After all the buzz around Google+, one of its competitors, Diaspora (free and open source) was almost forgotten. I have to admit, the same thing counts for me. In the last weeks, I've spent a lot of time on Google+ and none on Diaspora (mainly because I don't have many contacts on there (yet?), of course). Anyways, today I logged back into Diaspora and – being accustomed to Google+ – almost didn't note any difference concerning the layout.
(Sorry about forgetting to switch Diaspora to English...)
List of similarities
- Avatar and first name in upper left corner
- "Stream" and a textbox with some icons (image upload) above the main column
- Avatar and full name in the header bar
- List of contact avatars in upper right corner
- Invitations below contact list
- Aspects/circles on the left, right below the name
- Tags/sparks below the aspects/circles
- Display of receiver limiting next to the post
I'm not saying Google copied Diaspora, especially as many of those things are common and obviously chosen web design elements, but Google+ certainly looks strongly inspired by Diaspora, which – as far as I remember – didn't change much of its layout over the last year or so.
Also, many ideas/philosophies behind Google+ that make it successful are almost identical to those of Diaspora. The concept of circles/aspects, the focus on sharing which information with whom, the concept of "unidirectional relationships" (following without being followed) etc...