Google has launched a demo version of its new social network product called Google+ which aims to “fix” the “broken” and “awkward way” people interact and share things online. The “subtlety and substance of real-world interactions are lost in the rigidness of our online tools,” Vic Gundotra, senior vice-president of engineering, wrote in Google’s official blog post. “We’d like to bring the nuance and richness of real-life sharing to software. We want to make Google better by including you, your relationships, and your interests”.
Built around four features – Circles, Sparks, Hangout and Huddle, Google+ is an invite only service. It lets users post photos, messages, comments and other content from selected groups of friends. The +Circle concept is already becoming a talkable stuff. “Share what matters, with the people who matter most” – with Google+ Circles you can create your own social spheres, including friends, parents, relatives, acquaintances, colleagues and contacts in different circles. This gives you the freedom to choose with whom you want to share a particular information, thus striking out the other groups from the conversation.
“The problem is that today’s online services turn friendship into-fast food wrapping everyone in ‘friend’ paper- and sharing really suffers,” Google in its official blog said. Calling this “sloppy, scary and insensitive”, the search engine said people want to connect with only certain people at certain times, while “online, we hear from everyone all the time.”
Now, what happens if you don’t have any topic to share with your Google+circles? Here comes +Sparks which is the online sharing engine. It sorts stories and articles by topic together in one area for you to talk about. “Thanks to Google’s web expertise, Sparks delivers a feed of highly contagious content from across the Internet. On any topic you want, in over 40 languages. Simply add your interests, and you’ll always have something to watch, read and share—with just the right circle of friends”, added Google in its blog.
Google+ also lets users make video calls and chats with numerous friends online, and the best part about it is – you don’t have to ping your friends to know whether or not they are free for chat. “Hangout lets you stop by when you’re free, and spend time with your Circles. Face-to-face-to-face.” The “Huddle” feature lets users send text messages to everyone inside a circle at once.
Google+ is seen by many as a Facebook imitation, however, Mr Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, at the Allen & Co media conference in Sun Valley told the reporters why Google+ is not a Facebook Knockoff “If you read the reviews, people seem to understand that it’s somewhat different from Facebook,” he said. “We have a somewhat different view of privacy. The privacy defaults are different, the way we handle it is different.”