Personally, I have been using G+ as a form of Tweekdeck/Pintrest for a while. It is my news stream. It is not perfect, but I am a fan none the less.
G+ is still in its early stages and considering the monumental undertaking to create such an inclusive eco-system, they have done well.
I agree that the hangout's desktop/chrome app is terrible with all of the windows, but you dont have to use it and can opt for chat in G+ or Gmail. It can still be done better, but it is a good start.
As for who uses it, I can tell you my streams are full of users posting regularly. But, unlike a FB which was created around share with everyone, G+ is meant for selective sharing. Which means that lots of people are posting, but just not sharing with you.
G+ does have enough active users now to be considered a contender, but it is way too early to call it a winner. Then again, lets look at the iPhone vs. Android. iPhone is on version 5/6 depending on how you look at it. The Galaxy just hit 4 and from a comparative view, many people have come out calling it superior in its advancements. I think by version 5 of G+, you will see it finally be what it can be and then we can judge(heck, lets say version 4).
- Director of User Experience at JobviteJobvite, 2010 - present
- Director of User ExperienceUsability Counts, 2003 - present
- Messenger Connect Social Media Consultant [Contract]Microsoft, 2009 - 2010
- Product ManagerEscrow.com, 2001 - 2002
- Program Managerstamps.com, 1999 - 2001
- Cypress CollegeGeneral, 1991 - 1993
- Magnolia High School
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