Hopefully by now you've read my colleague Irina Slutsky's report from yesterday on the launch of Google+: Google Makes Another Play for the Social Web. But may I suggest you also pay close attention to Google's own take on Google+, via its series of introductory YouTube videos?
They're pretty remarkable in how they passive-aggressively subsume/suppress the unspoken subtext of Google's war with Facebook (which Google implies is completely inadequate in its inflexibility) under a folksy veneer of strummy music (NPR-meets-Apple-meets-Lunesta) and precision-engineered stuttery voiceovers that are designed to sound like quasi-inarticulate real people (like your friends!). In the overview video below, "The Google+ project: A quick look," a college-girly sounding female explains how she doesn't always want to share everything with her "guy friends." She's followed by a frat-dude-ish guy who, like, says "like" five times in 12 seconds:
You know, like, in your head you assign everyone these roles? And, like, you think, you know, like, these are the people that matter and these don't. And then, like, once you, like, step back and get away from that you realize, 'Oh these are the people that were actually there for me.'
As he waxes eloquent about true friendship, he's sure as heck not hitting any "like" buttons on Facebook. No, we can see him on Google+, grouping people into Google+ Circles labeled "Work People," "The Untouchables" (?) and "Epic Bros."
The short video that specifically shows off Circles is described thusly: "Jed introduces Circles with a few thoughts on the nature of friendship." Who's Jed? Nobody knows. (As of this writing, YouTube commenter BrokenBassBin has 200 thumbs-up for his comment: "I'd create a circle called 'Girls I'm trying to nail'.") In the "Sparks" video, "James" says that true friends "allow you to, like, geek out about the things you're absolutely passionate about." (Like, schyeah!) In the "Hangouts" video, "Amee" says "I wish we could be together and not have a plan." (Note to Amee: BrokenBassBin has a plan.)
Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" media columnist for Advertising Age. Follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.