Google+ has launched in a limited beta. But the reception for this new Google social network has been lukewarm.
Yesterday, Google introduced the Google+ social network. As we noted at the time, Google+ is basically a more layered version of Facebook that revolves around features called "Circles" and "Sparks" – the former lets you better order your friend groups, and the latter lets you better order what content you recommend to your pals. Sounds pretty good on paper. So how does Google+ stack up with its most prominent competitor?
Well, judging by the early hands-on reviews, Google+ still has work to do before it's ready to steal users away from Facebook. Among the most negative reviews – two out of five stars – comes from the Guardian's Charles Arthur, who pans the photo uploading functionality, grumbles about the apparent chaos of the Circles feature, and frets over the generally overexercised interface.
"Being social," Arthur writes, "isn't just about involving lots of people in things. It's also about getting out of the way. The irony is that Google's biggest product, its search page, is a classic of simple design. But everything else it does becomes too complicated. Google+ might work better if it tried to do less, and then built it up." And Arthur is far from alone.