The past couple of weeks might be forever remembered as a game changer in the realm of social media in Pakistan. It was when Google rolled out its all encompassing and challenging social behemoth of a network called Google Plus.
Although in the beginning this social network was by invite only, I doubt if they could have wanted a more hyped up roll-out. Pakistan is crazy about social networking, so it is of little wonder that the launch of Google+ garnered so much reaction.
Awab Alvi at Teeth maestro wrote after his first look at Google+:
Decent attempt by G+: I think Google must realize it specializes in “Search” maybe tapping the social network may help refine its search engines but it should not dabble too extensively and hope to edge into Facebook’s turf as it already has a 700 million head start. As I don’t think Google+ will trigger a mass exodus from Facebook, but it might start something like the slow food movement amongst social network.
Shoaib Taimur, one of Pakistan's now infamous Twitterati commented:
I like the idea of Google Plus though it seems a bit barren at the moment. I would love for Google to open this trial for everyone. Overall it’s not confusing as Google Wave, though it ain’t a Facebook killer.
Ammar yasir of Teabreak thought:
” it might start something like the slow food movement amongst social network..”
That's exactly how users migrated from Orkut and MySpace back in the day. As for Facebook it missed the chance to kill GMail when they were revamping their messaging service.
However, it will be interesting to witness Facebook's reaction.
A couple of weeks have passed since the launch and everyone is now a bit more familiar with the G+ concepts of circles for friends, huddles for messenger and hangout for video chat (although that's still not operating 100 percent in Pakistan).
As people explore more and more, the debates are getting increasingly technical. Some people have come to realize that although Google promises more privacy it is in fact more open than even Twitter as anyone may add you even if you can block them on finding out.
Wasio Abbasi a freelance writer and new media professional commented:
I haven't come across any indication to know who I am “Circled” with someone, seems like something new to explore.
Dr. Kamran Iqbal, a very poignant commentator in the Pakistan blogosphere remarked on Google+:
The great thing about Google+ is that it gives considerably greater personal space and control, has less clutter, and quite diluted in space much like a spacious city, unlike Facebook which now looks like a densely crowded populace like typical urban metropolis.
Currently G+ has become open for all, i.e. no more invites needed to join it and therefore there are lots of bloggers from Pakistan now reviewing it.
Imran Jaffery at Maboot sums it up with:
At the end of the day, I guess people won’t have enough time on their hands, and they ultimately would have to choose between Facebook or Google+. And I am afraid *cough* in months ahead or in a year now on 50% of Facebook users would switch to Google+. Geeks, Tech-Savvy users and the guys who usually share the worthwhile content would be moving quickly to Google+ in my opinion as this product is more compelling for that group of people. And Facebook only will be left with Stalkers and friendship seekers.
Hammad Armghan at Gizmo Heat concludes:
For me Google Plus is a complete package with tons of exciting features. Google plus indeed (is) the strongest attempt that Google made to step into a Social Networking.
So it seems like an all out war as Google+ takes on Facebook, Skype and even Twitter with the just announced mystery bulk SMS features to come. The Internet may benefit with a one stop dashboard for social media and Google with its documents, search, maps and now Google plus social networking has the capability to provide us with this solution. What remains to be seen is how they will handle the enormous load of people coming their way in the long run.