July 09, 2011, 7:45 AM — This week I've noticed the honeymoon with Google+ start to wane ever so slightly. Myself and others who were first enamored with the bright, shiny new social network Google+ have drifted back to check in on Facebook, to see what's going on back in the "real world," in a sense.
Google+ has immense potential, but it's still early in its beta process (Google calls it a "field test"), leaving room for it to falter. Ultimately, its success will depend upon sucking millions of users away from Facebook.
It's also possible that Google+ and Facebook will eventually settle into their own roles. Perhaps one day Google+ will be the place I go to get things done, while Facebook remains a destination for socializing. Nobody ever said my relationship with social networking had to be monogamous, after all.
Here's the top nine things I need to see from Google+ before I can be sure it will be my social network of choice in the future.
Integration of other Google services like Calendar and Docs: This is such a no-brainer for Google that I assume it's already on its way. All the Google eggs need to be put in the Google+ basket. If they do it right, I'll never visit that plain, vanilla search site, Google.com, ever again, because Google+ will be my starting point for everything I could possibly want to do online. Facebook events are nice, but meshing a more robust product like Google Calendar or a productivity tool like collaboration through Docs with a social network opens up whole new avenues of possibility. And if the integration is done right, keeping it simple and intuitive, Facebook will start to seem like an old play-thing we all grew out of.
Open up the platform, but keep it under control: I've come to expect an open platform from just about every service I use so that developers can help expand the possibilities and offer ways to sync up with the other services I use-think simultaneous posting to Twitter and Facebook and Foursquare via apps like Hootsuite-but I'm also getting tired of the chaos and junk that model encourages on places like Facebook. Google+ needs to open up the API (as they surely will), but also give me more ways to filter out the spam, social gaming progress updates and other blather from my experience without degrading it, as Facebook's current "all or nothing" approach to blocking and ignoring users does.