Google Plus, The New Social Network
Google, the search engine giant that everyone loves to hate, released a brand new social network last week. Called Google Plus or Google +, it is on limited trial at the moment, which means you cannot get in yet. Unless you have already received an invite. For now, you can sign up to be notified when they are officially launched, and it is a good idea to get in early.
It is Google’s latest attempt in gaining some market share in the social network area. Here is how Google explains the new service:
We realize that today people are increasingly connecting with one another on the web. But the ways in which we connect online are limited and don’t mimic our real-life relationships. The Google+ project is our attempt to make online sharing even better. We aren’t trying to replace what’s currently available; we just want to introduce a new way to connect online with the people that matter to you.
What Is Google Plus?
There are 5 main Google Plus features: Circles, Hangouts, Instant Upload, Sparks and Huddle.
Circles allows you to group friends, family, and various associates into groups. Nothing new, but it is a great way to keep your professional and private life separate. Unlike Facebook, which is more open and where if you wanted to keep things private, you have build a private page or group.
While most social networks are about sharing with a wide audience, the direction Google has gone is in the other direction. The idea behind circles is that you share different things with different people.
As Google says,”The easiest way to share some things with college buddies, others with your parents and almost nothing with your boss.”
Hangouts lets you chat up to 10 users simultaneously on video chat with each other, face-to-face. You can let your friends know where you are online and they can drop in for a video chat. This is unavailable on Facebook. There are times when it is necessary to talk face to face with people to get your idea across.
Google Plus will keep a feed of content that is based on your interests which you can view at any time and then share with your friends who have the same interests. That is kind of what Sparks does. It looks for videos and articles that it thinks you will like, so that when you have the time there is always something to watch, read and share.
This is the Google way to ensure that all the photos you take on your phone are easily uploaded and shared. Your photos are added to your private album in the cloud. This way they are readily available to your devices and ready to share as you see fit.
Huddle turns texting into a group chat tool within Google Plus for having private conversations with your friends. Say you wanted to get a group of friends to go somewhere. You can use this feature directly from your phone on an Android 2 or iPhone 4.
Ownership Of Content
The Google Plus Terms of Service states “You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services.”