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A long post but definitely worth the read!
Be sure to expand and read the whole thing, preferably in another window.

What makes Google+ different:

Google+ will never hit 800 million users, infact it will not hit 500 million users. Google+requires you to have an engaging,inquisitive and curious mind. I know this may sound condescending, but you need to have a certain level of intelligence to enjoy Google+.
Damilola Oni originally shared:
I just saw a post on +Mike Elgan 's stream where yet another site was talking about the impending demise of Google+(La Times). I am absolutely amazed at the shambolic journalism that is been done. Many of these people writing these articles are not even on Google+ so how are they making their judgements. Comparing Facebook to Google+ is quite unfair because Facebook has been around for some time and the truth is that Facebook and Google though are both social networks, serve different purposes and are for different people
The allure of Facebook is that it allows you to tell people what is going on your life. Facebook tapped into the growing need in humans to communicate with people and tell them what you are doing. The ripple effect of that was that it allowed you to share personal things with people who in turn make comments by comforting you, making fun of you, advising you etc. Of course you where able to find old friends and acquaintances. All this helped to expand exponentially the user base of Facebook
Google+ operates at a different level. While at Facebook you are looking for Friends, Google+ is meant for you to find people who share the same interests with you, and share deeply on those issues. People like +Robert Scoble have piqued my interest in photography, +James Barraford has made me start writing again after a long hiatus, +Liz Quilty made me seriously think of switching to Linux, +Chris Robato has made me start saving money to buy an Android phone after he keeps bombarding me with Android news(i am not complaining).I had an interesting exchange with +Jaana Nyström which made me think of how i wanted to bring up my kids.The list could go on and on. The truth is Google+ allows you to know, comment and explore things you never thought you could do.
The problem is that when people come to Google+ especially people who where very active on Facebook, they immediately go to look for friends and celebrities and when they find none or few, they become bored and leave which explains why there was a drop in users for some weeks(I think Google should seriously consider marketing this angle of Google+, i hope +Vic Gundotra sees this). For those who stay and start being active, they enjoy it so much never want to leave.That is why i know Google+ can never shut down. People who are active here will not want to leave
Google+ will never hit 800million users infact it will not hit 500million users. Google+requires you to have an engaging,inquisitive and curious mind. I know this may sound condescending, but you need to have a certain level of intelligence to enjoy Google+. While Facebook will allows you to meet friends who are probably on the same level of IQ as you are, and Twitter allows you to follow Celebrities, Google+ needs you to love and explore things like painting,photography,technology, history and so on. Not many people have such minds. The average human mind is fickle and people just like to be in their comfort zones, and this even extends to people with Phd's.
Secondly, and this is related to my first reason,you need to be patient to use Google+. When you go to Facebook you have an immediate list of friends you want to add. On Twitter you have a list if celebrities that you want to follow. On Google+ you need to look for people you might like, read their posts to see if you feel they are worth circling and then think of the appropriate circle to put them. Sometimes, you may post interesting things and you may not get comments(except you where already kinda popular before joining Google+). This may be a little demoralizing and without patience,people leave. What i do know is that the more you post, the more you get followers.
The Good news is that Google+ does not need 500million to be a success. If people stop joining today, 40million people is enough. Google+ is going to change the world and that is where Google is driving it. +Debra Bekker talked today on on how Googe+ will be used for Good. People will be pushed to take up photography, painting etc when they come to Google+. I had a Hangout with a couple of fellow programmers and i discovered that i was nowhere close to them in terms of programming skills and i am motivated more than ever to become even better.
These people are the true power of Google+ and that is why Google+ does not need to be like Facebook, when Google is done with all the features and as more people join, Google+ will play an active role in changing the world.
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I don't think we are in a race to get 800 million people, if good fortune prevails, we should reach more. In less than 1 month I have grown with more people than 2 of my other sites combined which I been at up to 10 years
Google+ allows me to successfully go out of my comfort zone and activly discuss difficult topics with others at ease.
Goole + and especially Google Hangouts requires a certain level of intellect. And also being an extrovert helps. Bufoons, and mentally challenged or even rude people are summarily blocked. FB and twitter appear to be for the masses at 8th grade or less level of literacy. That is fine...let them be on twitter and facebook. G+ has the artists, musicians, photographers and creative thinkers.
Good post, Jaana. I think this is what a lot of us have been saying for a long while now.
Quality over quantity. Thanks G+ and the Plussers!
"Google+ will never hit 800 million users, infact it will not hit 500 million users. Google+requires you to have an engaging,inquisitive and curious mind. I know this may sound condescending, but you need to have a certain level of intelligence to enjoy Google+." <-- quote of the year! XD
We have all noticed this, especially the escapees from FB. But I can hardly bear how elitist it sounds for comment after comment to say it.
I agree with you +Lynda Schwemmer that it sounds elitist, i used the word "condescending" in the article. The truth is that Google+ is shaping out to be used by a certain kind of people. No matter who much we sugar-coat it, it's intelligent people who are given to deep discourse that enjoy Google+.
+Damilola Oni If, for some reason (feeling intimidated about participating comes to mind) G+ doesn't develop the numbers to compete head to head with FB or the others--is there a place for a niche community or will it be killed as was Buzz?
Valid question. The truth is that Google does need the numbers. They need the data to be able to make their services better. I am sure a sure niche community will not do for them. But Google+ will grow there are lots of people who are intelligent enough to use it but they have not just discovered it yet. I believe Google+ can get to 200 million in 2 years. If Google achieves that then i think they are okay. However, even if Google+ does not grow i highly doubt that Google will kill it. There is a lot of engagement here are if that continues, Google will keep G+ running
I remember when I 1st started using FB (back when no-one new about it) I was lucky to have 20 friends and most of those where ppl i did not actually know then it started getting popular and literally every man and his dog (and cat) joined up.
Now I really like the group aspect of G+ something i never found with FB, I can read about things that interest me not what someone did for lunch
The bit about needing a certain level of intellect (while i like the compliment) it would be more accurate to say a more open mind set which generally would include higher intelligence it is not always the case,
I have been pushing G+ to friends that use both FB (still use) and twitter (never used) to get the word out, But the one advantage both the other sites have is they are built in on most smart phones these days which is where I believe the majority use them. While I do use G+ on my android phone FB is mostly used on my computer.
+Damilola Oni Your post pretty much voices my conclusions.

I'd maybe like to add that with:
a) high quality content creators and
b) high quality content curators
Google has the right spot-on info to provide high quality search results , which will ultimately benefit everybody. Looks like a Win-Win-Win situation for everybody!
+Jaana Nyström I couldnt agree more with the statement on what makes Google+ different. Thank goodness that it is.
My 1 serous question is, how would they hack into google network servers and harvest any data to gain demographics on what actually goes on here...???
A reassuring read, I feel kinda smart just being here. I'm even gonna share this post on Facebook, maybe it'll convince some to join this amazing adventure that is Google+
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