Is Google Plus another Google minus?

Jun 30, 2011

Chat with Post tech blogger Hayley Tsukayama, who has been testing out Google+ for Post readers, about Google's latest attempt at social networking. Ask Hayley questions about the platform and, if you were lucky enough to get an invitation, what you think about Google+ so far.

Hey all; thanks for joining us this afternoon. Let's get right down to it: What do you have to say about Google +?

Can you add friends into more than one circle?

Yes, you absolutely can. 

I got a google plus invite. I like the user interface (especially the circles ui), I LOVE the Android app and instant upload, and I think the privacy settings are pretty transparent. The one thing that is not working for me is that the sparks and the streams are not co-mingled, and that there are not a whole lot of people on the service yet. I think this has the potential to go far.

I agree about the UI and snappiness of the overall experience. I'd like to see privacy setting a little more centralized, though I agree that they're pretty clear by feature.  I'm totally with you on Sparks and Streams, and I'd actually  like to be able to hook in my Google Reader, too.

Anyone with an invite think there's enough in Google + to pull them away from Facebook? Once the network actually has people on it, that is.

For me, the pain of reorganizing and readding my FB friends is a big hurdle, but if Google could make + a one-stop shop for social that I can hit up while I'm checking my mail, I'm willing to entertain the idea.

I seem to have reached a limit on organizing the recommended people (500+) into circles. Has google posted any documents letting us know the limits on things like circle sizes?

That's impressive. I haven't heard anything official about circle sizes, but I know you're supposed to make as many Circles as you want. 

Just curious: What was the limit you hit for one circle?

Is the hangouts feature as weird/creepy as it sounds?

I actually really like Hangouts. I think it's the most innovative aspect of G+.

My social circles (IRL, that is) are pretty scattered across the country, and it was fun to actually see everyone's faces together. You can even watch YouTube videos together on Hangouts, which would be great for live events or just goofing off. 

That said, there is a certain lurking aspect to the whole thing, and there's nothing more depressing than setting up a Hangout that no one comes to.

What do you find off-putting about it?

We don't have invitation, but we're certain we were invited. Could we just show up anyway?

Sadly, Google shut down their open invites last night after what they said was "insane demand." It's possible that you were invited but didn't get to redeem your invite before the closed it up again. It seems like they'll open it up again soon, though. You can register your e-mail address to be notified at plus.google.com, too.

Some people have found ways around the closed invites, but it seems to be largely a matter of getting lucky and finding a random bug.

I topped out one circle at 73 people.

Maybe this is off topic somewhat, but can I delete my Buzz "account"?

You can disable Buzz and keep it from showing up in your Gmail menus through the menu settings, but there's no way to really delete it.  To hide it and never use it, click the cog in the upper right-hand corner, then go to Mail Settings, then Buzz and scroll to the bottom.

They certainly don't make it obvious. You can also hit the "turn off buzz" link in tiny, tiny print at the bottom of your Gmail.

What feature are you all most curious or excited about?

Maybe my favorite commentary on Google + so far has come from xkcd, basically saying that Google + will be great because it's not Facebook. 

Ezra Klein mentioned this in a post, too, actually. One advantage of Google + is that it gives you a social network reset button. And I admit, it could be nice to have a social networking profile that doesn't include pictures of me in college

What about sparks? I can't really find it on Google plus? Also, the guys at Lifehacker came up with a nifty idea to export your FB friends to yahoo then re-import them to Google+. It's simpler than it sounds. Though I wonder if my friends need GMAIL accounts to use Plus?

Forget that sign off! Sparks is on the left-hand side of Google +, under your Stream settings. That Lifehacker workaround is nifty, though i think it's weird to have integrated with Yahoo.

You don't need a Gmail account to use Plus, but you do need a Google profile.

Alright, thanks everyone for joining us. Time to sign off. If you still have questions, let me know @htsuka or tsukayamah@washpost.com.

 

Or, you know, find me on Google +.

In This Chat
Hayley Tsukayama
Hayley Tsukayama writes for The Washington Post’s “Faster Forward” and “Post Tech” blogs, covering consumer technology and technology policy. A Minnesota native, she joined the Post in 2010 after completing her master’s degree in journalism. She lives in Washington D.C. where she sings alto with a local choir and plays video games in her copious free time.
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