I finally managed to get an invitation on Google+ (thanks Jérome!), it was about time as (apparently) millions of people have already joined the network. So here is my deliberation.
First of all Google+ looks a lot like Facebook. I’m a bit disappointed I must say, I thought Google would opt for a more original design… And it also lacks a bit of colour for my tastes; this plain white is somewhat boring (I hope we’ll be able to customise the layout soon).
The new social network offers many options though. Google+ is pretty straightforward with you and doesn’t try to make the deletion of your account a treasure hunt. It’s right there in the account overview. Google is also clear about your privacy: Your name and any other fields you make public in your profile are searchable on the web and may appear in Google Search results. So you cannot say they didn’t warn you. Plus you can easily change your privacy settings at different levels (profile, posts, photos, etc).
Google+ allows you to decide whether you want to receive an email for every single action you make on the network. So you won’t feel like you’re being spammed every time something is happening on your wall (can I actually call it that way?). Another cool thing is that you can connect your account to other applications such as Picasa and other social networks including Facebook, Yahoo and many more.
On the circle side, you can organize your contacts by categorizing them according to several “circles” like friend, family, acquaintance etc. These circles will help you target (or not) the relevant people when posting news and feeds. You can easily do so by clicking on the tab “circle” and drag people to the appropriate circle. Basically you can add anybody to your circle. This approach offers a more human experience than Facebook. You can’t just ignore people, they do exist but you can decide if or how you want to share posts with them. No more pressure as to whether you should add your weird (but yet likeable) uncle. Hurrah!
As a conclusion I’d say that so far Google+ looks better than Facebook but will it be enough to take over the social network’s empire? I’m not so sure… maybe once people will get really tired of Facebook’s constant bugs and spams, it will. Who knows.