It has not been one of Google’s best-kept secrets but today the online search giant’s social networking service, Google+, has been officially announced. Google had been facing flak for not being able to deliver a product that could rival Facebook and from the looks of it, Google+ appears to be a worthy competitor. Though, mark my words, it won’t really alarm Zuckerberg & Co, Google+ could change some rules of the game and might even force Facebook to change how it works. Rather than having one long list of friends, Google+ has ‘Circles’, where users can create circles of friends, family, co-workers… Users can then share information selectively among different circles. Hit the jump for videos and more dope on Google+. Also Read - UEFA Euro 2020: Colourful Google Doodle kicks off European Football Championship
The killer feature for me, however, would be Hangout, which enables group video chats. Users can basically let members in their circles know that they are free and are generally hanging out. Other members can then join in to have a video chat. Group video chat is something that has not been done well on online social networks yet, and Google has the opportunity to take a lead here. Also Read - Sundar Pichai: 5 interesting facts about Google CEO you never heard before
Google has learnt its lessons well from its Buzz fiasco days and has been very careful with who all can see what information is being shared. The Instant Upload feature on Google+ is the perfect example of how serious Google is about privacy this time around. This feature allows users to instantly upload pics that they click on their phone into a private folder. The user can later select which photos or videos are meant to be shared with which circles of friends.
Then comes Huddle which is basically group IM. Another feature that Facebook has not been able to cash upon.
At last year’s Mobile World Congress, Google’s then CEO, Eric Schmidt, had spoken about how it is ‘mobile first’ at Google. Features like Huddle and Instant Upload are prime examples of how Google is taking the battle to Facebook’s doorstep. Google might have finally got its social network up and running but I think it is too late to take on Facebook, which now has over 750 million active members worldwide.