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Fooling With plus.google (Google+): What Does ‘Share’ Mean?

I got invited to the plus.google beta (I begged my way in and Bradley Horowitz caved).

I am calling it ‘plus.google’ because that’s the URL, and avoids the problems with searching for a name with a plus sign in it.

It’s too early for more definitive thoughts, but here’s something I posted there:

'Share' in plus.google doesn't have the same semantics as in the outside world, where it leads to a list of services. I guess there is no integration with Instapaper, Tumblr, Twitter? We are confronted with a gigantic plus.google system, where things can be shared among its parts, but not externally? (Ditto on pushing stuff into plus.google).

Someone may tell me that plus.google is in test phase, that those features will come later, etc.

But operating in the context of my existing flows will be the only true test for me.

This sort of experiment might be good for people to compare plus.google to another world-straddling social network — Facebook — that has attempted to do everything, but it isn’t for me, because I don’t rely on Facebook.

So I see the ‘share’ shift of meaning as indicative. plus.google is intended as a Facebook killer, but I have already defected from Facebook and I don’t believe in a single, monolithic, all-encompassing social world in the hands of one bunch of overlords, however benevolent.

I also think that the real angle for Google isn’t his giant social Disneyland they have constructed, but the primitives that underlie it, and the way that those will be built into Android, so that other app developers can take advantage of them.

Imagine how much more interesting this would have been if five partners had built social apps that were accessible on plus.google right now. Imagine if Instagram or a With were integrated?

And the rift between iOS and Android pops up in here even at this early date: I can’t upload photos from my iPhone because Google decided not to put that functionality out, yet, or ever.

So the apparent competition with Facebook may turn out to be the big florid opening act, while the long term war is with Apple over the social operating system of the near future.

So, instead of clicking the ‘share’ button and posting this to Tumblr, I will cut and paste from the closed world — at least currently — of plus.google.

More to follow.

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