Yesterday, I met a friend in the market and he pops out a remark saying “your updates are funny” and for a moment I was lost and then remembered that he meant my Facebook Status updates.
This incident shows that social networking especially Facebook has become such an important part of people’s life that no conversation, no get together or even a day is complete without it. Our thoughts and actions have to be posted or tweeted.
So why should the big “G” should remain aloof from it. Following in the footsteps of Facebook Google has launched Google+, its second effort in the social network space especially since the defeat of Orkut and Buzz, which seems to be a history now.
What is Google+, What is all about, How does it work?
Google+ is a combination of Google’s own already successfully running several services already having millions of users. The bottom line to it is to outshine the current social networks biggies. Google+ is a enormous effort made by Google in social network sector, involving its best engineers, investing months, paying full attention towards its confidentiality and to achieve its target of being the leader in the social arena. To go a step further Google has chosen the opposites of Facebook and twitter in how “+’ functions.
In Google+ a new feature is introduced calling Google Circles. These are groups of your contacts which you can classify as your friends, family, acquaintances, following and even blocked. You can even create new circles of your choice like colleagues, roommates, neighbors etc. From the suggestions of people or already added Gmail contacts you can drag and drop the person the circle of your choice. With this you get the power of choosing the group with whom you want to share your updates (like post, photos, videos).
Incoming and Notifications
All the created circles are clubbed together and put on a left side bar under Stream. Below the circles there are out options are given – Incoming and Notifications.
On clicking the incoming will display the posts shared to you by the people out of your circle. From these whose posts you like can be added to the circle of your choice.
Notifications will show you when people in your circles have commented on something you have posted, or something you have commented on.
Sparks is a feature of plus which is very much similar like Google Reader with a difference that it brings content on the web to you automatically based on your interests. In the search bar provide you can type the topic you like and hit the find button will get its own “Spark” page and provide links to related articles, videos, photos, etc. When you are typing your search topic it will come up with the suggestions similar to Google search. Spark has a share feature with every result it shows. There is a share link attach to each result. You can choose a particular circle or even a person with whom you want to share that piece of news you like.
Hangouts are like virtual chat rooms introduced with Plus. Here you can video chat with people in your circles. True to its meaning it allows you to add up-to 10 people in a hangout session at once and it will be seen in that circle or users’ stream.
One of the most liked features of Gmail, or any Google product is Chat. This is incorporated in Plus as well. On the left side bar with giving you the liberty to enable chat for particular groups only. Like if you want to surface friends and family but not acquaintances? Plus will let you do that.
Recently I got the Google plus invite from my friend( which is the most asked for thing on the buzz right now and more funny is that on Facebook people are posting their Google plus profile URLs and in response getting hundreds of comments asking to pass on the invite). I am currently juggling with the plus features and will make my verdict later that ultimately who wins the Google+ Vs Facebook battle.