So last week I wrote a post about the Google +1 button and how it was their response to Facebook’s “Like” button, but this week all the hype is about Google’s new announcement; the Google + Project, which is their response to Facebook’s… um… well… Facebook. And it’s looking like the first social media platform that could actually contend with the incumbent social giant. From what I’ve seen, every aspect of the “project” as their calling it looks like fresh, chic, social media awesomeness.
My favorite feature so far is what they call, “circles”. Just like your different social circles from work, or school, or family, circles allows you to organize your friends easily so that you can interact with each group separately. Basically now you can send out that inside joke you have with your work friends and not have to worry about the wrong person seeing it! The idea is that sharing online should be more like sharing in real life, when you tell someone a story or a joke you don’t tell everyone you know, instead it is more intimate and personal. The best part about this feature is how simple it is to use! All you have to do is click on the friends you want and drag them to the circle they belong in, and it looks so cool too!
The next new feature worthy of pointing out called “Sparks” is a way of finding and sharing various forms of content about a specific interest. All you do is enter an interest into the Spark box and Google Plus will find media directly related to that interest, including blog posts, news articles, videos, and pictures. When you find something you like you can add it to your interest list and share it with others.
“Huddles” and “Hangouts” are two awesome features that really bring the whole Google Plus thing together. A Huddle basically creates a chat room out of your circle allowing everyone in that circle to be in one chat. It will work with android, iphone, and sms. “Hangouts” are the video version of “Huddles” and it allows you to easily set up a group video chat with up to 10 people at once from your circle.
Google says that this is not a new product but an extension of Google itself, and let’s face it everyone uses Google, so will everyone in turn use Google Plus? Will they manage to convert millions of loyal Facebook users? And more importantly, do you think you will convert to Google Plus, stay with Facebook, or use both?
Written by James Maston