Have you heard about Google+? From what I’ve seen and read so far, it appears that it is likely to be MAJOR competition in the social network marketplace.
Frankly, I don’t like Facebook. It is as far from intuitive as any online platform I’ve ever visited. Nothing about Facebook makes sense to me, and much of it doesn’t work for me either. I was beginning to think it’s ME that has the problem – maybe not!
A quick look at the first pieces of the project.
Sharing is a huge part of the web, a part that we think could be a lot simpler. That’s why we’ve been working on adding a few new things to Google: to make connecting with people on the web more like connecting with them in the real world.
You share different things with different people. But sharing the right stuff with the right people shouldn’t be a hassle. Circles makes it easy to put your friends from Saturday night in one circle, your parents in another, and your boss in a circle by himself, just like real life.
Remember when your Grandpa used to cut articles out of the paper and send them to you? That was nice. That’s kind of what Sparks does: looks for videos and articles it thinks you’ll like, so when you’re free, there’s always something to watch, read, and share. Grandpa would approve.
Bumping into friends while you’re out and about is one of the best parts of going out and about. With Hangouts, the unplanned meet-up comes to the web for the first time. Let buddies know you’re hanging out and see who drops by for a face-to-face-to-face chat. Until we perfect teleportation, it’s the next best thing.
Taking photos is fun. Sharing photos is fun. Getting photos off your phone and on to the web is pretty much the opposite of fun. That’s why we created Instant Upload: so that from now on, your photos upload themselves. You don’t even have to say ‘cheese’.
Texting is great, but not when you’re trying to get six different people to decide on a movie. Huddle takes care of it by turning all those different conversations into one simple group chat, so everyone gets on the same page long before thumbs get sore.
I’m excited about the potential of Google+ because IT MAKES SENSE TO ME. “Circles” of friends or acquaintances – naturally! “Hangouts” with friends in random meetings – great fun! “Sparks” of interesting things to see and read – very cool!
While Facebook has had a near monopoly on social networking for some time now, there is an advantage to the late-comer. Google has had a long time to evaluate what people want in a social networking platform. Ease of use! Intuitive features! Compatibility with life style! Features that actually work! And, not the least of the important features is SECURITY and PRIVACY!
After major privacy failures in its Buzz and Street View services, Google has hit the right notes with its deliberate, measured roll out of its new Google+ social networking site, according to privacy experts.
By making Google+ available to a very limited set of initial testers, Google is showing that it learned its lesson from the privacy fiasco that followed the sudden, widespread launch of its Twitter-like Buzz service, which earned the company boos and lawsuits from end users, and investigations and fines from government agencies for unilaterally and publicly disclosing previously hidden Gmail connections.
The conservative approach to Google+’s availability is allowing Google to gather valuable feedback and patch bugs, including privacy holes, before making the site available to a mass audience, when glitches would have exponential consequences, experts said in e-mail interviews.
“Google Plus is clearly designed to give people better control over their privacy with respect to their family, co-workers and friends, … “ [Peter Eckersley, a senior staff technologist for the Electronic Frontier Foundation] said.
By showing its cards early with a limited release, Google risks tipping off competitors, primarily Facebook, to the features that it hopes will give Google+ a competitive edge. In fact, already Facebook has responded to Google+’s multi-person video chat feature with a similar — albeit more limited — capability to offer one-on-one video chat through a partnership with Skype.
I signed up to get Project updates released by Google. Maybe it’s just me, but I would love a user-friendly, intuitive alternative to Facebook. I may be alone since everybody I know who does social networking uses Facebook, but this wouldn’t be the first time I was out in left field.