Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Google+coud be the next big thing in social networking

Google has been here before (remember Open Social, Google Wave and Buzz?). Its hoping that fourth time around will be a success. You have got to hand it to Google, they don't give up easily!

So, what is all the fuss about? Well, if early indications from those fortunate enough to be included in the beta programme are to be believed, there is an awful lot going for Google's latest attempt at social networking. The main ingredients to Google+ are Circles, Hangouts and Sparks. Looking briefly at each in turn:

  • Circles - This is where you share different things with different people, whilst sharing only those things with those people you want to share them. With Circles, Google is trying to simplify the whole process of grouping your circle of contacts into distinct groups – just as you would in real life.
  • Hangouts - This is a way of connecting with friends whilst you are out and about on the web - you just let folks know where you are and see who drops by for a chat.
  • Sparks - This is Google's way of searching for videos and articles that it thinks you'll like, so that when you're free there's always something to watch, read and share. 
Of course, everyone loves to share photos these days so you will be able to instantly upload images to your account using Instant Upload. In addition, there is also group chat, known as Huddle in Google+.

So, now we have some idea of what Google+ offers, what is the word on the virtual street? Well, remarkably positive it seems. Jason Hiner on TechRepublic reckons that it is about to change the web as we know it - quite a bold statement but then Google did change the world of search on the web and with Android is jointly responsible for revolutionising the smartphone business, so maybe he is right on this one.

Interestingly, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and chief executive of Facebook is on Google+ and currently, according to  has the most fans already on Google+! 

Let's hope that Google opens it up to more of us mere mortals sooner rather than later so we can all join in.
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