The Google+ Project: Google's social network

The Google+ Project: Google's social network

Summary: Google has finally taken the lid off its social networking effort: The Google+ Project, designed to bring the "subtlety and substance of real-world interactions" to "awkward" and "rigid" online communications and sharing.

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After many, many rumors, Google has finally taken the lid off its social networking effort: The Google+ Project, designed to bring the "subtlety and substance of real-world interactions" to "awkward" and "rigid" online communications and sharing. It's in "field trial" currently, with an invitation needed to access this early version

The Google+ Project tries to address the perceived shortcomings of networks like Facebook in a few ways, according to the official Google blog entry:

  • +Circles: Modern social networks make everyone a "friend," but most people keep their work lives, their family lives, and their social lives separate. So rather than make every single update go to every single person, just define which Circle everyone belongs to and share whatever you'd like with the audience it's intended for - without any danger of your boss accidentally seeing something they shouldn't.
  • +Sparks: Add your interests, and Google returns relevant content from across the web - and a few clicks will start a conversation about the link with the circles you choose.
  • +Hangouts: Flag yourself as available, and anyone who wants can initiate a live multi-user video or text chat with you. Google's promoting it as a lot more "casual" than traditional instant messaging and chat features since it's drop-in, drop-out according to availability.
  • +Mobile: Like Twitter, you can tag your posts to The Google+ Project with your location. But more interestingly, +Mobile will also add your smartphone pictures to the Google cloud in real-time to promote sharing. And you can send messages to entire Circles at once from the app. It's only available for the Android Market right now, but Google promises an Apple iTunes App Store release coming soon.

My invitation hasn't arrived yet (call me, Google), so I can't speak to the usefulness Google+ personally. But it seems like Google is trying to build a smaller, more personal social network that doesn't value massive amounts of friends so much as it does connecting with people you want to talk to.
Of course, that's exactly what Google's PR machine is getting at. There's no word on Google+'s privacy settings as of yet, which is going to be the question on a lot of people's lips. And despite the buzz (no pun intended) Google+ is sure to garner, it has its work cut out if it wants to take a chunk of Facebook's market share. But with a billion monthly visitors, Google's starting from a position of power.

Topics: Social Enterprise, Collaboration, Google, Networking

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24 comments
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  • Hangouts look pretty cool and well thought out.

    The rest seems ho-hum.
    Bruizer
    • Will end up like Google Wave

      Hype, bust, gone.
      LBiege
      • One of my favorites:

        @LBiege

        From their video demos page. BTW: The design looks very well done. Very un-Google like; and I say that in a nice way.

        <i>"Getting photos off your phone is a huge pain, so most of us don't even bother."</i>

        This is something you never hear someone say about an iOS product: Getting media on and off is hard.
        Bruizer
    • RE: The Google Project: Google's social network

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    • RE: The Google Project: Google's social network

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  • it's interesting to see what M$ will copy

    I can picture bing+(+) failing once again to copy the innovators.
    Linux Geek
    • RE: The Google Project: Google's social network

      @Linux Geek They already have social networking built into their search engine. They've had Facebook integration for months, and its been linked to Live since day 1. If anything, Google is copying Microsoft by trying to make their search more social ;)
      vel0city
    • Facebook? Apple with the auto-upload? nt

      @Linux Geek

      No Text
      Bruizer
  • Six months, then gone

    not Facebook, Google+.
    Will Pharaoh
  • Ahh..

    so this explains +1...
    Hasam1991
  • RE: The Google Project: Google's social network

    Facebook is using BING.
    Windows Phone 7 has a dedicated BING button.
    Microsoft just lunched Office 365.
    BING is slowly and steadily catching up.

    Google is nervous.
    Microsoft FTW!!!
    iluvmsft
  • So, maybe it's just me but...

    Google+ is here to replace a your Thursday night of having Facebook open on one page, being logged into Skype and browsing through reddit and Google News, all the while tweeting your thoughts? I kept thinking to myself, "jeez, if only someone could conglomerate these activities..."
    Courbs
    • RE: The Google Project: Google's social network

      @Courbs
      Yep. The auto-upload of all pictures/videos from my Android devices is just the icing on the cake. Only my "buddies" circle gets to see most of these, though!
      Droid101
  • Artificial Velvet Rope and Also Ran Tech

    Typical Google "We are in a limited beta" artificial velvet rope to drum up hype and anticipation. This generally is always followed up with either the product dying an ignoble death as a public failure like Google Wave, or quietly withering on the vine like Orkut.

    If only they offered something new and distinctive instead of the same rehashed ideas.
    Your Non Advocate
    • RE: The Google Project: Google's social network

      @facebook@...
      LOL. Coming from the guy named "Facebook." Face it, Facebook sucks until they allow you to mass export your contact information and pictures.
      Droid101
      • RE: The Google Project: Google's social network

        @Droid101 AFAIK this is already possible....
        http://donalhunt.blogspot.com/2010/11/want-to-export-all-your-facebook-data.html
        Bucky24
  • Google

    John Adams was the second President of the United States and is never considered "The Father of his Country" that is left to Washington. Amelia Earhart was the second person to fly the Atlantic "Solo" but when we think of crossing the Atlantic we think of Lindbergh, Edwin Aldrin was the second man on the moon yet we think of Armstrong, Elisha Gray filed his patent a few hours later than Bell and we can't remember what else he did.

    Facebook was first, second through one thousand doesn't matter. Why should I leave Facebook for + Google? Does anyone have a viable reason?
    hawc
    • RE: The Google Project: Google's social network

      @hawc
      So when I thikn smartphone I think Iphone but it was not the first smart phone, when I think car maker I think GMC and they were not the first car company, when I thikn light-bulb I think Edison but he was not the first to make it, so your point is void as long as they can mix it up so people like it then it will work.... Check out the video "Everything is a remix" good insight in this video.
      nickitnite
    • RE: The Google Project: Google's social network

      @hawc Facebook was far from first in most of what it does, and as far as I know it wasn't first in anything it does. Can you think of anything that it was first at? Just like iPod wasn't the first MP3 player. Momentum is more important than first.
      spambox2