Social networking has grown steadily in scope and importance over the last decade, and in the last several years, Facebook’s position as the very best dog of social networking services has been solid and unquestioned. Enter Google+. Google’s attempts to step to the realm of social networking have already been plentiful and almost undeniable failures, but Google+ is without question their strongest showing yet and has the very best possibility of success. It is growing steadily in popularity, but how well does it work and what sets it apart from its competitors? Read on.
Google has a long, tumultuous, and mostly unknown and ignored history with social networking. The next is really a rundown of these previous attempts. Orkut:In terms of I am aware, this really is Google’s earliest and (until now) most successful attempt at a cultural networking platform. It never gained much popularity in the United States, but it is huge in Brazil to this day, and it also includes a following in India and other various countries.
Open Social: Launched in 2007, it’s not technically a cultural network in and of itself. Open Social is Google and MySpace’s attempt to produce a common programming interface that can be applied across several social networks, allowing programmers to easily integrate these networks into websites and other applications. It’s largely been drowned out by Facebook.
Friend Connect: Launched in 2008, Friend Connect was Google’s next attempt at a Facebook or MySpace style social network, however it took the approach of using various open standards (including Open Social) to produce this network across several types of accounts and websites. I hadn’t even heard about it until I began researching because of this article.
Google Lively: This was Google’s attempt to generate Second Lifestyle 3D environments that would be installed onto any website, where users could join using their personas and connect to each other. It only lasted for a few months before it absolutely was discontinued in 2008.
Google Wave: This was a communications format which was intended to combine features from e-mail, message boards, and social networking schemes allow a conversation-style information exchange (or wave) that might include various type of media added by various networked contributors. Google has basically abandoned the project, however it still exists underneath the name Apache Wave.
Google Buzz: A cultural network that’s been incorporated into Google’s e-mail service, Gmail, since 2010. It allows people to generally share information with one another in a social networking format right within the Gmail interface. Ironically, Google Buzz has barely generated any buzz at all.
So what’s to say this attempt will undoubtedly be much better? Read on.
Circles are the core concept of Google+, and the important thing feature that sets it besides its competitors. Anybody you desire to keep in touch with adopts a number of of one’s “circles”, or groups of people you know. You can have a group of friends, a circle of co-workers, a circle of family unit members, etc, and nobody but you can see what circles you’ve or who is in them. When you write a status update, you also determine which circles to fairly share it with.
This makes privacy very simple, an undeniable fact that sets Google+ firmly apart from Facebook, where privacy settings are terribly complex to manage and seem to improve every few months. Better still, when you’re setting up your own personal information in Google+, there’s a devote every field to specify with which circles that information is shared. Like, I have my telephone number set as much as only be visible by friends and family, but I’ve my profession set to be visible by most of my circles. It’s a snap. When you go to check out status updates that others have posted (which is in an interface much like Facebook in basic appearance), you can filter the data by circles with only one click. It works quite well, and you are able to color me impressed.
Another unique feature in Google+ is the idea of a hangout. A hangout is simply a video chat room, where you are able to invite friends and talk freely amongst each other. Webcams are becoming very widespread, and are even built into laptops and netbooks. It sounds great, but it is not without its setup. To even get going with hangouts, you’re asked to download and install the ” buy 5 star reviews and Video plugin”, and you then have to locate a friend who’s on Google+ (and is in another of your circles) who’s willing to accomplish the exact same thing. However, once you’re completed with all of that, the streaming video generally seems to work flawlessly as long as you have an excellent internet connection. Even through the limited resources of a laptop, I didn’t encounter any hiccups. Once more, I’m impressed.
With all of its clean look and smooth operation, there are several features that are conspicuously missing from Google+. Most notably as of the writing of this article, Google+ lacks in whatever way to setup an account for a small business or organization (called “Pages” on Facebook). Actually, Google is actively taking down standard user accounts that are set up for organizations. They claim that they are working on some kind of platform for business accounts, but demand is high, so they risk alienating new users if they take too long. Another conspicuously absent feature is really a method of setting up an event, or any sort of calendar entry for that matter.