a post on my wall and just share it with my Neighborhood Circle (the rest of you won't have to see it). You can sort of do this on Facebook, but you have to go to a separate place (and create a Group) to do it. If I have something to share with my colleagues at work, I can simply select the School Circle, rather than having to add each person to the message separately.
*I'm going to go out on a limb here, but I'm just being honest. Another thing I like is that I can create a Circle of people whose wall updates are the most important to me. (Come on--You know you have favorites!) In Facebook, you see everyone's update in the stream. With Google+, you can click on a stream that is for one particular Circle and see only the updates from those people first, all in one place. That is really cool when you don't want to miss something important from a dear friend or family member since you were last logged in.
Of course, you can set up your circles any way you want. I just saw a post from a guy whose Circles are:
*Google+ is also very user-friendly. It looks like Facebook, so that part is familiar. I'm also familiar with Edmodo, and I think Google+ has similarities to Edmodo, so that helps.
*Font size--Thank you, Google+! It's not a lot bigger than Facebook, but it is clearly bigger than Facebook.
There is also a "Hangout" feature that I haven't explored yet (because I haven't taken a shower yet today and don't want to be seen on video!haha). Mashable describes it this way:
That’s the concept behind “Hangouts,” Google’s new group chat feature. Instead of directly asking a friend to join a group chat, users instead click “start a hangout” and they’re instantly in a video chatroom alone. At the same time, a message goes out to their social circles, letting them know that their friend is “hanging out.” The result, Google has found in internal testing, is that friends quickly join.
[Update: I checked it out with Amy Austin, of Pretty Babies, and we had a ball. I even got to see her sweet little baby boy, who is adorable.]
The difference between Google+ Hangouts and Facebook's new video chat feature (in a nutshell) is the FB video tool is best for two people to chat, and Google+ plus is better for groups. (Groups can video chat on FB, but it's my understanding that Skype will charge fees for that.) Also, with the Google+ Hangouts, a group of people can watch a YouTube video together--I have a feeling my kids (Kyle and Kendall) are going to like that. There is also a chat box inside the video chat room, so you can have text and/or video chat simultaneously.
*I like that people can add you to their circle, but you don't have to add them to yours. If you get tired of seeing their posts, like Facebook, you can simply "mute" their posts (or even block them). You have complete control over who sees your stuff.
*I'm going to add two more observations, from Cool Mom Tech:
You'll find that Google+ allows you to do all those little things you wished you could do on Facebook, like edit posts after they've published; or unsubscribe from certain discussions so you don't have to be alerted every time yet another person says "Happy Birthday!"
I also love that you can email your updates to people who aren't in Google+, great for when you want to share that photo with Grandma who hasn't made the jump into Facebook.
What I don't like about Google+:
*They won't let me use my Mrs4444 username--No numbers or special characters allowed. How dumb is that?! If you google my real name, you won't find my blog, and if you google Mrs4444, you won't find my real name; I like it that way. MrsFours will have to do, but I don't have to like it.
*I would very much like it if they would show my Circles on the top of my circles page and their recommendations below that, rather than vice versa; I like to see the "big picture" first.
*It would be really nice if Google+ would add an "Invite to Google+" option under the More Options tab in a Gmail Contacts. (Hear that, Google? Thanks.) That way, I could add my entire neighborhood at once, instead of clicking on each name separately, hoping not to miss someone.
*If you want to privately message someone, you can't do it on Google+; you have to do it via an email button on the page. [UPDATE: I figured out that you can message people individually, much more efficiently than on Facebook, too; you simply type the person's name in the field, instead typing in a circle. @ signs can also be used when mentioning someone else (like in Twitter). Nice going, Google. I love you even more, now! :)
*I hope that Google+ doesn't get cluttered up (like Twitter) with daily blog-promotion stuff. I don't mind an occasional request to visit a special post, but I really don't like the every-day, all-day "Read my blog" Tweets; I need a Blog-Promotion-Free Zone. Maybe I'll just create a secondary blogging circle for those with Google+ goals similar to mine--strictly socializing. Yes! That's what I'll do!
Will I give up Facebook? I guess it depends on how many people in my real life join Google+. I am certain I'll be using Google+ to connect with bloggers in a purely social way--I love finally having a place for that! If you'd like to join my Circle let me know, and I'll happily invite you if I haven't already.
I want to apologize if you have no interest in joining Google+ but got bombarded with emails from Google about it because of me. (If you did, it might be because I added you to my circle and they might have sent that to you; I don't know how they do that.) Feel free to send an email asking me to delete you from the circle-business :) Better yet, just copy this paragraph and send it to me--I'll get the hint.
More Google+ Stuff:
Here's some excellent stuff about Google+--Very good information here!
If you enjoy English people (especially those who speak slowly), check out this video tour of Google+.
Google Plus: 8 Quick Tips and Tricks
Another important question (and answer) about Google+
So that's my two cents about Google+. If you have an opinion or a question, I'd love to hear it. I've also got a video tour of Google+ in the works (hopefully for tomorrow), so stay tuned if you're still curious.
P.S. If you're like me and have been wondering what this is:
this short video from Google.