Will Google+ Win and Do You Have a Google+ Invite?

Looking around the web, we see plenty of press and media playing with Google+ for example Marshall Kirkpatrick from ReadWriteWeb who put together a nice first hand experience after a night of diving in. Spoiler: he loves it. Then we’ve got the optimistically pessimistic realists (does that makes sense) from XKCD who tell it like it is (and it’s funny) below.

But truth be told, the vast majority are without Google+ and you have to think this is by design. Whether Google is doing this to try and create a feeling of exlusivity as they did with GMail’s invites system or whether they want to drum up buzz while beating out any bugs in the beta, I’m not quite sure. Either way… a quick show of hands:

The rollout strategy will have a big affect on the potential for Google+ success, sure, but it’s the actual service itself that will make or break it as a viable alternative to Facebook. If you think about the concept and see some examples of “Circles” in action, you can start to grasp how this affects the concept of social networking and how you might use it.

Think about some “circles” you might make:

  • All co-workers
  • Work friends
  • School friends
  • Kickball team
  • Awesome people who read Phandroid
  • Hunting buddies
  • Vegetarian club

You may be MUCH more inclined to share things if you can share them with a specific group. Not only that, but you will sharing things you wouldn’t normally have shared because they pertain to the particular interests of one of your circles.

It’s pretty brilliant if you ask me and I’m incredibly excited to see this showdown with Facebook. Will Facebook counter and implement this same strategy with a different name, for example expanding the concept of “Groups” to make them more flexible and upfront? Will Facebook ignore the initative altogether- out of site, out of mind?

How about a couple more polls:

Lastly… a lot of the potential success depends on who is willing to adopt. So… will you?

Continue reading:




  • Mindentity

    yesss i wanna an invite, plzz ;p

    I hope that Google+ will beat facebook. I’m so boring about facebook.

  • Droidmatters

    As much as I love Google, they already messed up with this launch. I’m not saying that it’s going to fail; I’m just saying that it started off on the wrong foot.

    How are you going to release a Social Network on an invite-only basis? So after I get my invite, I’m supposed to add myself to my own circle and post updates to my self?

    They should’ve just opened the gates for everyone at once.

    Then they release the Android app..it opens up, and tells you that you can’t use it. I’m sure that they could’ve gotten the app to those testing it without releasing it to everyone in the market.

    Jonathan

    • http://twitter.com/luz_andre André Luz

      You clearly don’t know how Facebook started then

      • Droidmatters

        Facebook initially started as a site for just Harvard students..it wasn’t until the light bulb turned on that they decided it make it available for everyone.

        This on the other hand, is made for everyone but is only available to a select few people at the moment.

        Remember when Wave launched? Everyone was so happy to finally get an invite and then bam…realized that they had nobody to really share the Wave with.

        • TheCaprican

          wow, let me guess, you watched “the social network”? lol

          Do yourself a small favor by researching a little more about how Facebook started out. Hint: people once were required to have an .edu email to sign up for Facebook account
          Google is repeating the model that worked so well for Gmail. Exclusive Invites give the user the sense of exclusivity and “coolness” thus creates hypes and interests. 

          Learn some facts before spewing out nonsense.

          • Droidmatters

            Facebook was initially created for Harvard students.

            They then decided to expand to other schools, that is why a .EDU address was required. The .EDU address proved that you were somehow affiliated with the school.

            They then expanded an allowed EVERYONE to join.

            Yes, GMAIL was by invite only, and it worked well. But GMAIL isn’t a social network. I could still communicate with you if you didn’t have a GMAIL account at the time.

            Who are you going to enjoy Google+ with once you get your invite if there’s none of your friends have access? Nobody.

          • Dataguttt

            A popular social network in spain, named tuenti is still invite-only…

      • http://profiles.google.com/jb4jb4jb4jb4 Justin Bell

        By allowing a whole school in at once. If they let a whole state or something in, that would be the same. Invite only is different.

    • Senoreljefe

      I think as long as they give users a generous amount of invites to send to friends, it will grow organically.

    • Brad

      “How are you going to release a Social Network on an invite-only basis?”

      This may not make sense to some, but the invite system is actually a very effective marketing tool.  If you’re already an established, popular company with a plethora of popular services, launching a new flagship service and making it invite only just makes people want it that much more.  Granted, there’s a lot more hype because of it, so it will have to live up to that hype once people get in, but if it does, and the early adopters hype it up even more, then when they open the flood gates, there will actually be a flood waiting to come in.

      I for one do not like social networking in general.  I think quality of friendship has been cast aside in favor of quantity, and almost everyone in most people’s friends list are not actually true friends at all.  Also, everybody now expect you to display your whole life for the world to see, which I have no intention of doing, and everyone also expects you to keep up with all the stupid stuff they post too.  Unlike many, I still value my privacy.  I do have Facebook and Twitter accounts, the former for family and a few friends, and the latter to watch updates from Android developers and news sites.  I don’t like putting stuff on Twitter, because ANYONE can see it.  And on Facebook, although you have more control, your friends list is a flat list, and you can’t control which of your “friends” see what posts you make.

      That being said, this looks like the first social networking service that I might actually use.  Google has apparently figured out how to do what the genius Zuckerberg never could: organize your “friends” into separate groups so you can share stuff with only particular people that you don’t want everybody else in the world to see.  For example, there are things I would want to share with my immediate family that my extended family has no business knowing about.  If you ask me, that feature should have been there from the start in Facebook.  Let’s compare this to email.  When you send emails, do you send every email to every person in your address book, and some people in your contacts’ address books as well?  Would you want to?  Probably not, but that’s exactly what you do when you post something on Facebook.

      So, if Google+ reaches critical mass and everybody starts signing up, I will probably sign up and drop Facebook like a hot potato.  But it’s not going to be an overnight success, especially with Facebook as established as it is.  Time will tell how this actually goes down.

      • AGWednesday

        “And on Facebook, although you have more control, your friends list is a flat list, and you can’t control which of your “friends” see what posts you make.”

        Actually, you can control which friends see which posts. It’s just nowhere near as intuitive as Google’s answer.

    • MildewMan

      Let’s say that the first 10,000 people get 10 invites to give to their friends. They invite 10 people. The new 100,000 people now have 10 invites to share, so they invite 10 people. Those 1,000,000 invite 10, and so on. It will grow exponentially.

    • http://profiles.google.com/kirklgilmore Kirk Gilmore

      I think the invites are going out based on who puts who in their circles. I have went through my contacts putting everyone I know in a circle and slowly they are getting in. This is smart IMHO because it is closed so they can test but Whomever I add ends up in the system so I have someone to talk too. Facebook is a polished-ish machine and I am sure Google needs to work out some kinks before going in front of the masses

  • Adamsinger77

    Yes yes yes

  • Pitrick

    Anyone knows if the invite process is a little bit like gmail…where you would get a couple of invites to give away every now and then? If thats the case then @Droidmatters:disqus this is how you will be able to gather interest from friends and family!

    • Droidmatters

      Would have been better if they just said “it’s open, go ahead and have fund”..now we must wait for an invite..then we’ll get an invite, have noone to interact with..then a few weeks later, they’ll give us 3 invites to send to friends..then we’ll send it to 3 friends..blah..blah..blah. :-)

  • $3663674

    I have a question about Circles.   In all the demos I’ve seen, they drag a friend from your friends list to a circle and then your friend disappears from the friend list.  

    This seems to indicate to me that there is no overlap to the circles.

    That would kind of suck.

    Some of my social circles do overlap.   

    Can someone confirm or deny that social circles can or cannot overlap in any way.  Can a friend belong to more than one circle?

    • robjackson81

      I can’t confirm/deny this, but I you MUST be able to add a friend to more than one circle. If not, the entire concept is idiotic, and Google is too smart to make this mistake. (fingers crossed)

    • Guest

      good question, they should overlap

    • Senoreljefe

      How would you implement an overlapping circle?  I would think the way to implement it would be to have a friend be part of a multiple circles.  The part of the circles that overlap are essentially a third circle.

      • Brandon

        Ever heard of a Ven Diagram? 

        • Chris Sullivan

          Of course. Drawing one is easy. I think from a pure viewing of friendships perspective, a Ven Diagram would be an accurate social map. But the resulting behavior of the overlap is essentially equivalent to a third circle and a third circle maybe easier to implement and use.

    • Robabobbob

      Good news, I just found this: “Update: Google wrote in to tell us that you can add friends to more than one Circle. The limitation we observed is only present in the demo of Circles and Google+.” on http://www.gottabemobile.com/2011/06/28/what-is-google-and-can-it-succeed-where-buzz-and-wave-failed/

      • AGWednesday

        That’s good news. I was worried about the exact same thing.

    • Shamus

      I was wondering this as well.  Google is smart and hopefully thought this out but who knows. I can’t wait to try it.

  • StefconZA

    The problem with Google + for me is that MANY people don’t use a Google Account for their email, which I guess would be a prerequisite for G+.
    I think for regular Google users it would be an extension of what they do with Google every day but non-Google users would be slow to adopt to using a new account.

    Bottom line; If they limit G+ to Google account holders they will never compete with Facebook on a large scale. But by allowing that I think too many features will become useless (like the video chat thing that uses the Google Talk system).

    I think the best thing they can do is to have some sort of integration with Facebook so you can still see FB updates and so on while using G+.

    I look forward to trying it out but doubt I will see too much activity on it as too few of my Gmail contacts use a Google account…

    • Guest

      I think you can still add them to your circles, they don’t need to use google accounts or gmail, I think email is the key here.

    • $8357570

      lol facebook updates on g+? what’s the point? the idea is to move away from facebook, not take facebook with you. aren’t you tired of seeing a Like button on every page on the web?

      • StefconZA

        Haha I guess so. That whole idea is irrelevant now since a Gmail account isn’t needed to sign up.

    • TheCaprican

      #1: “MANY people don’t use a Google account for their email” WTF are you talking about? What planet did you come from?

      #2 You don’t HAVE to have gmail in order to use Google Plus. 

      #3 the amount of misinformation you’re spewing out is amazing.

      • StefconZA

        #1: Yes, there are people that have been using other services like Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL, MSN, their work email addresses, etc. for many years and would be reluctant to change to a new service.
        The planet I’m from? Obviously not the same basement you are from…

        2#: That is a good step on their part. I assumed (as was made apparent in the first paragraph of my original post) that a Google account would be needed for G+ as they have so many other services that require you to have a Gmail account.

        3#: I didn’t claim anything I said to be fact. Certain words used makes it clear that what is said is merely opinion. For future reference, look out for words like “I think” and “I guess”.

        Why don’t you try and add something constructive to a discussion in the future in stead of only negatively commenting on things that other people said. Add your own opinion. Get out of your mothers basement and interact with real people. This way you might learn proper etiquette when talking to strangers…

        • http://profiles.google.com/jb4jb4jb4jb4 Justin Bell

          You know, if you had left the basement insults out of it, I’d actually respect you.

          • StefconZA

            I know, thanks Justin.
            In the future I will stick to making my point and leave the “lashing out” out of it…

          • camelz

            yeah, don’t type with your balls in your mouth anymore.

        • Jörg Hinrichsen

          #1 I think what TheCaprican means that a yahoo for example, user can open a Google Account because Google uses OpenID. So you do NOT need to use GMaill. You need to have a Google Account but NOT Gmail!

          If your argument is, that you need a Google Account and therefor forced to use Gmail then you are wrong.

          If you just argue that you not want a Google Account or link your OpenID account with google to use Google products then you just silly.

          If you use Gmail you need a Google account, but if you have a google account you do not need to use gmail. People can keep their old mail accounts.

    • Josh Nadas

      Too long, did not read.

    • Guest

      Have to remember that Facebook *Required* you to have an email address for an approved school back in the day….

    • http://techdomino.com/ Lucian Armasu

      It’s not a prerequisite. You can use any e-mail. But seriously, how you not use Gmail? It’s by far the best e-mail out there, and I’ve been a yahoo user for years and was very reluctant to move at first, but boy was I glad when I did. Just use some theme with it. I don’t like white interface too much. And Hotmail I’ve always hated. The latest version is even worse, with a clumsy interface. 

      • StefconZA

        I know what a great service Gmail is, I have been using it since it was first made available, thanks :)

        • camelz

          then why keep whining, Stephanie?

      • Kevin24lg

        It would make more sense to me to have G+ as a stand-alone site with hidden integration of gmail, like have new people sign up for a G+ account, but what you actually give them is a gmail/google account so they are already integrated. It took Facebook like what, 5 years before they integrated a Facebook email system; Google’s already got it.

    • thewafflehouse

      If you want to see updates from FB then you don’t understand the Value of Google Plus. The point is to take up where Facebook left off. If they blend in FB then they are just kowtowing. I don’t use FB because it’s become a “hey, I know you why don’t you add me on FB” type of thing? I don’t want to share everything with EVERYONE. Only certain people. While Facbook has groups that can be made of your friends, it doesn’t help when you get lost in the flow when you want to share something.

      Facebook will have trouble integrating something because they have become in a sense the new Myspace, it’s all about the number of friends you have and the updates. For those that just want to share with everyone Facebook is great, but for those that want to say share some things with some people and others with other people Google + is the way to go. I know some of my friends hate it when I talk about food, so why would I want to give them updates about new places I discover? Other friends may not want to hear about if I picked up a hot piece of ass and see photos as proof, so why share with them? (Clearly family is included in that.) Facebook fails on this front, the viewpoint is share everything with everyone unless you really want to spend the extra time to filter things more. Google Plus will do such from the start and be more personal, which Facebook isn’t.

      • StefconZA

        The whole “See FB info on G+” idea was based on the assumption that you require a Google/Gmail account to use G+.
        The idea was merely to convince more people to switch to G+ and use a Gmail address by telling them that they won’t lose everything they have built up in FB.
        Since G+ replaces (and improves on) FB and a Gmail account isn’t required, that idea is moot now.

        I agree on the points you made though, the Circles is a feature that will be very handy. I look forward to giving G+ a try.

        • camelz

          jesus, clown. You’ve already stated your opinions about a gmail account. quit whining in every post, Stefania.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1787373408 Austin Nichols

      every-single-android-user-meets-those-requirements-enthusiast-or-regular-user

    • cas_e

      “If they limit G+ to Google account holders they will never compete with Facebook on a large scale.”

      What the hell are you on about? Limit to Google account holders? Of course people need to make a Google account, just like they need to make a Facebook account.

    • http://twitter.com/KRIMSONCORE noelsito

      what about android phones?

    • http://twitter.com/KRIMSONCORE noelsito

      i think it’s almost the same thing

  • Robabobbob

    @Droidmatters “How are you going to release a Social Network on an invite-only basis?” Do you remember how Facebook (or thefacebook) started?  You couldn’t even get an invite, you had to be at harvard, then later at other certain institutions long before it went public.  I guess that’s why facebook is such a small site and they get such a small amount of traffic… oh hang on.

    P.S. Someone please send me an invite!!  (PM Robabobbob on the forums, pretty please!)

  • oomatter

    Little worried this will be like Wave. I got my invite and then had practically no one to interact with on it. The most interesting thing about Google+ is that they’ve already got Android and iOS apps for it so hopefully it will be more mobile friendly than Facebook. Not everyone sits in front of a computer all day.

    • http://google.com/+derekross Derek Ross
      • Shamus

        Google has said they will have an ios and iphone app shortly.  Interesting the note that the ui for plus was designed by a ui guy from apple as well.

        • http://google.com/+derekross Derek Ross

          I’m well aware they are developing it and it will be out shortly. iOS users will have to use the web app until then as I mentioned.

          • http://profiles.google.com/kirklgilmore Kirk Gilmore

            To be fair the web app is 95% the same as the native android app. Even does sliding of streams, which is common in touch apps. I have an apple fanboy as a friend and he likes the + web app better than the facebook app

    • Shamus

      They have this beat somewhat as even users that don’t use plus will still get email status updates and can be added to circles.  I do think however that to be successful they need to get this out to everyone.  Invites are so last century.  All it does now is annoy people and like wave this needs people using and loving it to get rolling.

    • John

      think u could send an invite my way???

  • Dane Cooke

    Maybe I’m confused. Isn’t this just open now or is the link below not what this article is referring to?
    http://www.google.com/webmasters/+1/button/index.html

    • Dane Cooke

      Ahh yes, I am confused. 

    • AGWednesday

      +1 and Google+ are two different things:

      Google+ is like Facebook.

      +1 is like Facebook’s Like button.

  • http://www.facebook.com/fayez.noor John Marston

    i want invitation fayez.noor@gmail.com plzzzzzzzz phandroid.com i send you ppl  lots of tipsss nnow i want a small favor

  • Guerrilla Bob

    They should have started with Android community, which is big enough now to make it buzz. Two birds with one stone – successful launch of a social network, and more iFans crossing over.

    • http://techdomino.com/ Lucian Armasu

      Isn’t that what they are doing?

      • ashlayne

        No, at least not with every Android user.

  • theqwert

    I think they need to get this going very quickly, before FB copies and implements similar features themselves. A cautious invite-only policy may torpedo the whole thing.

    • http://techdomino.com/ Lucian Armasu

      I’m sure they’ll copy it but it won’t work. They’ve already tried with Lists and groups and failed. The problem is this is a serious fundamental issue with social networks. And no social network until now realized how serious of a design flaw is to NOT have something like Circles from the very beginning.

      They tried to patch it up later with lists and groups, but it won’t work anymore. It will be tacked on. It needs to be in the core of the product. 

      • thewafflehouse

        The problem with Facebook’s groups is the fact that you have to retroactively go through your list of well over 100+ people to filter them, it’s not so easy to do, in any way shape or form. If started from the beginning it could be done, but FB doesn’t make it easy to share it with a certain group, those options are not really hidden, but they don’t stand out either. I’ve been telling my friends this to get them involved in Google+ already have quite a few interested and spreading the word for when invites are sent out.

  • toomuchgame441

    I really want to see this grow, I think the circles idea is genius. But i hope they market this correctly.

  • Daniel Patterson

    Facebook already has Lists which is ecentially what G+’s circles are. The problem with Lists is they are a pain in the rear to use. Anything that you send to your feed on Facebook can have custom publishing setup where you can send it to 1 person, a List of people, or even use exclusions where it does not go to a particular person or List. The default publishing option is friends of friends, meaning everyone you friend and anyone who is 1 friend removed from you.

    I’ve been taking advantage of Facebook’s Lists for nearly 1.5 years when I realized I needed to organize my Facebook comms better. The major problem is they are hard to manage, organize, and maintain. I hope Circles fixes a lot of things that Facebook did wrong in this regard and makes it naturally intuitive and easy to use.

    The real issue here is, Facebook already has the underlying technology in place. If Google+ shows them that this is a customer priority, they can have devs quickly invest some time into beefing up Lists so that it is every bit as usable as Circles. Then what advantage does Google offer? Sparks? Those sound interesting, but is it enough?

  • Aaron Sua

    It’s good, but has room to improve.  

    For starters I can’t have a google profile account at the moment with my primary email address as it is a domain I own and have attached to Google Apps.  That’s a major hurdle for me as I finally have all my other google services attached to my domain. 

    There are tons of UI tweaks and stability challenges but there is also a huge amount of potential.  

    • http://twitter.com/trathkopf Ted Rathkopf

      Google needs to bring google profiles to Google Apps. Many of their recent new products are off limits for Google Apps users because of this shortcoming. Latitude check-ins, +1, and now this. I’m about 90% extricated from my gmail account. I really don’t want to have to go back to it to use Google+.

  • blaque_prince

    Well just off the bat I will join if I get an invite. The comic up above is more like how I got on Facebook. And the first thing I did was look for how to easily separate who sees what when I post because I am in some drastically different circles. I don’t really see the idea as revolutionary….its just damn common sense. Facebook just seems to have this idea that sharing means everybody HAS to see everything in order for sharing to remain popular. On the other hand Google could find that with circles closed off people don’t feel that they get as much info from their friends because they’re not in the correct circles. They’ll eventually have to find ways to help people show interest in knowing more from their friends.

  • droid.

    Facebook will be a valuable tool… to spread Google+ when it goes public.

  • http://droiddot.info/ droid.

    Facebook will be a valuable tool… to spread Google+ when it goes public.

  • https://plus.google.com/104038709432067945998/posts Wyatt Beougher

    For the life of me, I can’t understand why they don’t implement all of these features and turn iGoogle into their version of the Facebook homepage/newsfeed.  It already has customizable widgets and content, so why not rachet it up to the next level and integrate social networking and make people actually use their iGoogle homepage as more than just a stopping-off point for their Gmail?

  • http://droiddot.info/ droid.

    Plus 1 for Google+, one good thing about Facebook is that it will be a good marketing tool for Google+.

  • http://profiles.google.com/lmennuti Lincoln Mennuti

    I’m interested in checking out Google+ and whether by invite or eventual public release, I will. Just like I did with Buzz and Wave.

    But, just like with Buzz and Wave, I can only foresee tech savvy friends and family also giving G+ a try. I can also see all my technically-challenged friends and family either zoning out or blank staring as soon as the word “Circles” (or any other such better-than-Facebook option G+ will offer) is mentioned and attempted to be explained.

    I’m a Google fan, I want to see G+ be successful, but unless they’ve figured out a way to entice the non-techies over (and a by-invite only to the party isn’t it)… Facebook isn’t facing any sleepless nights, anytime soon.

  • Elvis the Queen

    Sounds very promising. If they tie everything nicely together, they may make it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1787373408 Austin Nichols

    maybe the search button will get replaced with a + button since every new phone doesnt have a search button

    • Spanki

      That is a fantastic idea. I rarely use the search button anyways. Perhaps the Nexus 3 will feature notable integration w/ Google+

  • No_Nickname90

    This sounds awesome!! Video chatting within a Social Network. That sounds pretty cool!! Ima add every android user there!! LoL!!

    • No_Nickname90

      BTW, I fail, and it took me forever to figure out the website name.

      plus.google.com

  • Chris Sullivan

    Maybe I am getting ahead of myself here, but I would love to see the ability to have multiple profiles. One personal, I like skateboarding, fishing, golf, etc. and one professional like linkedin and maybe another one religious, dating or whatever. It would be nice to be able to define which profile the circles see so that my professional contacts see a linkedin type profile and my friends might see both personal and professional. This would allow Google+ to truly give me control over what type of relationship I want with that circle.

    • lawnsprinkler

      Makes sense. Hit that “Send Feedback” button and let them know

  • http://www.facebook.com/phillyboi06 Ethan Bailey

    funny! i had a conversation yesterday similar to that pic

  • http://profiles.google.com/kirklgilmore Kirk Gilmore

    Every android user will have it, regardless if they use the social part of it. Every photo I take is synced to my + account now. It is fantastic. The good thing about all of this is that it needs to compete with Facebook, or at least someone needs to compete with them. iOS is better because of Android as Android is better because of iOS. Facebook without competition will continue to be the scary virus ridden place it is today

  • Chris Sullivan

    anyone with an invite? Please share with me (XXX I GOT IN!!@gmail.com), we can create a Phandroid Circle :P

  • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

    GOT MY INVITE!!! WOOT! :D

    • http://profiles.google.com/chrisfsullivan Chris Sullivan

      Duuuuuude! Hook me up with some Google+

    • Chris Sullivan

      Do you get the ability to invite others immediately? I think in Wave there was a delay from when you fist join to the time the invites showed up. How many invites do they give you?

  • Snarky13

    Can’t wait to give Facebook the finger on my way out. Mark Z is an ass who has successfully ruined what used to be an enjoyable Social Network. I REALLY hope Google+ is able to deliver the goods. I have seriously been searching the net for “viable alternatives” to FB, but haven’t come across anything yet. This certainly looks very promising. GO GOOGLE!!!

  • Jasul

    I really think that Android users should have gotten invites! We allready have commited ourselves to google and then this slap in the face!! ;)

  • Jon Cardona

    Gotta say, I like it. Seems a lot more intuitive than facebook.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1818366698 Mitchell Buchler

    I have no opinion, I will obey phandroid.

  • Abdul Razack

    someone invite me too ..salluks @ gmail ..plss

  • Terrence Cort

    Wasn’t Twitter invite only when it launched? Hmmmm… Seems like the most succesful social networks to date all had closed launches. Seems smart to me… a good way to test your servers and make sure things are relatively stable. But that’s just how I see it.

    Still wish I could get an invite though…

  • jay mulhollen

    invite please…………..jaym40998@gmail.com…..I am looking forward to this!!

  • Guest

    To me it feels like a grown-ups version of facebook. It is snappier, cleaner, more organized, doesnt feel like its going to break at any minute. Its just lacking users.