Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Google+ (Social Network) Project

In the age of social networking where Facebook and Twitter rule network relationships, multi-billion dollar conglomerate Google refuses to sit this one out.

Just last week I received an invite for Google+ project. My initial thought was, "It's like Facebook, only Google-fied!"

Photo from
While quite late it at, Google launched on June 28, the Google+ project --a social networking service aimed at "sharing the right stuff, with the right people" while integrating the wide range of Google products and services, such as GoogleBuzz (microblogging), Youtube (video hosting) and Picasa (photo sharing), just to name a few. Currently, the service is still in it's invite-only testing phase. It boasts of five features, generating mixed reactions from netizens all over:
  • Circles -a place where you can sort out their contacts into respective groups via drag and drop method 
  • Hangouts - a platform for Video Chats 
  • Huddle - a communication tool for your circles (contacts); works like BBM groups or group IM chats 
  • Instant Upload - for sharing pictures and videos directly from your mobile phone (Android only) 
  • Sparks - a recommendation interface based on ones listed interests
It appears that this is just the beginning of grand plan to take over the social network business. It is reported that in the next six weeks, Google plans to rebrand Picasa and Blogger as "Google Photos" and "Google Blogs" respectively in order to tie it up with the major roll out of Google+.

Google+ indeed looks promising. However, it is highly unlikely that it would surpass Facebook's 11-year lead in the social networking game anytime soon. In terms of users and site use, Golden Sachs estimated that as of January 2011, Facebook has 600 million users. Furthermore, the features offered by Google+ is not new. In fact most of them are already contained in Facebook as well as other services albeit in a different setting.

Just looking at the odds, Google has a lot of convincing to do in order to lure users to switch sides. As Business Insider's Steve Kovach puts it, "A social network is no good unless your friends are on it too."

But then again, it's still early in the game. A lot of developments (and surprises!) can still take place considering that the site is still on beta testing and Facebook just might fight back. Let's just wait and see what happens when it finally gets mass released in the market.

For more information regarding the service, please visit the Google+ Homepage or watch the video below.

Sorry but I don't have invites. :)
3rd Entry
Soleil Flores

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