Today in Social

The early reviews on Google+ are coming in, and a lot of the first takes on Google’s biggest social media splash from nerdy digerati – and I mean that in the nicest way – are pretty positive. Many are focusing on Google’s approach to managing groups of contacts, what it calls Circles. Circles are meant to mimic real life: not all of a person’s friends and contacts are in one group. Rather, they’re in overlapping circles of context like family, work colleagues, interest groups, geography, schools, etc. Facebook is trying to create that effect with Groups. But Google’s approach is richer – it can handle reciprocal relations as well as one-way following – and there’s another mechanism for topics. Some reviewers think Circles are too complicated, others like this kind of communications filtering. Matthew Ingram correctly notes that not enough of a person’s friends are in Google’s network. But Google has a good communications hub to start from with Gmail and, unlike Facebook, which is trying to retrofit Groups, Google practically forces users to create Circles from the start. That’s probably the only advantage to starting a social network from scratch, especially since Google doesn’t (yet?) pull in posts from Twitter or Facebook.

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David Card

VP Research Gigaom Research

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