This has turned into a pretty long post - no photos, just text. It covers my observations and experiences with Google+. All from my own personal point of view. Your mileage may vary, but maybe one or the other observation or idea is helpful for someone out there. I like sharing. That's why I am on Google+.
I'm on Google+ for almost 4 weeks now. My take on what happened to Picasa Web Albums with the Google+ integration hasn't changed - if I would still share photos the way I did in Picasa Web Albums, I'd be rather unhappy.
If I would. But I don't share photos like that anymore. The best thing I ever did was to get rid of all the dead freight and the way I used to share photos by moving my old Picasa Web Albums out of the way to a different Google account. It was a bigger step than I thought at first (when I was just eager to explore Google+).
Sharing photos in Google+ is still a tedious task. If you want a nice presentation of your photo with a big preview in the stream and comments sticking to it, you have to upload one photo at a time through the web interface manually and add it to an existing album (or drag and drop it directly into a new post, upon which it will end up in a "photos from posts" album, from which it can be moved into more organized albums with the "classic" Picasa Web Albums UI). Doing so also makes it necessary to manually enter the title, caption and keywords again - the web uploader of Google+ doesn't interpret that data (yet, I hope). The comfortable way of just picking my export preset from Lightroom that would upload photos into my monthly "recent photos" albums is blocked - at least if you want to share the activity in the stream. And personally, that's where photo upload activity belongs to.
But despite all that and I guess a little bit to everyone's surprise, Google+ quickly filled with an incredible number of talented photographers, both amateurs and pros; both (at least somewhat) well-known if you're using the internet, and completely fresh names - who all began to connect to each other and interact, share - it's totally amazing. I added so many absolutely wonderful photographers and interesting people to my circles, they all share their work generously and open - did I say it's amazing?
Right now it looks like Google+ is the best thing that ever happened to the social web aspects of photography.
The number of people adding me to their circles ("followers"), both photographers and friends, fans and people otherwise interested in photography kept rising. My name appeared on some of the many lists of photographers on Google+ - on some I was listed already, on some I asked for inclusion, on some (like group.as) I added myself.
After the first couple of days and weeks, I decided to not share the random funny stuff with the public anymore like I used to on Google Buzz (face it: R.I.P.). My name's on all these photographer lists, photography is my passion, so if people come to my profile from one of these lists, they should see a public stream of my photos - that's what they came for, right?
I also decided that first time visitors to my profile and posts should not see geeky tech-talk about photography, computers, post processing and all that stuff either: I created a circle for that instead, and only share that part with the people who are really interested (yes, I asked).
And that was probably a very good decision. Yesterday evening I noticed that the number of people adding me to their circles was increasing really really fast. I used to try and keep up, looking at the profiles of folks to maybe reciprocate, but it became impossible. The reason for that increase was that my name and a direct link to my Google+ profile appeared in the "Top 104 Amazing Photographers to circle on Google+" list on Business Insider. I guess I'm lucky because my first name begins with the first letter of the alphabet, making me number 3 on the list. :)
All that has changed my approach to sharing photos. I think that, with over 1000 followers, you can't just dump an album of 50+ photo into your stream and say "hey, these are from my trip to xyz, check it out."
Instead, less is more. I began to carefully hand-pick the images I would share on Google+, adding a little bit of background to the post, maybe some technical details too. Every photo that I show in Google+ is not the result of a mechanical/organizational process of picking, processing, flagging, rating, publishing anymore, no - I've become my own editor. :P It has also made me my worst critic (finally! hehe) and I often find myself thinking "damn, I don't have that many good photos..."
And I guess it's a good thing - we never stop learning, and we can always grow further. There's no such thing as the perfect photographer. The good ones just don't show their failures to the public anymore. ;)
The portfolio that I used to build with 500px (http://www.alex-kunz.com) is what I'm building/mirroring and refining on Google+ now. I most certainly won't dump my most recent images there, like I used to do it in Picasa Web Albums. Instead, I post just one or two photos per day. With my approach of the Photos tab on my Profile eventually being the Google+ version of a portfolio, I try to keep the albums small. Personally, I think portfolio albums should include 10, or maybe 15 photos. [I'm just looking at myself - 10, 15 photos... that's something that I'm willing and eager to explore. It's much less likely when someone adds the 73rd photo to an album called "Sunsets", or something.]
Also, on the joint Facebook page that Shuwen and me use (primarily to not bother our friends with out photo-specific posts) I noticed that the feedback is much better when the photos are hosted on the site, and not somewhere "outside". I noticed that I myself have the same preference for photos on Google+. Links to blogs, other personal sites, or other photo sharing services don't work that well for me. I'm less likely to click on them because it somehow "disrupts" the experience. I assume it is the same for my followers, so I upload my photos to Google+ for the "native" viewing experience, even if they already are at 500px or Flickr.
Allow me a personal note about Flickr and 500px... they're not important anymore for me. For me, Flickr always was everyone's overcrowded photodump (and yes, I realize that's an entirely different story for many others), and the constant popularity contest on 500px with their annoying voting system (hey, I'd like to opt out of it) and ugly "Dislike" button has quickly become equally boring to me, there's no denying it.
Also, a while ago I was musing what the best combination of Like and Favorite features would be. Looking at it now, I think my assumptions and ideas were pretty wrong.
When it was first introduced, I thought "what the heck..." but now with Google+ I really dig that +1 button and it's abstract nature (and one day I might even learn to type it fluently). +1 can mean "I like that" or "I agree with you" or "Thanks for sharing that!", or even "Man, I feel your pain" - see how neutral it is? If I want to show my appreciation, I just click on +1 and since my name is associated with it, the poster can see it and knows I've been there, seen it, appreciate what I saw. Smart, simple, unobtrusive.
And there are no scores and view counters on Google+ - just comments and +1 clicks, and a lively exchange with both fans and other photographers. That's a really really good thing if you ask me.