Last Updated: September 3rd, 2011

This is the latest in our Weekend Poll series. For last week's, see How Much Cellular Data Does Your Device Use Per Month?

This week, Google revealed its most serious attempt at social networking yet, Google+. Despite being released just a few days ago, it's easy to see that it's a much more accessible, polished attempt than Google's previous attempts, namely Google Wave and Google Buzz. It brings a familiar interface, but clearly bears the Google mark: clean, minimal, but with some well thought-out improvements. That's to be expected, given that the service is Google's next big push - they closed the beta rather quickly and only a small number of users have been invited thus far, all in the name of using a sort of control group to improve the service before opening the flood gates.


I'm getting fired in 5... 4... 3...

As somebody lucky enough to be on G+, it seems that nearly everyone using the service has a positive impression (though most acknowledge that Google has more work to do). But is it enough to succeed where Buzz and Wave failed - and even more importantly, establish itself as a competitor to the 800 lb. gorilla that is Facebook? Sound off in the poll below, and feel free to share your thoughts or experiences (especially if you've been lucky enough to get into G+) below.

Can Google+ Succeed?

View Results

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Aaron Gingrich
Aaron is a geek who has always had a passion for technology. When not working or writing, he can be found spending time with his family, playing a game, or watching a movie.

  • http://www.techx64.com Tushar Agarwal

    It wont be easy for google+ to make it to the top. Its not impossible. All the best to google :)

    • BobbyPhoenix

      I voted for the second one. It won't unseat FB only for the fact that you need Gmail to use it. If Google can somehow let people use other emails then I see it being #1, but as is, no. Not every person cares to use Gmail even if they like Google.

      • Ryan

        I'm not so sure about that. I invited my gf through her hotmail and when she went to sign up it had her put in her "current email" and not sign up for a gmail. Granted at that time the invites had closed so she wasn't allowed in...

      • TOMMMMMM

        This is actually false. You need a google profile but you do not need a gmail account to sign up.

        • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

          This is correct.

      • LTNGNX

        Not true. A Google account does not have to be a gmail account. Google Apps account is a good example of this. However, you get everything more integrated under a gmail account.

  • sergiu

    remember that this is a Google-fan site, with google-fanboy readers. So the results might be pretty skewed

    • Kane

      Yeah, but we can be pretty critical of everyone and anyone. Plus, this is not a Google fan site, it's an Android fan site.

    • Aaron Gingrich

      It's funny to me that people feel the need to point that out every week. I'm not sure what it is that gives people the impression that we're not aware of that, but it's a fairly obvious fact that I don't feel needs repeating every week. After all, we're not conducting any sort of research here, and we're well aware of our audience. Guess I do need to make a disclaimer every week that we're aware of proper polling, research, and statistical methods, and these informal polls do not follow them.

      • Cameron Summerson


  • http://twitter.com/#!/hardkormysteria Kori

    I'm not sure if it will beat out facebook because so many users play games and add other things to their facebook, but + is definitely a better place for users who don't like all that mess and likes to sort and manage things in more detail. I can see it going to the top over time.

    • mustafa

      My sentiment too. I see myself using it next to facebook but not replacing it. I just need an invite now.

    • Budorat

      Maybe it will replace FB eventually (although I voted for the second one). Re games, we already know the Android Market is becoming avail to Google TV, why not just extend the service so that u can install/play certain games/content directly from your browser..... While that may not be possible right now (re-coding of games to work on Windows 7 etc) what's to say it won't be possible in the future !! We don't know what we don't know...

  • Vince

    Yes, I agree with sergiu. Most people will not vote with a clear head rather a fanboy attitude. Personally, I'm just going to wait and see. G+ is a FAR superior service to Facebook but it going all the way to the top will be dependent on how Google manage it, execute it's public release and put the name out there.

    • Kane

      Well said, sir.

    • http://www.applebox.net Jacksonville Grip and Lighting

      Remember when Myspace was the top dog. I've recently got tired of facebook because it became so full of friends with hacked accounts. I would go to click on a video only to get taken to spam or something trying to load a virus on my computer. I still make status updates, but I rarely go on there to read friends statuses.

  • http://russellhoyt.com Russ

    The real question is, "Does anyone actually think ANYTHING CAN POSSIBLY take away from Facebook use?" The truth is that Google + will only work with people who use google products, which are primarily Young Adults (20-35) and Adults. I think Google plus will be like Blackberry. There will be a devoted crowd that will hate on everything else and it will be quality, but missing the joys of everyone else.

    • Kane

      Just like with any other product, people will go where the buzz is. Just because people didn't use other google products when Gmail came out doesn't mean it didn't become incredibly successful.

    • Aaron Gingrich

      It looks to me like you're saying that as Facebook is on top now, nothing will be able to unseat this. That thought is extremely naive and has no historical basis - point out to me one time in history that anything has ever stayed on top forever. You can't, because it's never happened; no dominance is forever.

      Am I saying that G+ is the service to unseat Facebook? It's too early to say, though I doubt it. What I *am* saying is that Facebook will not always be on top.

    • Chris

      Facebook isn't unbeatable. In fact, Facebook is on top because it unseated the previous social network juggernaut, and consigned it to the dustbin of history.

      Even the vaunted former tech hegemon Microsoft is being besieged on basically all fronts as Apple takes market share from the PC and Google takes market share from Microsoft's mobile and internet divisions.

      The ability for any company to stay on top is reliant on their ability to successfully reinvent themselves every now and then when the market changes. In some markets, change rarely occurs. But in the tech market, that's every few years nowadays. Five years ago, MySpace was king, bought at what people thought was a steal for $500 million. Now, people are wondering whether it's worth even the $35 million NewsCorp dumped it for.

  • Jon

    I have an invite, but still trying to get in the past day. It seems to have a lot of interest, so I think it will do well, maybe not Facebook well, but definitely up there with it. I foresee that some people will have both Facebook and Google+ for awhile until more people are on G+ or there are games on G+ like there are on FB. Some people are heavy on the game usage as seen by all the damn messages that appear in the stream from them. I hope G+ gets it right when it comes to games and allows those posts to be completely filtered out.

    • Rajat Bansal

      I agree with you. FB is now too overcrowded and those games and apps are spoiling the fun of actually sharing your day-to-day routine and experience which i according to me is what social networking sies are for. There are many other dedicated websites for games and well there is fb for those apps. No offence to anyone but i think G+ is new and the next-big-thing!

      • http://schpydurx.livejournal.com ProfessorTom

        "according to me"
        Who died and made you boss?

  • Kane

    I think the synergy and cohesive integration with all of Google's services and products is what's going to propel G+ forward. It's already incredibly impressive, and it's only going to improve.

    The future is bright for us.

  • BachinPhx

    FB has such a huge base of users already established that this could be a really tough nut to crack. Guess it's possible but highly improbable that it'll get too huge. Maybe in time.

  • Wrath_unleashed

    I say that they'll make it as long as they go ahead and open it up to everyone while the hype is still there, if not it will go like wave and buzz.

  • Murd0ck

    I like G+ & think its a nice alternative to fb I personally think G+ will have a bigger impact on twitter and think we shall see a fb implementation of circles soon ( maybe there is something like this now but I dont use fb)..

  • http://kitkeigwin.com solitary sinner

    Oddly, the main disadvantage of G+ is its name recognition.

    Facebook succeeded both because it filled a void, but also because it was an unknown entity that had upstart, underdog appeal.

  • LJY

    Probably not, google plus doesn't really add much to the social experience that facebook offers and facebook has an advantage that is hard for most companies to surpass, namely that u CAN find your friends on it.

    The need to have a critical mass for a social networking site to work will really be totally disadvantage to google plus. Even if I like google plus, why would I join? unless my friends are on it and people will not switch to another networking site for a simple reason that the most active users (who are prob the most popular among their friends) are too heavily invested in facebook. They have uploaded hundreds of pictures on facebook, have a number of games in progress on facebook with their friends. There's now a barrier of switching for these users. Without any substantial advantage, only a small advantage is not enough for them to switch.

    The best google can do is to lower the costs of switching by letting users have a one button switch mechanism, where if a user wanted to move to google plus, they can login to google plus, enter their user name and password to facebook and then click switch. All the photos etc will then be transferred to google plus.

    Another alternative is to allow google plus to be totally seamlessly integrated with facebook. If I login to my google plus account and I can see the facebook updates and photos of my friends who are not swtching and I can even still play games with them. It will be much more easier for users to use google plus and resolves the critical mass problem which I had stated previously.

    • http://www.anivision.org Xcom923

      yeah but showing FB data on Google is a no go. Keep in mind those to companies HATE each other.

  • Skillit

    It's all a critical mass thing, if enough people flock to it (what number is enough is anyone's guess) than many other will follow as it will be where your friends and family will be.

    For all that matters G+ definitively has the features and the design to attract that import wave of technologically aware early adopters that later can push everyone else to the new platform.

  • Raymond

    To take over facespace, it needs about 15 million more chicks taking pictures in the bathroom mirror with their tongs hanging out and making stupid kissie faces. Not what I want to see,but that's how it will win.

  • TareX

    It won't.

    The only differentiator IMO is the circles, and that's a small fix for Facebook.

    Problem is, Facebook is now "too big" to conquer with a good product, talk about a lacking one.

    • Xcom923

      I wonder about that. Google has over a billion users while Facebook is at like 600Mil

      • mgamerz

        Most users don't know gmail means google mail e.g. my family

  • ZuLQi

    I am using G+ for last three days and G+ is something different , clean , easy. U can manage ur stuff in ur own way u want :-)

  • Rajat Bansal

    Hey guys. I have seen the overview of this google+ thing. I am really looking forward to it, being a great android/google fan.
    So if anyone has already got an oppurtunity to try it, please send me an invitation too. Please.
    Thanks :-)

  • Rajat Bansal

    Hey guys. I have seen the overview of this google+ thing. I am really looking forward to it, being a great android/google fan.
    So if anyone has already got an oppurtunity to try it, please send me an invitation too. Please. Thnx

  • ZuLQi

    Well u miss few features in twitter and few in facebook but G+ has all of them :p and plus few more unique :D

  • Falken

    Once it's fully integrated into Android phones, Google TV and chromebooks then everyone will be using it. Even my Mom might use it. :-o

  • tarman

    It will be hard to tell. I feel with the lack of invites going out, people may lose interest in Google+ and stick with FB. Sort of like when all the hype with DIASPORA. 6+ months later and they are still in Alpha stage and people are still waiting for their invites and there are rarely any articles about how wonderful it is. I wish the best to Google in having a fantastic competing social network, and I'll just wait for my conclusion on it if I ever get an invite from someone or when Google opens it up

  • http://www.anivision.org Xcom923

    wow, I'm amazed at how many people have faith in this product. While I'm as big a google fan-boy as anyone else here I try to stay level headed (although lets face it we all want to get into G+ like 3 days ago)

    First off Circles has one big flaw. You can only have people in one circle at a time. How many people do you know that fit into just one group? I have many that fit into different ones. IE close friends I happen to work with, or school friends that I don't remember but for some reason FC me anyway O_o

    Also, keep in mind that while we are very easy to please (well, we got excited over wave and buzz) the general public may not see a reason to use G+ rather than Facebook if they are already using it.

    Oh BTW I'm on the fence so I have to put in some good points right? Well, G+ is awesome! The interface is nice and polished and Google seems to be taking this very seriously. Also G+ is a numbers game, if they can integrate this into everything they do then most everyone in the world (excluding china) will be forced into it at some point. So the key here is integration. This is probably why it's so hard to get in, the back bar across all your Google services has to do just that "span all your Google services" IE I'm sure there is quite a bit they had to modify to get everything working. I am aware of other bugs but Google is typically good with communication with their beta testers so I'm hoping all the bugs will be ironed out before public release.

    • ZuLQi

      u can put a person in more then one cricle

      • http://www.anivision.org Xcom923

        Oh, I was told you couldn't do that. well strike that off

        • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

          Whoever told you that has no clue, as the ability to put people in multiple circles is the core of the Plus experience. Think of them as tags, just really-really well executed tags.

  • Cody

    I can't help but think this poll might be a little bit biased seeing how it's on a site dedicated to a Google based product ;). I'll be the first to admit my bias, haha.

  • L boogie

    Can google plus be successful? Why not? It happened with myspace, twitter, facebook etc so why not this, it's just a matter of time and the continued near-flawless progression placed in the product by google, at least from the positive response generated so far...... But google needs to get the public on the g+ train ASAP to secure its ascendance.

  • http://east73.com Michael

    What counts as "making it to the top"? Google+ can be more successful than Facebook with a fraction of the users because of added features, better signal-to-noise ratio, better customer loyalty, and its disruptive potential.

  • Elvis

    Lol @ the icp pic

  • Roy Blumenthal

    My G+ invite is totally wasted on me. If I can't get G+ updates integrated into my Hootsuite for iPad and Tweetdeck for Android streams, then I'm simply not going to see any updates.

    • Xcom923

      seriously I'm surprised you thought that integration was even an option at this point. the API hasn't been released yet HELL most people who want to get into G+ still can't get in. The 3rd party development is just not there right now. But it will, and isn't G+ for android supposed to be really good?

  • Seth

    Can't really give a good answer since I still haven't been able to get into G+. One of the biggest factors for me is how well it works on Android. I hardly use Facebook because the mobile page and Android apps both suck. Twitter has better options for Apps, but very little functionality that makes it worthwhile to me. G+ looks promising, but until I actually try it out with friends on it too I can't really say.

  • Defiant

    I think that the way they introduce their products is what ends up killing them. The "by invitation only" system is stupid. It doesn't make me want to see it, instead, it simply pisses me off that they won't let me use it without an invite. So...from the get-go I am just disappointed and don't really care.

    I think that the product will fail.

    • Xcom923

      Wow, someone holds a grudge. You'd think more people would agree with you but the sad fact of the matter is that Google's "invite-only" system has worked for them. It also allows them control over the testing area. Google voice for example saw plenty of changes before being released to the public and I believe gmail and docs were the same way.

      Also humans just love trying to get when they don't have, it's just a fact. It's what drives us and that's just something Google has taken advantage of.

  • richardyarrell

    Google does not have to be better than facebook or even focus on facebook because people who are android users will support google plus 100% and venture over to be part of something new. Depending on how good it is some people may close there facebook accounts but I believe that 60% of everyone will do both facebook and google plus. Honestly that will be a great choice

    • Xcom923

      Agreed. Google doesn't have to "kill" Facebook, it just has to be just as good. it could be the PC to Facebook's Mac, if you will. Facebook has a ton of user that will use Google+ because it's convent. So it doesn't have to be better, just familiar.

  • OFI

    I think G+ is a great effort it works really well even if the circles idea takes some getting used to
    But I just can't see it toppling Facebook.

    In the shoes of non-geeks why would you move from Facebook to G+?
    Facebook has some faults but the userbase is huge now.
    When FB killed Myspace the users had already grown very tired of the way it had gone. FB has a number of whiners and moaners but many just accept it as a part of life now, for some it's a primary means of contact, a social calender, a photo gallery and not forgetting a login for many websites (I realise G+ can do these too but why start over?)

    I just can't imagine a single one of my female friends being in any way interested. Backed up by the sex of every person in my circles!

    • Xcom923

      That's the brilliant thing about G+, you shouldn't look at it as people moving to G+ but rather they will use G+ if they are using any other google product (when it gets fully integrated into everything)

      As I mentioned above G+ and FB could live together but how G+ can be great for the non-geeks is by giving people one less place to go to. Granted so many people already think Facebook IS the internet....but then again more probably think that Google is.

  • level380

    Google Plus addresses many of my issues I have with facebook, once google plus is open to the world, I'll be clearing out my facebook content and leaving a facebook shell, to point my friends over to Google +

  • Paul

    They came out with big fanfare, everybody wanted to check it out, but then they screwed up and can't handle the capacity. Now they won't allow any new signups and they've suspended invitation sign ups. They've had 5 or 6 days now to throw hardware at the problem yet they haven't. By the time they 'open it to the world' they may have already blown their big chance. Most people will check it out once or twice when they first hear about it, but w/ their service on the fritz so early in the game, they've really hurt themselves.

  • GraveUypo

    i dont use any social network and i dont really care about them but all i see is people talking about google+ and how they are switching to it. i read some about it and it seems like the least idiotic way to expose yourself on the internet because you can pick who can see it.

  • Andy

    I will be using both Facebook and G+ but will invite as many people as i can to G+ and push it among my friends.

  • Rommy

    Do I think it will succeed? Absolutely. It sounds like it's got an innovative concept and polished execution.
    Will I use it? Absolutely not. Do I use Facebook? Nope! Myspace? Not a chance!
    If I want to talk to my friends, I'll pick up my phone and call them, or shoot them a text. (Which I try to do as little as possible, but I have to admit that texting is very convenient.)
    I have no desire to use a social networking site, no matter what company backs it or how many other people are using it.

  • TBolt

    I know other adults who absolutely will not touch Facebook. For the most part, they do not like Facebook's 'share-everything-with-everyone' approach, but they love the idea that Google+ allows you to decide who receives shared content.
    Kids will switch in a heart beat given enough reason to (more innovation from Google). Adults are harder to move, but most adults I know aren't comfortable with Facebook anyway.

  • Seth daniel

    I made this comment on another post on this site, but I thought I'd post it here too. Google will start out with techies, nerds, geeks, fanboys, whatever you want to call us. But that's where any new tech starts. Android would not be what it is today without the loud fanboys and techies pushing for it and for everyone to get it. I'm proud to call myself a nerd and my family and friends expect me to know what's up. When I say something about technology they listen. I single handedly switched 6 phones from AT&T to Sprint and got everyone of them an Android phone on Sprint. I'm sure I'm not the only one capable of this, too. People who know about technology have profound influence on those who don't. They will follow where we lead. Now let's push them all to Google+

    tl;dr version: it will start with techies, but we are loud and people follow us. I think and hope Google+ will be the dominate social service in no more than a couple years.

  • tarman

    I can say that I am now in G+ and that although it is similar to FB, the Circles feature is very nice. I like the ability to share certain things with friends, different things with family and make sure that work friends only see what is necessary.

    When speaking to people that ask about it, I describe G+ as FB all grown up.