Google has announced its plans to jump back into the social networking bandwagon with Google+. If anyone remembers Google Buzz, you may be thinking that this is just another attempt for the company to try and dominate the one market they have failed to in the past.
With today’s announcement, it looks like Google finally understands the social networking niches and is ready to take on Facebook with new features, functionality and redefining how we use social networking as a whole.
An Introduction To Google+
Google+ is a platform that lets you interact in new ways with family, friends, coworkers and more. Google has begun testing its features amongst a select number of users. While only a handful of features have been released to the public with the initial announcement, Google+ will be adding 100s of features over time to make this social network one of a kind.
Google plans to make sure the functionality of the platform can be used on the go starting with Android and eventually making its way to other phones and mobile devices..
What features does Google+ offer?
Google released the details of some features of Google+ for the site itself and for the mobile application. More features will roll out in time and as they do, we will be sure to bring you the latest updates on Google+ and what it has to offer. The Google+ Bar will display across all Google pages and allow you to instantly connect to your profile and see what is going on in your Stream.
The Stream is the main bundle Google+ has to offer. There are three parts to it: The left, main and right. The left stream has your photo, link to your profile, streams, circles, incoming, notifications, sparks and chat. Incoming is a neat feature that you can choose to read posts from people who are not your friends.
The main stream is where you will see the content shared specifically with you from friends, groups and posts you have made recently. The +1 button will share with those following you what you like as your browse the Internet. The right stream allows you to create hangouts, check out your circles and where Google+ will suggest people you may want to connect to.
Now, let us take a look at the features Google announced today.
Major features of Google+ include:
Circles allows you to share information with specific groups of people. On most current social networking sites, you share a tidbit with everyone who is your friend or follower. With Google+ you can opt to share certain information with a single Circle. Friends can be added into circles you create to making sharing bits and pieces of your life more appropriate with the Circles you choose to share with.
Sparks is how you find information in Google+. Using Google’s +1 technology, search engine and other sources, you can add interests to your Sparks to find out the latest news, videos and information. You will always have something to enjoy once you add interests to Sparks. News stories, videos, pictures and more will be at your fingertips based on your interests.
Hangouts is perhaps one of the niftiest features Google+ has to offer at the moment. Hangouts allow you to create a video chat room and to let your friends know you are “hanging out.” Once they know you are there, they can join you to talk face-to-face. Hangouts can hold up to 10 friends at once, so you have the opportunity to get together with family, friends or coworkers.
While using Hangouts, Google can shift seamlessly from one video feed to the next based on who is talking at the time which always lets you know who is taking the spotlight when you are hanging out together.
Features of Google+ mobile include:
Instant upload gives Google+ users an easy way to share photos and video from a mobile phone. As long as you are logged into your Google+ account, as soon as you finish taking a photo or shooting a video, it is automatically uploaded to your stream for you.
You have the chance to edit, tag, comment and pick what Circles the media is shared with on your Google+ account the next time you login. You will even be reminded when you login so you never lose a photo or video the Internet again.
Huddles allow Google+ users to connect on mobile phones without having to hold individual conversations. By huddling with your friends, you can turn individual chats with different people into one group chat. So if you want to go the movies or dinner with friends, you can all talk amongst yourselves to decide on what movie to see or what restaurant to meet up at. This makes planning get togethers and other events much simpler than having to text everyone involved separately.
Will Google+ be a threat to Facebook?
If it too early to tell if Google will in fact be able to compete with Facebook and other social networking sites like Twitter. Facebook is attempting to take the best of other platforms and bring them all together in one place, along with adding its own take to the social networking world. As more features are released and eventually Google+ goes live, perhaps it will offer a way to connect with those we value the most in life easier.
If Google can find a way to make its Google+ the one stop shop for social networking, it just may take down Facebook and anybody else who wants to try and be the next big social platform on the Internet.
Check out the Google+ landing page to get more information.