Google on Wednesday announced its much-awaited social networking service, which aims to dent Facebook’s popularity. According to Vic Gundotra, a senior vice-president at Google, the company’s latest social networking service called Google+ Project consists of Circles, Hangouts, Sparks and Mobile.
“Online sharing needs a serious re-think, so it’s time we got started,” he wrote on the official Google blog while announcing the limited availability of the service.
In the lengthy post, Gundotra implies that sharing, or in other words, social networking as we know it on the Facebook is “awkward” or “even broken” because it doesn’t give due regard to privacy as well as doesn’t allow users to have complete control over their social circle.
According to Google, Circle will allow users to create different groups of friends or relatives. This will make sure that the information you share with one set of group doesn’t reaches the other group. Sparks will allow users to access the content in which they are interested from across the web through Google while Hangout will allow them to video or text chat with anyone willing to do so.
Google’s +Mobile will be offered through, initially only Android, smartphones so that users can share pictures taken with their phone within their Circle or post messages to their friends.
To those who are interested in trying out Google+, Gundotra said, “We’re beginning in field trial, so you may find some rough edges… and the project is by invitation only.”
The popularity and growth of Facebook, which has over 600 million users, have alarmed Google. While the company still leads in overall search market on the web, Facebook this year has become biggest player in display advertising. According to eMarketer, a research firm, Facebook has over 17% share in display advertising on the web. In comparison Google has a 12.3% market share.
Google, which came to the social networking party late, had launched Buzz in 2010. But the service failed to take off. It also tried Wave but that too failed to win many users, forcing the company to shut down the service last year.
The world’s biggest Internet-search company Google is making another attempt at social networking with Google+. The service aims to dethrone Facebook, calling the leading social network “sloppy, scary and insensitive”.
Here’s looking inside the all-new Google+
How it works:-
With Google+, users easily share information based on the circle of friends they think would most like to see a photo or read a message, such as immediate family or people who like a certain hobby or sports team.
Once users sign up, they have a profile page with security settings that let them share or hide personal information, such as education or job descriptions. Contacts are suggested based on user e-mail accounts.
The service integrates Google’s maps and images, seeks to help people organise social contacts easily within groups of friends.
By invitation only:-
The new service will initially be available to only a limited set of users, who will soon be able to invite others. The company has been testing Google+ internally and is now ready to gradually open up what it calls a “project” to the general public.
Sparks and Hangouts:-
Google+ features include Sparks, which gathers videos and articles on topics of interests or hobbies, and Hangouts, which lets friends join video chat with multiple people at once.
Stream section in Google+ is similar to Facebook’s News Feed. According to reviews, it does almost nothing different except for the fact that before a user posts anything, he has to decide which circles see it. A user can make it available to “all circles” or even available to “extended circles”.
Google+ looks and functions quite similar to Facebook, with streaming updates of photos, messages, comments and other content from selected groups of friends.
However, what Google hopes will differentiate its social network from Facebook is that Google+ would allow users to communicate within separate groups of their online friends. Instead of posting an update that goes out to everyone, Google+ allows users to create “circles” or groups.
Has mobile version too:-
There is also a mobile version of Google+ for handsets running the Android software, and the company is seeking approval from Apple Inc to introduce a service for the iPhone.
The mobile version enables text-message chats with multiple users and, with an opt-in, photos and videos are automatically stored in an online album for later access.
Chief Executive Officer Larry Page is starting Google+ after missteps last year with the introduction of Google Buzz. In March, Google reached a settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission to resolve concerns it violated its own privacy policies.
Google also made an earlier foray in social networking with its Orkut site, started in 2004. While the service made inroads in emerging markets such as Brazil, it hasn’t matched the growth of Facebook globally.