Alright, Google Plus is out and puzzles the world, in particular the people who could join already, what this new platform is going to be. As I am in, I am slowly seeing how people try to understand how the platform matches personal posting behavior and vice versa. This is particularly interesting as the first round of people to join are those with close ties to Google, people with a strong social media/web2.0 presence, or people close to those. So, it’s the very native netizens that have a new playground. Currently, people hesitate posting and writing, so do I. Partly, as we all have our facebook, twitter, and mail accounts already.
But I think also for another interesting reason that is currently massively influencing the way Google+ will be used. On one hand, as we are a small cozy family of beta users, people willingly add contacts to their different Google +Circles, much more than you would have in facebook. On the other hand, the publishing/posting concept in Google+ gives users a lot of control on to whom you publish; it is easy to set on every posting. So, people gather a large audience while they control what the audience gets to read and to see. I have the feeling, people currently try to understand what contents is best posted to their circles, how the circles are to be shaped, etc. This makes me come up with the following hypothesis:
The current Google+ users not only care about what they post but also to whom. While this is intended in the design of Google+ it changes how people think about their posts: Content gets tuned to the audience.
I’ve seen lots of interesting approaches. People posting picture jokes you usually expect in anonymous forums, serious links to political blogs, meta-questions about Google+, and micro-blogging from events, in particular with a stream of photos, etc. Usually no trivia from people’s personal lives like that they just had an awesome evening with their best friend. But in particular the last observation may very much be due to the fact that I am not in the ‘friend’ circle of that poster…
I’m quite intrigued to see whether my hypothesis holds in general for Google+ or whether it just applies to the current, very selected user pool of Google+.