Want an Invite to the Google+ Project?
If you want an invite to use Google+, share this post on Facebook or Twitter and leave me a comment below and I’ll invite you. Be sure to leave a valid email address when you fill out the comment form (It’s completely private to myself- no worries).
What is Google+?
Google has finally unveiled Google+, a new social networking project that Google has been working on for the past year. The one Google has tried to downplay as much as humanly possible — even as Tech Crunch got leak after leak after leak of what they were working on. Even the guys over at SEO by the Sea spotted new patent applications and machinations. Apparently the black navigation bar across the top of the page Google has been testing is called the Google+ bar:
Google+, which has already begun being tested by invite only, and has been delayed several times, is an attempt at Google’s answer to Facebook.
The main aim of the project is to unify all of the current Google social products, namely Buzz, Bookmarks, Gtalk etc.
The first noticeable difference between Facebook and Google+ is the use of circles. No longer will you have just one feed and one area where you share pictures and information. Google’s Circles will allow you to separate your friends and associates out into distinct areas. “Circles” enables users to organize contacts into groups. A feature that beats Facebook is that the privacy settings also allows users to hide the users in their circles as well as who has them in their circle. Organization is done through a drag-and-drop interface. This system replaces the typical friends list function used by sites such as Facebook.
Google Sparks is just another way to customise and use Google search. You can click on any of the images (categories) you want, and add it to your interests. This works like a social news browsing service. Information that matches your search will come up in sparks. “Sparks”acts as a front-end to Google Search, enabling users to identify topics they might be interested in sharing with others; “featured interests” sparks are also available, based on topics others globally are finding interesting.
“Hangouts” is a new feature that allows group video chat, with a maximum of 10 people participating. However, anyone on the web could potentially join the ‘Hangout’ if they happen to possess the unique URL of the Hangout.
Within a day of Google+’s launch, various news agencies reported that Google+ was blocked by People’s Republic of China. This is part of a wider policy of censorship in Mainland China.
Some people have claimed that the purpose of Google+ is to keep you within the Google web. Google’s business is to mediate as much of your Digital Life as it can. The more you stay within the realms of Google’s control, the more money they can make out of your or your presence. Someone once said, “if the service is free, you are not the customer”.
Reception to Google +
Our own reception to Google+ has been that it is a little underwhelming. There are definite advantages in Google vs Facebook. However the things that would draw you away from Facebook, ie interesting content and the ability to meet new interesting people, just isn’t there on Google+. I am sure it will start to pick up once people start to use the service, but we will have to wait and see.
Don’t forget to leave your comments if you want us to invite you to Google+.