Google Launches Social Network

Posted in News

google_social Google has jumped into social networking with their own network: Google Plus. When co-founder Larry Page took the helm of Google in June, he promised to prioritize social networking. As Facebook and Twitter continue to explode, Google looked to become part of the social networking boom.

One of the differentiator’s Google boasts is the ability to organize your friends and contacts into circles based on the nature of the relationship. This allows you to share some posts with friends, others with family and still others with co-workers.

Google states that sharing everything with everyone is: sloppy, scary and insensitive. Instead, Google Plus (Google+) was created for “giving you more ways to stay private and go public… more meaningful choices around your friends and your data.”

Similar to Facebook in structure, Google Plus has news feeds, profile pictures and the like. The core difference is that while Facebook lumps all your friends into one heap, Google Plus allows you to set up circles of friends that you define yourself, deciding who goes in which circle. Then, when you are ready to share information or photos, you can be selective about who sees it.

An added bonus to this enhanced user-driven functionality, according to Google, is that it enhances your level of privacy – a criticism Facebook has encountered for its come one-come all sharing mechanism.

Bradley Horowitz, Google’s Vice President of Product Management says, “In the online world there’s this ‘share box’ and you type into it and you have no idea who is going to get that, or where it’s going to land, or how it’s going to embarrass you six months from now.”

Other features of Google Plus include Sparks, Hangouts, Instant Upload and Huddle. Delivering a feed of great content from across the internet on any topic you want and in 40 different languages, Sparks allows you to customize your feed by specifying interests and then provides you with a stream of cool stuff to watch, read and share – with the circle of friends that you choose.

Hangouts is a virtual front porch or pub where you can meet up with a group of friends or family easily on-line. Live multi-person video allows you to stop by and meet with a circle of friends whenever you have time.

Instant Upload allows you to never leave a photo behind. When you snap photos with your mobile phone, Google Plus (with permission) adds your photos to a private album in the cloud. You can then access them from any of your devices and share them when you want and with who you want.

Huddle was developed to take the pain out of coordinating in real-time and real-life with friends and family. When you are making or changing plans, it can be a real hassle to try to text or call everyone you need to. Huddle is a group messaging experience that allows you to let everyone inside the circle know what’s going on.

Google Plus is still in its Field Trial stage and allowing people in by invite only. To take an interactive tour of Google Plus, request a spot in the trial or sign up for notifications about project status, visit www.google.com/+.

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