If this sounds complicated, then we’re doing it a disservice. It’s actually very easy to use and a pleasure to read. The interface also helps, as it’s very easy to drag and drop people into various circles. Unlike Facebook’s ugly scroll-and-tickbox selection, Google+ uses a more elegant drag and drop approach similar to Flickr galleries or moving files to different folders.
On top of this, you get the impression that Google+ are going to leave Google alone, unlike Facebook which changes the interface, page layout, privacy rules and functionality like a supermarket moves the bread.
Privacy is less of a concern with Google+ because there is less of an emphasis on creating a profile page. It’s possible to build a profile and include video and photos of yourself and check in to places on maps, but many people using Google+ in these early days have started with just a user name and a blank image, whereas Facebook encourages, and in some case demands more personal information that you may not want to keep server side or broadcast on a profile, and that’s after you have figured out the default privacy settings and opt-out options.
What did ring alarm bells in Google+ was the user’s ability to change their posts in a conversation thread. Whereas Facebook and Twitter only let you delete comments after they are posted, Google+ allows you to edit your comments after they have been posted.
This led to some funtime character assassination in TrustedReviews when this conversation:
Turned into this:
The result could be seen by anyone who is a contact of both people in the conversation and is a member of the circle in which the conversation takes place.
So it’s very likely our colleagues in the office would see this, and people in the wider tech industry where Andrew and I share contacts. If he wanted to be really mean, he could look at my contacts and add all of those people to the circle in which the conversation took place and I wouldn’t know they could see our conversation, because at the time of answering it things were different.