The problem I've found with most social networky things that Google tries to come out with is that they're hardly ever attractive, and serve purposes already accomplished by bigger name sites. They're glitchy and can be downright annoying. Gchat, for example, still doesn't run smoothly, despite it being around for a few years. It's overly simple and is akin to the original FB chat, as far as usefulness and functionality go. When they came out with Buzz, I was like, "Oh, Twitter." Buzz is clunky looking, slow, and doesn't do much besides notify you of irrelevant things that other people are Buzzing (Tweeting) while I'm checking my email. I installed and uninstalled Chrome in one day.
Their hurdle is that if they're going to make an "improved" version of something I already use and love, they need to make it tempting enough for me to leave the original. So far, they haven't done that.
So last night, I got an invite to Google+ and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. It's clean, functional, and has a few perks that Facebook should have implemented a long time ago. I like the whole Circle thing; it's as useful as friend filters here on LJ. Yes, it's going to cause paranoia and wank, but it allows you to compartmentalize, which is something that I definitely need, as far as life goes. The whole "Hangout" deal is also cool; I like the fact that they're going to allow you to have group Video chats. Most vid chat programs that I'm aware of don't offer that, and if it runs smoothly, it will definitely be useful.
Now, I need to keep in mind that one of the reasons it's so clean and pretty is because they've yet to bring over apps. And they will. Because a huge percentage of people exist on Facebook just for the apps. It's only a matter of time before my Google+ account is flooded with Farmville and Mafia Wars requests. They were talking about making it more friendly for businesses, which for the average user just means spam. Remember that it's Google, so they're going to try to get as much info as possible within legal boundaries to market shit to you, which means that like Facebook, there's going to be this huge strip of things like, "Suggested pages: NIKE." because you mentioned sneakers in one or two of your posts. Just think of how they personalize ads in your gmail based on shit you talk about. It's both creepy and annoying.
The response from my friends has been 50/50. Half are all OMG GOOGLE+ while the other half are like eh, no thanks. I really don't see people flocking over there in droves and it sinking Facebook the way Facebook obliterated myspace.
Another thing that they thought was a good idea that is going to prove to be a problem is the ability to edit comments. There's a reason that you aren't allowed to edit comments after someone has replied to them on LJ. Because you can completely change what a person responded to, and while funny, I think that on a social network that is going to include everyone's mom and girlfriend, it can really fuck someone over. "Mom, that's not what I said yes to! It was edited!" I think that after a few weeks in beta, they're going to realize what a dumbshit idea that was.
I also don't like how it imported every single one of my email contacts as suggested users to invite. I know that it's a delusion to expect otherwise on the internet, but I don't want to know that my things are looking at other things. Google already knows way too much about me, and I'm not sure that I want that integrated into a place where people only know what I want them to know.
So I'll give it a few weeks, see what happens. They really need to throw some shit down if they think they have a chance against Facebook.
I woke up this morning, checked my email, signed on to AIM, and checked my Facebook. I did not check my Google+. I think that's pretty much the template on how a lot of people are going to act towards it, in the end.