Google+: Favorites and Suggestions

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Five days ago I got my invite to Google+ and have been enjoying it from the beginning. I have, however, found some things that I would like to be added or changed, but before I dive into the list I want to share some things I like about Google+.

Following doesn’t have to be mutual

Like Twitter, I can choose to follow whoever I want without that person needing to approve our “friendship”. This also solves the friend page vs. fan page problem that well known people have on Facebook where they don’t want (can’t) to become friends with all of their followers due to limitations and the need for some privacy.

Circles

I have the ability to easily share information with everyone on the web, my high school friends, or just my family. Yes, all of this could be done in Facebook using lists but it is a second step in the friending process. In Google+, in order to follow a person you must put them into a circle, making this the first step in the process.

Now on to the changes I would like to see.

The Stream: order of posts

Currently, the stream updates with posts that have recently been commented on. This needs to be updated to show posts in chronological order by default and there should be an option to see the list has it is now. This would be similar to what Facebook has now with its “Top News” and “Most Recent”. What I am suggesting would be mostly like Most Recent and the current display would be Top News.

To get around posts that constantly bubble to the top, there is a feature that lets you “Mute” posts. I have been using this as a “Mark as read” button to avoid seeing the same posts multiple times.

The Stream: circles in feeds

Right now, the Stream shows posts by everyone in your circles. This would be ok if everyone you followed shares items less than five times in a day, but when following popular and high tech users your stream becomes overran. Currently, you can select just one circle to view at one time but you can’t select multiple. If there was an option to display “all circles but…” or to just display circles “a, b, and d” this would solve the problem.

To get around this, a user could click through, one by one, all of the circles they want to see from the sidebar.

Hangouts: limit of 10

Currently hangouts are limited to a maximum of 10 people chatting and using video. This is a problem when hangouts are posted publicly and a rush of a hundred people trying to get in to talk to the well-known person hosting the hangout. I understand that one hundred people can’t stream video into a chat room, but if there was a limit of 10 people with video and the rest could watch/listen and participate in the chat room. When someone, who is streaming video, leaves the hangout the next person inline would be able to start his or her video.

Google+ includes other features (Sparks, Huddle, Instant Upload) I have yet to use but can’t wait to try them out.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Follow me on Google+.

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