Facebook has been king of the social networks for roughly 6 years now. It built on what other social networks offered and introduced us to a whole new level of connectivity – ultimately changing the way we interact with other people. But it might have to hand over the crown to a new contender.
Google+ has been top secret for quite a while now. But Google has finally drawn back the curtains on this project, not all the way, but just enough to get the lips flapping.
A brief history
This is not Google’s first attempt at invading this ever growing market. Previous assaults include the content-sharing services Wave and Buzz. But none of these proved to be very successful.
Google’s idea with this project is to “bring the nuance and richness of real-life sharing to software”. They carry on to say, “We want to make Google better by including you, your relationships, and your interests”. So that’s Google+ in a nutshell.
First pieces of the project
Google has given us a glimpse of the project by providing an overview of five ways that users will be able to connect with their peers. These are called, Circles, Sparks, Hangouts, Instant Upload and Huddle. Let’s take a closer look at each one:
Circles is an innovative new way of grouping your friends list. So far it’s definitely our favourite part of this project. The idea is to imitate the way we share information with the people we know in real life. Things you share with your closest friends are very different from what you share with your boss or work colleagues. Circles allows you to categorise the people you want to connect, making it easier to express yourself and share precisely with the right people.
Sparks is a search engine with a couple of add-ons. You use it to do a search on any topic and add it as an interest. Sparks then delivers a feed of content relevant to your interests. This way you will always have something to watch or talk about.
We often bump into friends while going about our daily business. We find out how they are, exchange niceties and so on. With Hangouts, you can do exactly that, just online. It is an onscreen gathering where anyone can join in when they’re free, and have a quick chat with their friends.
Instant upload will attempt to take the hassle of getting photos off your phone and onto the internet. With your permission, Google+ will save your photos, while you’re busy taking them, into a private collection in the cloud. So now they will be available on all of your devices for editing or sharing.
Finally, there’s Huddle. It provides a platform for you and your gang to make plans about what you are going to do this Saturday night. No more waiting for replies on sms’ or leaving urgent voicemails. With huddle, anyone who is in on the chat, knows what’s going on and all confusion about what the plan is, is sidestepped.
A tour on Google+ is available here and it is highly recommended that you take the time to go through it.
Google+ looks extremely promising. Will it be a Facebook killer? It’s hard to say. Facebook has a large steady following. But so did Myspace.
The Internet is an ever-changing, ever-evolving entity. What’s hip and happening today, is old news tomorrow. Only time will tell whether Google+ has royal blood, or whether it is just another failed attempt at dethroning Facebook.
Personally, I’d put my money on Google anyday.