It is safe to say that the era of MySpace is a distant thought in history. Few people refer to MySpace daily in today’s social circle, as Facebook has taken the throne as top dog of the social networking world. Since then, it has seemed Facebook stood as king of the hill with no competition to challenge their rank in our hearts, until now. Google+ is the newest site Google launched to take back the title of “most viewed website worldwide.” Facebook now has a run for its money with Google’s vast following and exceptionally outclassed features. Has the time come where a new king will be crowned, or will Facebook merely adopt similar features in hopes to retain its user base?
We may all have an opinion, as I have read many bloggers disliking the +1 feature Google has adapted for its searches and results. Some may feel this is just a mere attempt to keep Google in good standings with its users due to all the concerns over their privacy practices. All could be true or false. If you take time to look into Google+ and what it allows you to do, you will see it is similar to Facebook, yet in an entirely different way.
Google+ experimented with a field trial, inviting only those lucky enough to be chosen. This “beta test” must have been a success as those users were allowed to invite others, and so on. Google had to shut down the invitation process due to “insane demand.” Let’s take a look at what all the hype is about.
Here are some videos taken from the Google Blog showcasing their new platform.
General overview of the video below: A quick look into Google+ platform features and its sleek and appealing interface.
The Features of Google+:
Circles: Google+ allows you to group the people you are “friends” with into particular “circles” to differentiate them. For instance, you can create a circle for your co-workers, college friends or even the numerous girlfriends you may have. For now, I sense the visibility of your profile for each circle might be customizable, as your privacy needs may change between circles. This feature will offer much more flexibility in organization.
Sparks: Similar to Facebook, sparks is what you would deem as your “interests.” Google+ will then formulate a feed of content from across the web based on what interests you have entered so you will always have something to read, watch, and post.
Hangouts: The one thing many people have stated Facebook is missing is video chat. Not only does Google+ supply a platform for face-to-face chat, it also enables multiple face-to-face chats at once. Think of it as a conference video call between friends. Chat with one friend or five friends. Google+ allows you to connect with your circles on a much more personal level.
Instant Upload: One feature that may be questionable is the instant upload of pictures. They do not instantly post to your profile, as you can decide which will be viewable at your leisure. The ability to side-step the upload process will make taking pictures much more enjoyable, and may encourage more people to join in on the photography fun. Privacy with this option may be an issue and will need to be looked into further.
Huddle: This feature gives the user the ability to “group message” an entire circle. Organizing events and meet ups with large groups of friends can often seem impossible. Constantly calling and redialing friends to match schedules and decide on places to meet can become annoying. Google+ huddle allows you to message everyone in a circle and include them in a group chat for all to see. Planning events and activities will be made a tad bit easier without having to manually add friends to a “group message.” You will also be able to see a live chat between friends, not single message responses.
So far Google+ seems to be a hit. Although this may be another Google flop, I hope to see what comes next. Not only does this platform seem innovative and new, (it’s about time), but it also adds a commonality to real life experiences. We look forward to Google+ being released publically so we can try out this upcoming contender for the top dog in the social media arena. To find out more about Google+ visit their website.