Google Launches Google+ (Plus) Social Network
Google has unveiled its answer to Facebook’s domination of the social network space with Google+ (or Google plus maybe) which opened to testing on Tuesday.
Google has been experimenting as of late with different ventures into the world of social media and primarily failing with products such as Google Wave and Google Buzz. With a relatively low key launch (compared to previous product launch press conferences) Senior Vice President of Engineering Vic Gundotra announced the social network in a blog post on the official Google blog.
“We’d like to bring the nuance and richness of real-life sharing to software. We want to make Google better by including you, your relationships, and your interests. And so begins the Google+ project.”
Although highly unlikely Google+ will come anywhere close to toppling social network giant Facebook the product does have some unique features that I really like.
The +Circles feature gives the user the ability to group friends and connections into Circles and then share different information and updates with certain groups, for example you might not necessarily want to share the same update with your friends as with your work colleagues or you might think that an interesting SEO industry news story might go down better amongst your work colleagues without your friends finding out what a geek you are.
The +Sparks features allows users to access a continuous updating stream of ‘contagious’ content from across the internet on any topic they want. For example if you are interested in films you can get a stream of the latest and most interesting (or shared) content from the film industry from different sources across the web giving you content to read, watch and more importantly share with all your friends or particular circles that would be interested in films.
The +Hangouts feature lets you enter hangout areas organised by topics or Circles and to talk and have fun with your friends with webcams and chat through live multi-person video.
Google plus is also trying to make it easier to connect with your networks while on the move with your mobile through a number of mobile features.
+Instant Upload allows for the option of instant uploading of media such as photos, so you can freely snap away with your phone camera and the pictures will automatically be uploaded to Google+ with out ever having to worry about it.
+Location allows the user to share their location with friends via every update if they so wish, for example if you update your status from a restaurant you can attach the location of that restaurant to alert nearby friends.
+Huddle is a group messaging feature, there has been a huge increase in the popularity of group messaging services recently and Google+ aims to take advantage of this popularity by giving the option of messaging everyone in one of your Circles.
Google Plus is currently in testing and invite only, but if you want to get involved as soon as possible head on over to the Google+ project page and register your interest.