Google: Changes coming to Google+ this week

Top Google exec acknowledges hearing "lots of criticisms" about Google +, and that the firm plans to respond quickly

It looks like Google will be making some changes to Google+ this week.

In a post on Google+, Vic Gundotra, a senior vice president of engineering at Google, told his followers that users have been providing a lot of positive and negative feedback about Google's new social network, and that the company plans to respond to some of them this week.

"Lots of criticism for Google+," Gundotra wrote at about 2:05 a.m. EDT today. "We are listening and working to address. Stay tuned for changes this week."

Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research, said it's pretty clever for Google to fess up to the many complaints it's received about Google+.

"It's like the Domino's [Pizza] ads," he added. "Domino's new ads admit that Domino's pizza used to be lousy. They're acknowledging a negative and claiming an improvement. They buy credibility. It gives them another shot at people who had a problem."

Gottheil said he expects that Google will tackle issues related to Google+ invites and to the receipt of floods of notifications about everything from being added to a circle to referred to someone else.

In the approximately 200 comments that ran under Gundotra's Google+ post, users offered up a lot of praise, criticisms and suggestions for improving Google+.

"I'm glad we're able to be a part of the formative stages of Google+," commented one user.

One user echoed some others who have complained that the site isn't intuitive. "I was not able to figure out things when I started," the user said.

"There should be a private messaging option in G+," said another user.

A few others focused on their problems in uploading pictures to the network, with one person noting, "Does instant upload work for u guys? My photos never show up."

The biggest complaint has been around the circles in Google+, where users can group the people they're following and connected with in circles of similar interests or organizations.

"It would also be great if I could put circles within circles," wrote one user. Another said: "Sometimes you just want to merge circles. No easy way to do that."

Google has not responded to requests for a list of the most common user complaints, or what, or how many, changes to Google+ are coming this week.

Despite the user complaints, Google+ continues to generate a lot of curiosity and online buzz.

"Facebook is still the prettiest girl at the dance for the masses, [but] G+ is more thinking man's crumpet," wrote one user.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her e-mail address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

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