What is Google+ anyway?
Well basically it’s just another social networking platform like Facebook. Google’s reputation in providing social networking products is somewhat marred with many finding little reason to move from an already very popular social networking site.
Do we need another social networking site?
We do seem to be inundated with an array of social networking sites, and considering our main goal is to stay in touch with friends and family online, we are therefore likely to stick with the one our mates do. Complaints about social networking sites such as Facebook have many centred on issues such as privacy or the use of social networks altogether. In my opinion, no we don’t have a large gap in the market where people are just waiting for a new social networking site. On the contrary, I think we are a little less bothered about investing the time into changing when the one we currently use works just fine.
What’s different about this one?
Basically Google+ attempts to offer its users a more adaptable and flexible method of communication. They claim to make online sharing less awkward and more fluid. Google+ will be socially compatible with other Google products such as Gmail, Picasa and Google Maps so you can share information between your friends without having to sign in to different services.
As well as the Stream which is fundamentally the same as Facebook’s news feed, Google+ will add another 4 elements to the Google+ profile – Circles, Hangouts, Huddle and Sparks. Circles enable you to separate contacts into different groups and share information and photos with them accordingly. For example, if you don’t want your family to hear about your drunken night out then you can group your friends into a circle and share information solely with them.
Hangouts is essentially video calling but with more than 2 people which may prove useful for some but not for others. Huddle however seems to be a particularly useful addition with its ability to have a group conversation by text. I am sure you know how difficult it can get when you try and arrange a night out or group meeting with more than one person by text. It can get confusing and incredibly frustrating, especially if friends have their own ideas of what to do! Well Huddle allows you to plan these things as a group allowing you to concentrate your efforts on other things.
Sparks basically allows you to select your interests so that you receive relevant information that may interest you. When you get bored, you can deselect the interest. No spam though please!
Will it catch on?
Well Google+ certainly has the ingredients for a very nice pie, but is it enough for the huge overhaul of trying to get all your current contacts to move across to Google+? Probably not. I think most of us realise that we spend far more time then we would like on these social networking sites, and the prospect of joining another one may not be too attractive a concept.