Posts Tagged ‘Google plus’

Google’s New Google+ Social Network Challenges Facebook

Google has finally unveiled Google+, the company’s top secret social layer that turns all of the search engine into one giant social network. Google+ is a social network, designed to let you share status updates, links, videos, and whatever else with exactly who you want.The first thing users are introduced to is the Stream. It’s much like the Facebook News Feed, allowing users to share photos, videos, links or their location with friends.

Currently in test mode, Google+ breaks itself down into four major categories: +Circles, +Sparks, +Mobile and +Hangouts.

Not all relationships are created equal. So in life we share one thing with college buddies, another with parents, and almost nothing with our boss. The problem is that today’s online services turn friendship into fast food—wrapping everyone in “friend” paper—and sharing really suffers. From close family to foodies, we know that people already use real-life circles to express themselves, and to share things with the right folks. So Google did the only thing that made sense: Google brought Circles to software. Just make a circle, add your people, and share what’s new—just like any other day.

Google +Circles lets users create groups to categorize the people they’re connected to, Circles is supposed to be better than Facebook groups or lists because it focuses on targeted sharing. So for example, if you want to post a status update that you only want your “siblings” to see, you can just go directly to your Siblings Circle and post it there instead of using privacy screens and hiding the post from certain people. Also, the interface uses HTML5, which allows users to simply drag and drop friends into Circles.

+Mobile lets users get at their social information on the go, and automatically uploads photos. It also includes +Huddle, a feature that directly texts/chats a user’s group of +Circles friends.

For those not on the go, there’s +Hangout, a way to let friends who (presumably) are also sitting at home on the computer know you’re available for spontaneous video chatting.

Lastly, there’s +Sparks, a way to share with your +Circles friends links and other web content and comment on it, like a mini-forum.

Google+ is in Field Trial, so you may find some rough edges, and the project is by invitation only.

It is definitely similar to Facebook at first glance, but there’s a fundamentally different idea underlying Google+ that separates it from the pack.

If there’s one company in the world right now that can take on Facebook and possibly bring it down, it’s Google — undeniably.

I think Facebook shouldn’t be afraid of Google+. But FB shouldn’t take it lightly either.

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