I am only being added to Google+ “circles” at a clip of half a dozen per day. This is off the peak of nearly 20 or so per day a little over a week ago. I’m now at nearly 500 people in my Google circles, though only 5 were individuals whom I added proactively. I honestly have no idea who 2/3 of these people are, though it seems that most of them know me through my blogs. About ~75 people I know rather well, though fewer than 50 are people who I’ve met in real life (many of these only once or twice). In contrast on Facebook there are hundreds of people I’ve met and known and know in real life. Very few of my college or high school friends have “added me” to their circles. In contrast, the people who I am socially engaged with currently have added me. It’s like Google+ is a vast and shallow circle extending outward into my present social space, both explicit (people I know) and implicit (those who know me through my web presence). In contrast Facebook has more historical depth. Though it’s been around a lot longer too, so the comparison isn’t fair.
Meanwhile, Google+ has hit a major snag with their “real names” policy. If there’s one thing that Facebook has learned, it’s that you better be responsive after a major mistake. After a few weeks of Google+ I think most people agreed that Google “got” the social web. But at this point I’m not so sure. I don’t have a major opinion about their policies, but their public relations hasn’t been optimal.
Finally, I have to add that right now my Google+ “stream” is far more dynamic and value-added than my Facebook wall. There’s way more commentary and response. That’s partly a function of the excitement over the new platform, but I wonder if circles has energized many people. I’m not a major user at this point, but I have used Google+ in a way I wouldn’t have on Facebook because of the ease of narrow-casting.