Facebook literally is the king of social networking and not even Google has been able to dethrone it from its present status.
However, Google’s latest project is another attempt by the search engine giant to try and create competition for Facebook, if not actually try to bring Facebook down.
Google+ Project was unveiled a few hours ago, and it has already created a buzz around the world. From what we can make out, Google plans to ‘fix’ broken connections and interactions which are defragmented and made more incomprehensible by the rigidity imposed by social networking sites. The Google+ project has been described in detail on Google’s official blog, and ‘plus’ probably suggests what it can do in addition to what most social networking sites already do. Let us take a look at the various features that Google+ offers and some of the improvements that Google has tried to make in its new social networking endeavour.
Circles: Google plans to make social networking all about sharing things with the people you want to share with. For instance, you would not want to share pictures from a sloppy party with your colleagues, but Facebook does just that even if you do not want that to happen. Thus, Google allows you to create ‘Circles’ for friends from school, office, gym professional colleagues, sports fans that you regularly interact with and other real-life circle that you might possibly have. Google+ Circle allows you to create and recreate your real-life and virtual circles and share what you think is appropriate within that particular circle.
Sparks: An online ‘sharing engine’, Sparks allows you to share great content with the world (of course, it depends on the circles you choose to share with). Sparks also allows you to strike up conversations with people who may have similar interests. All that you would need to do is add your interests and you will get a feed from across the Internet that suits your interests.
Hangouts: Google+ also allows you to probably integrate your webcam and hangout with your friends in different circles online. The feature allows multi-person videos.
Mobile: With the advent of Smartphones, we tend to use the PC less with each passing day. Google+ Mobile allows you to seamlessly integrate your everyday activities, status, location, and updates with your ‘circles’ with the help of GPS, cameras and messaging. Google+ mobile also allows you to share images clicked on your cellphone instantly, without having to upload them, as Google+ would add your images to a private album in the cloud.
Huddle: Google+ Huddle brings all your close friends, family and people who matter the most together, so that they know what is going on in your life. Of course, it depends on how much you want to ‘huddle’ as well, and if you prefer to share less or nothing, it still works that way!
Google+ thus concentrates on Circles, Sparks, Hangouts and mobile for now. It is available on Android Market for mobile devices and it shall soon be available on the App Store as well. Google maintains that they are still in the stage of a field trial and one could expect rough edges that would be smoothened in the coming days. While I am not really sure if Google+ Project can dethrone Facebook from its current position, it sure seems to be a more impressive attempt by Google than Buzz and Wave.
Google+ allows you to share only what you want to share. Most social networking sites already feature most of the elements of the project. However, Google+ project has the advantage of being part of Google (which goes without being said) and it also seems to give the user more control over what he might want to share with whom. Google also seems to understand the growing fears of sharing information online, and thus the company assures that the way you use Google+ will entirely depend on you.