Google + is taking the world of social media networking by storm. Google’s CEO Larry Page has announced that since it was released just a few weeks ago, it has already garnered millions of users online. The question is, just what is Google +, what does it offer and what makes it different from Facebook and Twitter, the two main players in the social network world?
Google + vs. Facebook
Google + was created as a direct competitor to Facebook. While there are some similarities between the two social networking sites, there are also various differences. Whether or not these differences make Google’s social network site a better social network site than Facebook remain to be seen. The main feature that sets Google + apart from Facebook is Google Plus’ circle feature, Facebook simply has a classification for friends. Everyone from family and friends to colleagues to high school buddies are “friended” and then listed on the friends list. Google +, on the other hand, has created circles where different types of friends can be placed. For instance, a user can create circles for family, colleagues, high school friends, etc. By creating various circles, one can then send information only to one or two particular circles instead of to everyone. This practical feature is probably one of the most attractive applications on Google’s social network site.
Google and Video
Unlike Facebook, Google + offers video chats. This feature, which Google has dubbed the Hangout feature, has the potential to be attractive, as many people prefer video chats to text chats. Naturally, Google also provides text chatting with its Sparks app. Sparks allows one to chat with anyone, anytime, and supports over three dozen languages.
Google and Android
Google has done well in tapping into Android. Surveys have shown that over seventy million Americans browse the internet from their phone. By linking Google + to a specialized phone application, Google reaches out to mobile phone internet browsers and makes it easy for them to use this new social network site. The application for Android includes access to the stream, circles, sparks and multimedia sections. Furthermore, any photo or video taken on Android will automatically upload to one’s Google + account, although it will not become public unless one chooses to make it so.
How Will Google + Fare?
It is hard to say how Google’s new social network site will fare. Many people remember the last time that Google tried to create a social network site. Google Buzz bombed and it was eventually shut down. However, it must be said that Google has learned from its mistakes and Google + is much better than its predecessor is. The main challenge that lies ahead for Google is convincing Facebook users to switch over to Google +, or at least create an additional social network account. Only time will tell if Google + has what it takes to get off the ground and be a serious competitor to Facebook, or if it will bomb out and sink into oblivion.