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.

What the new instalment of Google’s social media takeover campaign does bring to the table is a new structure to the sharing process. Google+’s most prominent feature is Circles, a sharing and grouping process that allows you to create circles of friends that fit into different categories. Ideally this means sharing stuff with Mom or Dad, and something else with your coworkers will be quick and easy because your contacts will be neatly placed into circles. Easier to use and more aesthetically pleasing than other grouping devices on other social media sites (cough Facebook), Circles will only be a success if people feel the need to share in a more private fashion. Sharing and posting on Facebook and Twitter revolve around a very public sphere. Google is banking on the idea that people will want to move into a more private setting when it comes to sharing things online. Another fundamental problems is that “relationships aren’t binary”. They are in constant change, consequently, leading to a constant change in Circles and in turn, to an unreliability in the system. People may just end up with huge friends, family, and coworkers Circles that do not really serve to differentiate groups.

 

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.

Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • Also, watch this video to get a quick look at what it’s all about: http://youtu.be/xwnJ5Bl4kLI

  • Also, watch this video to get a quick look at what it’s all about: http://youtu.be/xwnJ5Bl4kLI

  • brad says:

    looks cool. i signd up for an invite so hopefully i can check it out for myself soon

  • brad says:

    looks cool. i signd up for an invite so hopefully i can check it out for myself soon

  • Jbv286 says:

    I still like Facebook much more. Everyone is on it. These networks thrive because of the people that are on them (of course, the technology and features matter too), but people love them because they can find everything there. I find it hard to believe that a company will be able to transfer everyone over to their site during the same time everyone is on it. I know Facebook did it with myspace, but we’re in a completely different place now.

  • Jbv286 says:

    I still like Facebook much more. Everyone is on it. These networks thrive because of the people that are on them (of course, the technology and features matter too), but people love them because they can find everything there. I find it hard to believe that a company will be able to transfer everyone over to their site during the same time everyone is on it. I know Facebook did it with myspace, but we’re in a completely different place now.

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