[citation][nom]killerclick[/nom]Five people - $25 million acquisition. That's the right way to expand, not reinvent the wheel (badly) with stuff like Google+.[/citation]
Offtopic, but what don't you like about Google+? I find the G+ circles to be much easier to use than Facebook's groups. And I greatly prefer the G+ interface over Facebook's (their current one anyway). The only thing I can think of to give to Facebook is their established user base.
[citation][nom]of the way[/nom]Offtopic, but what don't you like about Google+?[/citation]
What I don't like about Google+ is that it was an attempt by Google to muscle in on a market using their money and influence. It was a top-down initiative formulated in some boardroom and based on financial and business considerations, instead of being a product of enthusiasm, innovation and technical brilliance (like the Google search engine was for example).
When a small company gets bought up for a lot of money like Sparrow in this case, it gives huge incentives to other developers to try to make it on their own, instead of hoping to ace a job interview at Google or wherever.