Google Launches Google+, a Facebook Look-alike.

Yesterday, while tweeting my heart away as I normally do in the mornings, I came across an interesting link referring to a new social networking service from the search-engine giant; Google called Google+.

Google+ is the search giant’s all-in attempt to add a social layer onto their other products, and the engineers in charge describe it as an extension to what Google’s already doing in the social scene. They are emphasizing on privacy in differentiating the new social service from the rest of other networks.

We all know, Google have tried several times to come up with services/innovations that could over-take the leading social networking site; Facebook but haven’t succeeded in any of their attempts. Remember Google Wave? What about Orkut, or Google Buzz? What happened to all of them?

An interesting point raised in the New York Times by Claire C. Miller draws my attention to the fact that, the new service “happens to look very much like Facebook,” but it works differently. The guiding principle behind Google+ is the notion that users want to share different kinds of things with different groups of people.

A feature in Google+ called “Circles” allows users to put group their friends and share to the groups. Other unique features include “Hangouts,” a group video chat feature; “Sparks,” an automated feed of videos and articles custom-tailored for the user; “Huddle,” a text message-powered group chat; and “Instant Upload,” an automatic photo uploader for mobile phones.

But Google+ may already be too late. In May, 180 million people visited Google sites, including YouTube, compared with 157.2 million on Facebook, according to comScore. But Facebook users looked at 103 billion pages and spent an average of 375 minutes on the site, while Google users viewed 46.3 billion pages and spent 231 minutes.

Google+ users will start by selecting people they know from their Gmail contacts (and from other services, once Google strikes deals with them). They can drag and drop friends’ names into different groups, or circles, and give the circles titles, like “Accra Peeps”, “Taadi Folks” or “Honey Suckle Peeps.” Then they can share with these groups or with all of their friends.

Unlike on Facebook, people do not have to agree to be friends with one another. They can receive someone’s updates without sharing their own.

So now the question arises, Will It Be Able To Take On Facebook? Will It Prove To be A Facebook Killer?

Analysts say that Facebook users are unlikely to duplicate their network of friends on Google+ and post to both sites, but that they could use them for different types of communication. Google+ could also attract Facebook holdouts that have been uncomfortable sharing too publicly.

So will Google+ do to Facebook what Facebook did to MySpace? Does this new service from Google look more attractive than Facebook? Are you willing to abandon Facebook for Google+?

You can try your hands on the Interactive Demo here.


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Will You Ever Quit Facebook?

I stumbled upon this website: when I arrived at work this morning. Strucked by its catchy phrase, I decided to read more into what they are actually preaching. According the site;

Facebook Trashed

Facebook is engaging, enjoyable and quite frankly, addictive. Quitting something like Facebook is like quitting smoking.

They’ve actually marked May 31, 2010 as the deadline for those interested to quitting/deleting their accounts from Facebook permanently. As I’m typing at this very moment; about 16129 people have committed to joining this cause/campaign.

Would you join this campaign? Are you likely to quit Facebook soon? What would push you into doing that? Is it because of the privacy issues or other pressing ones?

In recent times, there’s been a lot of talk about Facebook and their privacy issues; as well as their perceived attempts to “take over the web” through their “like” buttons and other integrations with their platform. As a matter of fact, I’m not saying the privacy and other stuffs aren’t important – trust me, it is. In my opinion, the Facebook privacy settings are a usability nightmare, but I do encourage everyone to take a look at theirs and lock them down however tightly you want.

Even though I have been contemplating on the issue of completely deleting my account on Facebook; I have come to realized that, I have nothing to lose if I maintain my account rather than delete it. As a matter of fact, Facebook has been a platform of socializing, re-connecting with old friends, sharing my blog-posts & updating my numerous friends all over the world; from Russia, Ukraine, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, UK, Canada, USA, Kenya and Uganda through to Nigeria about happenings in Ghana and around me…

How do I keep in touch with all this numerous friends/mates and business contacts when MTN’s data services are becoming very expensive by the hour?

Currently, a Google search on my name is definitely going to reveal lot of information [mainly via my blogs] about myself than a couple of years ago. I always dread to think about what info of me is already online even taking Facebook out of the equation. If I decide to leave Facebook entirely for that reason; then surely I would then logically, have to track down all other information that are in other places. I simply cannot summon up the energy to do this… Before I think of starting, I’m already exhausted.

A few years ago, when I finally came to accept the fact that I was addicted to the internet; I made up my mind to use the web into building a career and living my life. I can’t now complain that people I don’t know can find stuff about me. It’s all in the spirit of technology and evolution. I support Digital Activism & Social Media Evolution to the core.

Now to the Sad case: I’m not happy right now because I’m fallen a victim of privacy-abuse on Facebook. There’s this group on Facebook “Chill Out Ghana” by one Kwabena Poku. Even though I’m not a member of this group; I keep receiving spamming messages from this person and his group every time there’s going to be an event in Ghana. Messages range from Silverbird Movies-to-be-shown, Facebook Waakye Party and just this recent one, Vodafone 020 Concert… I have cross-checked to be sure; I’m not his friend and neither part of the group but I keep get spammed… Why???

A week before the Vodafone 020 Concert in Accra, I received about 3 to 5 messages from Chill Out Ghana in a day. All this messages were sent by Kwabena Poku. What kind of nonsense is this? Is it by force to be informed about an event? I just hate cheap advertisement..!

As much as I’m so much into social media right now, I’m not going to make that act of cheap-advertisement stop me from doing what I do best. I will continue to embrace social networking and learn new ways of improving upon blogging and citizen journalism…

I plan to stay on top of Facebook’s ever-changing privacy settings and I’m going to be very cautious about what I post, knowing that any online information easily could be shared beyond friends.

Dear reader; do you plan quitting Facebook for good? What are some of the mishaps you’ve encountered since you signed on Facebook? Will Facebook respond to this and come up with a better and secured Privacy Policy? Are you quitting Facebook or sticking with it? I would be interested in hearing other people’s views!

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