As a social network user for more than 6 years, including Renren (Chinese Facebook) and Facebook. I felt so strange when I first used the Google+. Not the similiar environment, different design, and the most important one, it was totally a different user experience. In sum, it didn’t look like a social website. I asked myself, why Google launched the Google+ during that specific period of time? Not just after the booming increase of Facebook?
After I had been using Google+ for one month (one of my friends invited me to join it), I felt like it was nothing but the a platform with the supporting of almost all the Google products. I would like to share one article anonymous, however I have to present my name, because Google forced me to do so. I would like to search a restaurant, Google turned it to its Google+ site, etc. As far as I knew, Google wanted to integrate all its platforms, that’s a big leap. But from my point of view, I felt awful when I was forced to do that. At that period of time, I was using an HTC smartphone, because of the Chinese government’s decision, I couldn’t experience the whole servieces from Google, which made it worse. I couldn’t find anything useful from my aspect.
However, if noting useful, Google wouldn’t launch Google+. After I joined IE, I started to find the good aspects of it. As I mentioned above, Google+ is really one leap for Google itself. He found that he couldn’t get himself out of the social network ecosystem. Android, Gmail, Google search, they are all crucial parts of Google. And Google+ is in the heart of all! Almost all the Google products’ users could join and share on the platform without any rejection. Meanwhile, Google+ is integrated into the search results and it helps users find the answer easily than ever. That might be also a threat to the website such as Booking.com, TripAdvisor, etc.
On the other hand, Google+ is also one good platform to business uses. From my point of view, Google+ helps Google to mining data. Google gets data from different ways, Google+ could help himself get the data more accurate and easily. Some of these ways are: 1. You give it to them through your behavior or what you actually tell Google 2. Google spiders the web 3. Your social circle 4. Mobile (Android!) 5. Google+. (http://www.stateofsearch.com/what-is-google-really-all-about/) There is no doubt that Google could help us understand ourselves better than before, but there is also some worries about the privacy issues, which should be considered when you use them.
At last, Google needs Google+ because he needs a social network to compete with Facebook. Although he denied Google+ is a social website, but the Circles, photo shares, group chats, etc. They are all socialized tools. Google wants to get all his users involved into the big social ages and get revenue from the ads, which relate to the final users. It is a brave idea, but not sophisticated. Google still has a long way to go.