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The Google+ project targets Facebook

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 29 Jun 2011 13:26 User comments (5)

The Google+ project targets Facebook Google gives social networking another blast with its most ambitious Facebook-killing attempt yet.
Google's failure to capitalize on the growth of social networking online has been notable over the past few years. Google's Buzz service, a sort of Twitter-mimic, was a failure and only seemed to annoy most GMail users. Google's position as the web's heavyweight giant is under threat as Internet users change the way they use the web, and the reasons why they do.

The failure of the search giant to really tap the new resource has been a put off for investors, and a frustration for a company that is accustomed to success. Enter Google+! Google revealed detailed information on its new social network experiment this week on its blog, and in a few videos which I've included here (warning: prepare for some cheese!).

The Google+ project aims to make it easier to connect with other users online, while maintaining the subtlety of real-world interaction. "In this basic, human way, online sharing is awkward. Even broken. And we aim to fix it," Vic Gundotra, Senior Vice President, Engineering at Google, wrote in the company's official blog.

Google+ targets your relationships and interests in an intuitive way. It recognizes that not all relationships we hold with other people are the same. The information we share with certain friends and family can be vastly different to what we'd consider appropriate to share with others.

So Google+ lets you organize your contacts with Circles, a fast and easy approach to choosing groups of people to selectively share information with.

Video: The Google+ project - Circles

Google points out the problem with today's online services turning friendship into "fast food." It negatively effects sharing between people according to Google, explaining...
  • It's sloppy. We only want to connect with certain people at certain times, but online we hear from everyone all the time.
  • It's scary. Every online conversation (with over 100 "friends") is a public performance, so we often share less because of stage fright.
  • It's insensitive. We all define "friend" and "family" differently—in our own way, on our own terms—but we lose this nuance online.
"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."

Finding and sharing things of interest with others is a huge part of social networking, and Google+ attempts to make it much easier with Sparks.

Video: The Google+ project - Sparks

Sparks lets you build feeds of highly contagious content from across the Internet easily, on pretty much any topic you want and in over 40 different languages. "Simply add your interests, and you’ll always have something to watch, read and share—with just the right circle of friends," Google's blog states.

When it comes to instant messaging and video chatting, Google+ is looking to take a new direction on those interactions as well, with Hangouts.

Video: The Google+ project - Hangouts

Google refers to our "unscheduled time" in its blog post. Basically, what we do when we are simply bored, like going to a bar for a while to hang out. With today's instant messaging and chat programs, the subtlety in signaling that we have "free time" and are available to just hang out is lost, according to Google. It says today's communications tools are...
  • They're annoying, for starters. You can ping everyone that’s "available," but you’re bound to interrupt someone’s plans.
  • They're also really awkward. When someone doesn't respond, you don't know if they're just not there, or just not interested.
"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. Face-to-face-to-face."

Of course, social networking is nothing without the hoards of multimedia data that users flood easily onto services like Facebook. Google+ realizes the importance of this aspect, and particularly content captured with mobile devices. Google+ utilizes an "Instant Upload" feature to aid in gathering a torrent of material online.

Video: The Google+ project - Instant Upload

With your permission, Google+ will automatically add photos you take with your phone to a private album in the cloud. Individual photos or collections of material can later be shared with anyone you want online, and will always be available across all of your devices.

The idea is to make getting photos from your phone as easy as possible. Google+ also wants to make it easier for a group of friends to keep up to date.

Video: The Google+ project - Huddle

A group of friends often use social sites to coordinate plans and keep up to date with what is going on. With Google+' Circle feature, organizing the gang into one entity is easy. Google+ then helps with keeping everyone up to date with a group-messaging feature called Huddle.

A Google+ App is available on Android Market now, and is heading to the App Store soon. For now, the service (like GMail was) is invitation only as it is just starting a field trial, which will undoubtedly expose problems and rough edges with the service.

Tags: Google
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5 user comments

129.6.2011 13:53

I like the Huddle idea. The rest seems interesting for others but I am not much into it myself.

229.6.2011 14:33

Really liking this as a whole in general, but I think it's going to be tough to move people from Facebook to this, like getting someone who always buys Ford to buy a GM. All about names today, who cares about quality. At least that's how I'd imagine my friends seeing it :/

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 29 Jun 2011 @ 14:34

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329.6.2011 15:35

I like the idea. I can already see people growing tired of FB. The newness is worn off. People are not playing the games.
Sure, FB is still a great way to be online from your phone and it's a good way to keep up with family and friends, but I think this Google thing is a good idea. I'm seeing more and more of my friends getting Android phones and joining the "Google Family". They will welcome many of these features.
I've signed up and I can't wait to try it.

Oh, Im sorry... Did the middle of my sentence interrupt the beginning of yours?

45.7.2011 3:50

I think G+ will steal 50% of the Bizz from FB !

Live Free or Die.
The rule above all the rules is: Survive !
Capitalism: Funnel most of the $$$ to the already rich.

514.7.2011 19:48

Originally posted by exinco:
i can't wait my invitation to approve
Join Android and me somebody (Member) will send you an invite in 24hrs tops...10M already In !

Twitter Post

"If you can't sign up, you can send us your email by going here"
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 15 Jul 2011 @ 15:44

Live Free or Die.
The rule above all the rules is: Survive !
Capitalism: Funnel most of the $$$ to the already rich.

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