My Favorite Google+ Feature: It Pesters

By  |  Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 10:02 am

I haven’t spent a lot of time with Google’s new social networking project, Google +, but little by little, it’s drawing me back. That’s not because of the dozen or so people I’m following, or because of the promising 10-way video chat, or even because of the new approach to privacy that makes you sort contacts into groups.

No, my attraction to Google+ lies mostly in the fact that it won’t go away. Every time I run a Google search or check my Gmail, Google+ lurks in the top right corner of the screen, alerting me to new activity and letting me post status updates. The bare essentials of Google+ are embedded in every service that Google offers.

This might sound a little odd, but I like the fact that Google+ bothers me.

To see what I’m talking about, check out this screenshot from a Google search page, particularly the top-right corner:

Google+ status updates can be posted from any Google service, with lots of control options. You can add photos, videos, links and locations; decide which social circle sees the update; and e-mail people who aren’t using the service. And you can do all of this without ever leaving the search results page, because everything’s handled through pop-up boxes.

But that’s not all. Google services also use a bold shade of red to issue Google+ notifications:

Clicking the button shows a drop-down list of recent notifications, and from there, you can see all the activity around these recent posts — all without ever leaving the page you’re on.

You might argue that browser extensions can provide similar functionality for Facebook and Twitter, but this is different simply because it doesn’t add anything permanent to the browser. I needn’t sacrifice any space in Chrome’s toolbar to stay in touch with Google+, and when I’m using services that aren’t Google-related, Google+ is nowhere to be seen. That makes me more likely to notice when notifications do appear.

Of course, most of Google+ exists on its main website, but the core service of posting updates and seeing what people say about them is available any time I check my e-mail or search the web. That’s going to keep me paying attention whether I like it or not. For a service that will eventually need active users more than anything else, that’s huge.

 
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5 Comments For This Post

  1. loneplacebo Says:

    Absolutely agree. That may have been one of the reasons why Buzz failed. When you sent out a wave, and decided to log off, you wouldn't know that someone had replied to you. You also mention how Google+ is integrated throughout Google's core services. I agree with you there, it's impossible to ignore and not check it out. It's like logging into Facebook, and seeing that red notification bubble.

  2. rob Says:

    your description of your initial experience with google+ was not too bad, i'll tell you that for sure!

  3. ebpp Says:

    yeah google+ will definitely grab a hold unlike Buzz

  4. kamera sistemleri Says:

    I have to admit that the idea of organising people into groups I find very compelling. Right at the moment I don't share my facebook page with business contacts. I suspect many others have the same issues that a facebook page is about your social life and you quite possibly don't want to mix that with your business life. I think there may be a cultural aspect to this as well. In the US I think there is less of a divide between private and business life, here in the UK I think we tend to have a firmer divide. Whether that's a good or bad thing who's to say but it does impact how we view applications like Facebook from a business standpoint.

    I'm going to be signing up for a Google+ account because I think this is a bold experiment from Google and I'm fascinated to see how it turns out.

    Best regards,

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