Every day I read something about how lame Google Plus is because no one is using it. That’s not the impression I’m getting. I see it being used a lot, although mostly by people who presumably can’t stand Facebook.
But that’s not an insignificant number of people.
And yesterday Google announced that Plus is now publicly available (no invite needed) and unleashed a plethora of new features. Facebook has been launching new stuff rapidly lately too, which pretty much indicates that they’re worried about Plus. Don’t believe that? Take note of the way they’re now automatically organizing your friends into
Circles lists for you. Yesterday they made some major UI changes with the change to the news feed and the ticker.
When I was a more frequent Facebook user, I was very amused by the complaints from users when Facebook made small UI changes. It’s going to be worth visiting in the next few days to read what will best described as outrage over the mess they’ve created with these changes. This week’s analogy:
Netflix is to name change as Facebook is to UI change
We’ll see, but this misstep could make Plus even more viable. Robert Scoble is betting everything on Plus. And I’m becoming more and more convinced that Google has the best shot at winning the long game. Facebook has lots of users, but it completely lacks anything resembling organization and long term direction.
Data likes to be organized, and users like simple things that don’t change much.