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Other aspects of Google Plus are great: The sharing feature is easier to use than Facebook’s or even Twitter’s. Google has also created its own equivalent of Facebook “likes,” by letting you click a “+1” button to indicate that you like someone’s status post, link, video or photo.
Google Plus is now also part of the Gmail and Google Apps dashboard, and there is some integration with Google Talk, Google Reader and Google Docs. That’s no small feat; consider the option of collaborating on a document in Google Docs with a team, and then having the capability of conducting a quick, on-the-fly video conference about that document through a Hangout. That’s functionality that Microsoft has built into its enterprise technologies, including Office 365, but Google is now giving them away for free. If security isn’t a concern, it’s worth considering.
All that’s lacking are the non-early adopters. Remember, other Google services – notably Google Wave and Google Health– have died on the vine and others like Google Buzz have failed to spread much beyond the early adopters. What makes a social networking service valuable isn’t necessarily the technology, but the people who use that same service. Google has built some outstanding sharing and collaboration technology into Google Plus, but if it’s lacking people with whom you want or need to share, it doesn’t really matter.
To be fair, not even Facebook was Facebook immediately. It’s taken several years to build up to the 750 million installed base it now has. Twitter just celebrated its fifth anniversary, but even that service really took a good two years before it really spread out beyond early adopters.