The sun seems to be shinning on Google. After only a few days, they exceeded the limit of invitations to their new project, Google+ and were forced to shut down the invite mechanism because of an “insane demand” as their VP of Social, Vic Gundotra,put it. What does this mean for Google and their new social media project? It could possibly mean that Google has finally developed a viable social media platform that may actually be able to compete against bigwigs like Facebook and Twitter. It could also turn out to be a bust like earlier platforms Buzz and Wave.
But enough about Circles, Google+ is offering some other new and really interesting features. Sparks allows you to input topics of interest and Google will compile websites and videos that you might find interesting. Hangouts provides opportunities to set up live video chats that are simultaneously set up for instant sharing, for example, YouTube videos can be shared inside the chat allowing all participants to watch and, of course, talk about it later. Check out the above links to see videos on both.
Finally, there are the mobile aspects of Google+. To start off, Google+ allows you to instantly upload pictures from your phone to a secure album on your Google profile. With Instant Upload the hassle of getting photos from your phone to online is simplified. Later, you’ll be able to create an album. Google has also developed a group messaging feature that allows for group messaging on mobile devices. Called Huddles, the feature is already in existence in the form of many apps available for every mobile device. However, this feature allows you to access already created Circles, facilitating communication among groups in an instant. Huddles seems to be the first step, of hopefully further expansion, by Google into the mobile social media world, an undeniably powerful facet of the social media industry.
Google+ has also incorporated notifications, not surprisingly similar to those on Facebook, that according to early testers really works at pulling people back in. Tech Crunch has shown approval of the new “project” and agree that it’s something they may keep coming back to. However, the ultimate success of the system will depend on how many people decide to join in and mostly how many people can influence friends to also start using Google+.
As a last note, those hoping to get a chance to start playing with Google+ may have to wait a while. To keep you entertained in the meantime, Business Insider has developed a great slide show of the similarities between Facebook and Google+. Not surprisingly, you may find yourself forgetting which one is which.
What are your thoughts on Google+? Fan? Foe? For it? Against it? Let us know in the comments below.