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.
- Google+ Social Network: More Privacy, Tighter Social ‘Circles’ (rajcairnsreport.wordpress.com)
- Google guns for Facebook with Google+ social network (macworld.com)
- Google In Social Media Battle With Facebook (news.sky.com)