Just today, Google announced their very own social network called Google+ which is looking to directly compete with social networking heavyweight, Facebook. Google+ aims to change the way we interact and stay in touch with people all over the Internet. As we all know, Facebook faced many privacy issues in the past. And that is what Google+ is trying to accomplish here as the service emphasizes on how online information is shared and with whom, as well as loads of other privacy features.
Google+ is composed with five different features, and namely they are +Circles, +Sparks, +Hangouts, +Mobile and +Huddle. Each feature caters to a specific social networking need. From the looks of Google+, it seems that Google took proven social networking ideas and implemented them in a rather innovative way. Google says in their official blog post that online sharing is awkward and even broken and they are aiming to remedy that.
We’d like to bring the nuance and richness of real-life sharing to software. We want to make Google better by including you, your relationships, and your interests. And so begins the Google+ project.
Here's a quick look at Google+:
So here are the five main features of Google+:
share what matters, with the people who matter most
This particular feature will surely appeal to those who have concerns with their privacy. +Circles as its name implies, allows the user to make circles and group the people that he or she knows according to his or her relationship with them. So you can make a circle for friends, family, office mates, gym buddies and so on. This way you can choose what sort of information you can share depending on which circle they belong.
From close family to foodies, we found that people already use real-life circles to express themselves, and to share with precisely the right folks. So we did the only thing that made sense: we brought Circles to software. Just make a circle, add your people, and share what’s new—just like any other day.
strike up a conversation, about pretty much anything
+Sparks is Google's take on the social message board threads and from the looks of it, it seems to be quite streamlined. This basically gives the users the ability to create or discuss topics with people and friends that shares a particular interest. Google's vast knowledge of the web would definitely play a large part in +Sparks as they deliver interesting feeds which can give people a lot to talk about.
The web, of course, is filled with great content—from timely articles to vibrant photos to funny videos. And great content can lead to great conversations. We noticed, however, that it’s still too hard to find and share the things we care about—not without lots of work, and lots of noise. So, we built an online sharing engine called Sparks.
stop by and say hello, face-to-face-to-face
This is a pretty neat feature that lets you easily start a multi-person video chat. Similar to Skype's video conference calls but instead built-in right into Google+. Presumably, once you start a Hangout, other people that are part of the circle will be notified and that they can easily join in on the fun.
With Google+ we wanted to make on-screen gatherings fun, fluid and serendipitous, so we created Hangouts. By combining the casual meetup with live multi-person video, Hangouts lets you stop by when you're free, and spend time with your Circles.
share what’s around, right now, without any hassle
This is basically the official mobile app of Google+ that provides users a variety of ways to share content, whether it's a photo or a status update. Yes, pretty much similar to what you can do in Facebook. +Mobile is currently available for Android and soon it will be available for the iPhone as well. Pictures and videos can also be tagged based on location which utilizes the phone's GPS function.
+Huddle is a feature that is build right into Google+'s +Mobile app. This is basically a group messaging service. Not much is known about this particular feature but Google is pushing this to replace SMS text messaging.
Phone calls and text messages can work in a pinch, but they're not quite right for getting the gang together. So Google+ includes Huddle, a group messaging experience that lets everyone inside the circle know what's going on, right this second.
Google+ is currently accessible to a few number of users only and the only way you can sign up is through invitation only. You might want to check Google+'s official website from time to time because they are periodically giving out invites. To learn more about Google+, you can visit Google's official blog.
So what do you think? Is Google+ the Facebook killer? It does have some neat features but it is still way too early to tell. We'll just have to wait when Google officially launches their own offering to the world of social networking.Contact Us for News Tips, Corrections and Feedback