Social networking has grown steadily in scope and importance throughout the last decade, and over the past few years, Facebook’s position as the most effective dog of social networking services has been solid and unquestioned. Enter Google+. Google’s attempts to step in to the realm of social networking have been plentiful and almost undeniable failures, but Google+ is without question their strongest showing yet and has the very best chance of success. It is growing steadily in popularity, but how well does it work and what sets it aside from its competitors? Read on.
Google features a long, tumultuous, and mostly unknown and ignored history with social networking. The following is really a rundown of the 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’s huge in Brazil to this day, and in addition it features a following in India and other various countries.
Open Social: Launched in 2007, it’s not technically a social network in and of itself. Open Social is Google and MySpace’s attempt to produce a common programming interface which can be applied across several social networks, allowing programmers to easily integrate these networks into websites and other applications. It has 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, but it took the approach of using various open standards (including Open Social) to create this network across different types of accounts and websites. I had not even heard about it until I started researching for this article.
Google Lively: This is Google’s attempt to generate Second Lifestyle 3D environments that would be installed onto any website, where users could sign in using their personas and interact with each other. It only lasted for a few months before it was discontinued in 2008.
Google Wave: This is a communications format that has been intended to combine features from e-mail, message boards, and social networking schemes allow a conversation-style information exchange (or wave) that may include various form of media added by various networked contributors. Google has basically abandoned the project, but it still exists beneath the name Apache Wave.
Google Buzz: A cultural network that has been built-into Google’s e-mail service, Gmail, since 2010. It allows people to fairly share information with each other 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 it attempt will undoubtedly be any better? Read on.
Circles would be the core idea of Google+, and the key feature that sets it besides its competitors. Anybody you wish to keep in touch with switches into a number of of your “circles”, or sets of people you know. You’ll have a circle of friends, a group of co-workers, a circle of family members, etc, and nobody but you will see what circles you have or who is in them. Proper you write a status update, in addition you choose which circles to share it with.
This makes privacy a breeze, an undeniable fact that sets buy google places reviews Facebook, where privacy settings are terribly complex to control and seem to improve every few months. Better still, when you’re setting up your individual information in Google+, there’s a invest every field to specify with which circles that information is shared. As an example, I have my telephone number set around only be visible by friends and family, but I’ve my profession set to be visible by every one of my circles. It is 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 are able to filter the information by circles with only one click. It works very well, and you can color me impressed.
Another unique feature in Google+ is the idea of a hangout. A hangout is simply a movie chat room, where you could 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 begin with hangouts, you are asked to download and install the ” Google Voice and Video plugin”, and then you definitely have to discover a friend who is on Google+ (and is in one of your circles) who is willing to complete exactly the same thing. However, once you’re finished with all of the, the streaming video seems to work flawlessly as long as you have a good internet connection. Even through the limited resources of a laptop, I didn’t come across any hiccups. Once again, I’m impressed.
With all its clean look and smooth operation, there are some features which can be conspicuously missing from Google+. Most notably by the writing of this article, Google+ lacks any way to create an account fully for a company or organization (called “Pages” on Facebook). In fact, Google is actively taking down standard user accounts which can be put up for organizations. They claim that they’re working on some sort of platform for business accounts, but demand is high, so they risk alienating new users when they take too long. Another conspicuously absent feature is just a method of creating an event, or any kind of calendar entry for that matter.