Another subtle difference from Facebook: Google+ doesn’t yet have ads running down the side of the page, nor are there viral apps that spam all of one’s Google+ friends with updates such as, “Jane Smith has taken a test!” Given the low-key format of Google’s ads on its search engine and in its Gmail service, it seem likely that while some sort of advertising is inevitable, it won’t be the kind that addles users’ eyeballs and infuriates them with its intrusiveness. The most annoying ads Google sells will probably still be the ones that pop up at the bottom of Google’s YouTube videos.
Having been on Google+ for a week, I’m enjoying the private-club feel of the place. The only updates I see are mostly from people I personally invited to join last week.
My feed also includes frequent posts from the usual social media early adopters, such as SoupSoup blogger Anthony de Rosa, who have an ear for the interesting. Checking two social networks instead of one is inconvenient, but the difference between Facebook and Google+ is currently like work versus play —people I feel obliged to network with (Facebook), and people I’m happy to kick back with on the other (Google+).
Google has since turned off the ability to invite others to join Google+ temporarily, blocking new sign-ups with the message, “We have temporarily exceeded our capacity.” Since when does Google have capacity issues, by the way? Most likely, Google is just taking it slow, while the first few users find their way around.
Eventually, Google will open up Google+ to everyone, which means former coworkers I’ve forgotten, people I went to school with 30 years ago, and an army of public relations professionals trying to network with me will show up. But unlike Facebook, I won’t have to approve 984 friend requests. And unlike Facebook, on Google+ I won’t feel rude when I block their updates from my feed. It’s time for a reset.