I would have used the “contactus” form to send some feedback back to the Google+ team but thought it would be better to blog, so that I might get more insight into my suggestions from users as well as visitors to my blog. With due respect to the wonderful Google+ team who dared to create such a product here are some suggestions which I feel would make Google+ more powerful.
Few facts should be addressed before we go into it. The fact that so many people just wanted to sign up for Google+ doesn’t make Google the number one social networking site. If a new restaurant in opened in your city, its natural for residents of that city to rush to that one for a change. Add to that if the restaurant is a chain restaurant having its own brand value. That’s exactly what happened with Google +. People rushed to sign up to find what’s new? What’s interesting in Google+? What’s different?
I would say, the first impression for many of these excited people would have been ‘dissapointing’. Why? Bcos they expect lot more and lot of new things from Google, an innovative company, a company which is known to bring new technologies. The only plus which Google managed to bring in Google+, is the circles. A very wonderful idea, as many people do have a separate circle of friends, family and just acquaintances. The ability to add more circles and group friends in each of these is a great innovative thinking. Also the webcam chat within circles is fun even though I doubt how much percentage of people will really use that.
Lets talk about the small mistakes first. The ability to import photos from Picasa was a good one, but making it as a compulsory feature to join is a real mistake. The first thing everybody would worry is – ‘Would my privacy settings on the photos get affected’? In fact, it doesn’t affect the privacy settings, but it doesn’t sound good business sense – not to give the user make a choice. I am not sure whether the choice option has been added making Picasa integration optional yet, but I would suggest the Google + team not to make it compulsory.
Secondly, even though Google+ tries to hit two targets with an arrow, the fact is, it has failed to some extent. The two targets being Facebook and Twitter. The ability to follow somebody and the ability to add friends one sided is welcome but it could have been implemented in much better ways. I know many people who use Facebook but not Twitter and vice versa. Why add something which is of no value to some people. I would suggest an ability to choose how they want their Google + account to be like.
Another change I suggest is in the photo albums section. You have 4 options there:
Photos from your circle, Photos from your Phone, Photo of you and your albums.
But what if I wish to see photos of my friend circle? or just my family circle? Come on, this might not be tough. Â I would also like a feature like “Photo’s commented on by people in your friend cirle”
I hate when people write reviews like, Google have kept it simple and fine. But, simplicity doesn’t mean lack of features. In fact Google+ has a long way to go from here. They need a separate app store for Google +, so that people can add features of their interest to the Google Plus. The ability to play multiplayer games among friends in your circle will boost the popularity of Google+ to the new levels.
Now going back to the profile page and the tabs, I would like the profile page to have a capability to use custom username. Also I was wondering why Google missed to show a “search the web” field or tab in there. Why do we need to go to the search engine separately to search for something. Why can’t you provide the “search the web” feature within the google plus profile. I just hope with a separate Google app store for Google Plus, things will work out better.Â I would also love if Google+ provides me a link to my Gmail ID with unread new mails count.
Overall, I would say, even though Google+ is blank for the time being, overall it has a lot of potential. The Google + team has built a strong foundation for a new generation social networking tool. Now the finishing and fine tuning game begins and here lies the real challenge!
My Google+ profile:Â https://plus.google.com/113471004958698431856/about