Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Google Plus - so close and yet so far

Google has made a tough decision in his depute for Google+. The field test consists only of a small group of testers who can actively use Google+ beneath the Googlers themselves. In the Wired article of Steven Levy he told about the development of Google+. The first test inside Google was not that great, but the it showed how interested all the Googlers were eating their own "dog food". Only 50 invites were sent from the notebook of Gundotra and the whole team waited to see how it would spread inside Google. The predictions varied very much but:
It turned out that 600 people signed up in the first hour. Soon thousands of Googlers were signing up. “The server started melting at 11 p.m.,” says Gundotra, and the engineers hastily beefed up the data center allocations. By the next morning over 90 percent of all of Google’s world wide employees had updated to the system and turned it on.
But the first version was turned down, because there was still a lot of work. But it remembers me to the time, when Gmail was started. There was so much hype around the new Google mail system with its unusual amount of storage. It was just 1 GB, but nobody else had offered that much memory for free in their web mailers. Gmail was invite only and it took me some time to get my invite in 2004. But I still use it and not only for my private account, but also for my business domain and also for some of my customers.

As everybody knows Google has tried to be more social a few times now and the rest is history. But it seems, that this time is different. Looking at Tweets of Buzz posts a lot of people are eagerly waiting to get an invite.

Most of the review were very positive and so this could really make a difference. The following webcomic from xkcd shows what a lot of people are thinking. At least a lot of Buzz users are complaining and howling not getting invites so far.


I am not sure that this is not intentionally. The excitement is growing all around and it also remembers me to Google Wave, which was turned down last year. It was not easy to get an invite for Google Wave and it had a lot to do with the wave software, that was really not very performant.

Google+ as it is now introduced is only a start for what is coming. Buzz is not integrated and it is not clear how and if it really will be part of the game. With all the new parts like Circle, Huddle, Sparks, Hangout and the new black Google bar, which is used to draw users back into Google+ with is share and notifications, shows, that they have learned a lot from other social networks.

So let the invites flow and we will see, what it really is about Google+.