Plus Social Network
Social Networking is the biggest factor of people’s online lives and activities today. People are more active in their ‘digital world’ than their real world using various kinds of digital replica of their real life with the use of an idea called as ‘Social Networking‘ which originated way back in the late 1990s with ‘Six Degrees’ and went on to evolve to a much stronger concept we see today in the form of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Flickr.
Google’s Plus Social Network
Google gave life to a rumor last week with the launch of a new social networking product as ‘Google Plus’. It competes the world’s largest social networking site; Facebook and even overcomes with a host of new features.
What is Google Plus?
Google’s Plus social network is an integration of various services such as Google Profiles, Google Buzz, Google +1, GMail and Google Talk. It also has some new tricks up its sleeves with brand new features Circles, Sparks, Hangouts and Huddles.
Users can organize their friends into Circle like structures using simple drag and drop interface. Google Plus has 5 default circles to get you started viz; Friends, Family, Acquaintances, Following and Never Met. Users can create new circles where friends can be added in to various circles simultaneously.
It is a way to keep up with your interests where Google brings out latest content from all over the web in real time which works with Google Search in the back end. You can add your own interests in addition to ‘Featured Interests’.
A group chat service where you can interact with your Friends or Circles but it is only available on Android, iOS mobile phones which works over internet and SMS.
A way of interacting with your Friends and Circles in the form of video using webcam. A maximum of 10 people can join and view the Hangout if they have its unique URL.
Similar to Facebook ‘News Feeds’, Streams shows updates from friends and circles. You can +1 the updates in the streams and comment on them. You can update your status in a text box which says “Share what’s new…” which can contain multimedia contents in the form of pictures, videos, URLs/web links and locations.
A feature only available for Android smartphone users, which uploads all the photos and videos from your gallery to private web albums in Google Plus which can be shared later.
Killer Feature: Hangout - Well, Google hinted this feature could be opened for third-party developers in future which could enable them to integrate this service in to their products which could open a new horizon of video chat/share applications and services. Imagine a group of distant friends watching a match together virtually and having a discussion which is super cool.
This is the first time, Google has received positive reviews their social networking service after a flurry of flops in the face of Google Buzz and Google Wave. What’s more! Even Mark Zuckerberg himself is using Google Plus! which shows the success of Google Plus.
There are definitely some major plus over facebook and other social services,
- Hangout is a great feature for group video chats.
- Good organization of Friends into Circles.
- No need to create dedicated Google Plus account.
- Fast, intuitive and simple UI.
And some minus
- Huddle not available for web users.
- If you have a Gmail account, your Google Plus account exists even if you don’t want to.
- No games. [Facebook has loads of them for casual users]
- Sparks does not have customization options.
So what’s your take on Google plus?