With Google beginning to roll out their new social network service to a small number of people for beta testing, there has been a lot of talk this week about what this means for other similar networks, and the way we use the web as a whole.
Opinion so far is divided, with some heralding this as the ultimate service, and the potential curtain call for Facebook, whilst others are comparatively nonplussed (if you’ll pardon the pun) by the whole thing. Some just don’t see a need for it and are arguing that having to put people into Circles is a time-consuming process that they can’t really be bothered with, while for other people it is an absolute god-send. The instant upload feature for photos and videos is pretty neat, although I suppose I’m one of those people who’d rather have a chance to review an album before I select which pictures to put online, especially on a night out for example. In the cold light of day you might think twice about uploading a picture that might get yourself or a friend in trouble if viewed by the wrong person in the wrong context.
Having only looked at the brief tour that is on the site, Google+ does seem to have legs. However, a lot of the sentiment of Twitter seems to be along the lines of “I’ll go if you go” so there will have to be a strong move towards there for it to really take off. But as they say on the site, “This is just the beginning”, and I’m sure once word spreads, people with vote with their feet one way or another.
If you were inclined to jump ship to Google+, you’d be well advised to back up your Facebook and Twitter content. It’s not like in real life where you can put all of your photos and keepsakes from memories into a shoe box and store it safely in a cupboard or under your bed. Keep your online social memories safe forever, not for however long it is you enjoy the format they’re presented to you in.