Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Going Gaga over Google+

Photo taken from Google+ Facebook page

For the past two days I was preoccupied trying to find out what Google+ is.  I got so curious of this latest Google innovation as my Facebook news feed was inundated by postings from my friends from my Digital Marketing days.  From reading the articles posted by my friends, I found out that only a few were given invites to Google+.  It helped that my blog mentor, Janette Toral, sent me a link if I want to sign up for Google+ Project.  I readily signed up but was successful only after several attempts.  Who were the people who received invites for Google+?  Mark Zuckenberg, CEO of Facebook has a page already and is the most followed user right now.   

Google+ is Google's social network which was launched to a limited number of people last week.   It was developed by Vic Gundotra, an IT graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras, India.  It is still in beta version and that explains why it is not available to everyone.  Google+ expects its users to give feedbacks to further improve it and make the experience seamless when Google launches it soon. 

A picture grab from the Facebook page of Google+
It has five components, namely, Circles, Sparks, Huddle, Hangouts and Instant Upload.  Circles made me categorize my friends that makes for relevant sharing of posts and photos.  No need for my friends' Stream to be flooded by my family pictures or vice versa.  Sparks on the other hand acts like a reader for stuff that interests me and could be shared to any of my circle of friends.  I can chat to my friends in Huddle on any topic under the sun right on my phone.  Hangouts on the other hand, features a live video chat, IM chat or watch YouTube video together of up to ten of my friends..  It's as if my friends are in the same room as me.    Though the other tools could also be found in Facebook, Instant Upload could sway Facebook users to migrate to Googles+.  ReadWriteWeb said that the real killer of Google+ is Instant Upload.  The popularity of Android phones totalling half a million as of May 2011 makes photos from Android phones instantly online and could be shared with friends of an appropriate Circle.  Oh one more thing, Google+ is also coming out with Google games.  It can't afford to include game applications as these were instrumental for Facebook's exponential growth in 2007.  

The thing that I find so cool about Google+ is that once I was at my page, I need not open another site to be able to access my emails from Gmail, articles or blogs that I subscribed to in Google reader, Google documents, my blogs.  Everything is just a click away.  

Is Google+ out to topple Facebook from its ivory tower just like what the latter did to Friendster and MySpace?  What does Facebook have on its sleeve to prevent it from suffering the same fate as Friendster?

Photo taken from Google+ Facebook page

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