Google+: A social network by Google, this time they mean it

Google announced a new social project, but this time they’re serious. Google+ will be the social network that Google expects to catch on this time, and it’s the service that they’re been rumored to be developing for over a year. It takes all your Google contacts and adds a level of sharing and organization that makes the Google experience more social than ever.

The basic sharing mechanism is Circles. Circles is a nifty drag and drop interface for organizing friends into groups, and from the interactive tour on the site, seems to understand that this should be smooth, quick and painless ordeal, instead of a chore. Hangout is an area where you can digitally “hang out” with your contacts that are online, via, chat, voice or video and you can join other groups of people that are hanging out as well (if they want you to, of course). Huddle seems to be a more structured and tectual version of Hangout, allowing you to consolidate multiple chat sessions into one shared session. Instant Upload is going to drive the mobile side of this new network, whereby every picture and video you take from your Android phone will automatically sync with your Google+ account, and will be shared to whomever you specify. Last (for now) is Sparks, which is basically an extension of Google Reader, which allows the service to find things for you that align with your inputted interests.

Here’s a video that describes some of the features:

So, what is Google+? Is it an overhauled iGoogle? Is it the reincarnation of Google Buzz? Is Orkut going to be involved in this? How will all my other Google services align with this one? What about the Google +1 project? These are all questions that Google will have to answer eventually. As of now, the project is invite only, and there’s no link to ask for an invitation. You can only be notified by email for another expansion of membership.

This isn’t Google’s first attempt at a social network, not by a long shot, and the tech world is understandably skeptical any time Google tries doing one. This one could be different, but it could go down in flames. You really never know with Google.

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Android users, IMO, should be automatically invited. The Android userbase is pretty large as is so getting them on the Google+ bandwagon would certainly help kickstart the platform.

Google + for Android

https://market.android.com/det...om.google.android.apps.plus

Description
Real-life sharing rethought for mobile.
Google+ (Google Plus) is still in active development and not yet available to everyone. You need an invitation to sign in.
Google+ for mobile makes sharing the right things with the right people a lot simpler. Huddle lets you send super-fast messages to the people you care about most. With your permission, Instant Upload automatically puts the photos and videos you take into a private album in the cloud, so you can share them anytime, from anywhere. And no matter where you are, the stream lets you stay in the loop about what your friends are sharing and where they're checking in.
Features:
* Circles let you share the right things with just the right people.
* Stream is where you can get updates from your circles or see what people are saying about things nearby.
* Instant Upload automatically uploads videos and photos to your own private album in the cloud, to make sharing a snap.
* Huddle is super-fast group messaging for everyone in your circles.

From the pictures I have seen of this it looks like each Circle has it's own stream, which would be a really nice feature as you could read for example status updates on just friends. Facebook tends to get cluttered up with everything in one list. Had been awesome if that includes the possibility to post something to just one Circle too.

In any case, I will surely give this a shot when I get an invite.

This will probably be much more usable than Facebook is. I hope it catches on. What I hate about Facebook is that it just vomits pretty much everything in your face. I would rather have things like apps and company pages appear somewhere else rather than in between whatever my friends are posting.

I also really hope that Google won't implement some sort of like button because that crap just encourages people to like everything without contributing anything.

I am actually looking forward to this. Some features like Hangout and the fact that google just elimated the default click and select method to click and dragging to create circles is nice. If it was a public beta would be great though Facebook is the same thing all day if my friends werent on it I wouldnt use it as well.

Rather wish Google would take on eBay right now instead. I don't think the world needs another social networking site, but more competition for sites like eBay would be nice.

Integrate Facebook YouTube twitter google search and chat protocols, that would be best site which does social networking. I can't afford to leave them for New one and make my friends use it along me ...

What's annoying is that they're changing the whole search UI just because of this project, which will invariably fail. Most people just prefer to use text than video chat. Also, calling a friends list "circle" doesn't make it something new. There's no room in social networking for two. Just focus on search, maps and gmail.

another fail
just kill it before you start it and waste a lot of money and effort
stick to what you know best google

I've liked some of their previous beta products that never went anywhere... The problem was that no one really needed the features being offered and just didn't bother using them.

buletov said,
Can you put one friend to several circles? Not according to that demo... Lame.

I didn't see that you couldn't do that, but I agree with you that this ability would be critical!

Waste of time (not for google) but for me to use social network... This model will eventually die just like myspace and facebook will probably die if it does not change.

love everything about this. I cannot wait to try it... Facebook has grown so boring... it's all the same crap... so I'm hoping Google+ just works, and the fact that it's integrated with my Google Account, I'm more than sold.

Google seems to have put forth a lot more effort into this compared to Buzz, Orkut, and their other efforts... They're taking their time... first they came out with +1, now G+.

Hangouts ? are they serious ? Who wants a video conference where anyone can just drop in ? And who ever talks louder gets the central spot ? LOL ? Is this a joke Google ? And CIRCLES ... hello Google, I'm sorry to burst your bubble but friend lists exist since like forever ? You can call them "Circles" or whatever you want, they're absolutely nothing new. Huddle is cool though!

hm, i like it. i didn't understand wave and i never got into buzz (too inconvenient since it was only through webbased gmail), and i never bothered with orkut. this, if it's as intuitive and simple as they make it seem on tv, could grow to be a hit. i like being able to control the privacy and the 'circle' i'm in without it overlapping with others. facebook settings adjustment took a toll on me and i eventually stopped using it.

Whoa! Now that is cool .... some people (albeit there are 750+ mil facebook users) don't get it... I think this new interaction will be very popular. However, I do think they should have integration with facebook, wlm, etc for it to really succeed!

Take it this is very heavily reliant on html5/css3 .. so we won't be seeing it any time soon....

Mikeparkie said,
Competition is good, facebook seems stale, maybe i just want something new to play with.

The problem is that it's not just about you. But if you want to try it out, good luck in convincing your friends to move to Google+. I wonder how Google will solve this problem. "Nah, move to this nework instead! You just need to get your family and friends to move to it, that's it!"

Mikeparkie said,
Competition is good, facebook seems stale, maybe i just want something new to play with.

Yeah but when Facebook changes something, we also complain. We don't want Facebook to be stale, but we complain when Facebook changes the News Feed or something... And someone creates a "I Hate This and This Facebook Change" Fan Page.

Anyway, you got my point, and onto the meat: Facebook has yet to rollout the new Messages. They also purchased DropBox, so that's something -- maybe a way to add files to Facebook Groups?

Northgrove said,

The problem is that it's not just about you. But if you want to try it out, good luck in convincing your friends to move to Google+. I wonder how Google will solve this problem. "Nah, move to this nework instead! You just need to get your family and friends to move to it, that's it!"

now that skype is property of microsoft, and yer, they havent done anything on it, people are still using it, mainly because 3.8 is still supported, if microsoft make a new version, say 6.0 .. or 7.. or 8 to support their OS numbers .. idk .. and they drop support for anything previous people will most likely leave, because some of them are so limited, they barely see beyond their nose .. and then changes will force people to move to something different, now probanly 99% of bulgaria is using skype, they will most likely move to yahoo or live messenger if this happens

the other thing i have in mind for skype is that microsoft will enhance it for mobile and console and the desktop version is still the same ugly one ..

im just wondering how will microsoft develop a linux version ... i think they will drop it and probably just leave that 2.2 beta for them to use, which will be the biggest mockery linux users had in a long time.. since they realized they need wine to get somehow closer to windows

Facebook and Google don't care about privacy. I'll stick to using Diaspora who actually know the meaning of the words privacy aware.

zikalify said,
Facebook and Google don't care about privacy. I'll stick to using Diaspora who actually know the meaning of the words privacy aware.

So Diaspora has an active user after all!

Northgrove said,

So Diaspora has an active user after all!
Yup, it actually has quite a number however we dont go shouting about it really as its not feature complete and therefore dont want to give off a bad impression but the devs are bringing new features and fixing stuff regularly

Proculsi said,
I like they focus on what facebook fails.

Facebook fails at friend list-limited status updates? The only unique feature I could see here was group video chat.

Northgrove said,

Facebook fails at friend list-limited status updates? The only unique feature I could see here was group video chat.
Don't you think that's an easy fix for Facebook? Voice/Video chat is coming soon to FB as well.

Skwerl said,
Yet more social network crap. When will this end?

I guess while people are snapping it up like they are with Facebook competition will never end. It is the same with everything in life whilst something is making money their will also be someone trying to make something slightly better.

Skwerl said,
Yet more social network crap. When will this end?
You do realise you are kind of social networking at the moment don't you? By contributing to a community on a blog... No one is asking you to get involved. Seems to me we have FB & Google haters; then we have the tin foil hat brigade. I see no problem in opt-in social networking; the internet is used on a daily basis and nearly everyone has either a laptop or smartphone attached to them.

It's just a natural progression that people will begin to network via the internet. Google+ looks ok to me; some great ideas there but I can't imagine people will jump from FB.

r3stle55 said,
You do realise you are kind of social networking at the moment don't you? By contributing to a community on a blog... No one is asking you to get involved. Seems to me we have FB & Google haters; then we have the tin foil hat brigade. I see no problem in opt-in social networking; the internet is used on a daily basis and nearly everyone has either a laptop or smartphone attached to them.

It's just a natural progression that people will begin to network via the internet. Google+ looks ok to me; some great ideas there but I can't imagine people will jump from FB.

Facebook will go the way of Myspace sooner or later. The internet is a fickle place.

LordBattleBeard said,
Facebook will go the way of Myspace sooner or later. The internet is a fickle place.
I thought that a few years ago...

I honestly can see it stickin' around for many years to come. In the past few years it has even managed to bridge the age gap (older users etc.) and I think, a key point with FB - it enables people to stay in touch worldwide (a lot of families now have siblings/relations who live abroad).

Also the FB Connect stuff and Band/Artist/Place pages just add to its resource - of course it is also riddled with spam/games and other nonsense but so is everything on the net!

Skwerl said,
Yet more social network crap. When will this end?

Never. Social networking has allowed me to stay in touch with many people I would not be able to otherwise. It's an amazing innovation, and will continue to shape our internet and cluture. We are now a connected people.. globally. That isn't going away.

MS Lose32 said,
As much as I like Google, I don't think I'll be using any social network from them.

Much truth. Facebook has recognition and a widespread userbase; people stick with Facebook because of the inherent nature of having a majority of friends on one social network. You may cry "MySpace", but unless if Facebook makes you pay for site usage, compromises its user privacy, or somehow collapses, Google+ will not overtake it.

It doesn't take much to reach this conclusion. Just imagine yourself in the shoes of an outgoing teenager.

MS Lose32 said,
As much as I like Google, I don't think I'll be using any social network from them.

I think they will force users to join G+ after months of staying in invitation only phase, information, promotional campaigns - of course in Google style, which means youll get profile (or whatever this will be called) without noticing anything, like with Buzz - by autoenable.

Read the title, and thought.. "Not again Google.".

But I watched that video, and they've definitely got something going. I can see the advantages over other social networking sites, and there could be a niche market here... there is for me! However, there are alos issues .
Can't wait to try.

Tjcrazy said,

But I watched that video, and they've definitely got something going.

Agreed, but I think all this will do is give Facebook the idea to do "Groups" in some fashion. 8P

I like the circle metaphor a lot for many reasons. Win.

Why not just merge Buzz, Wave, Talk and Latitude in to Orkut, and boom a social network rather than this fragmented strategy they've got going

thealexweb said,
Why not just merge Buzz, Wave, Talk and Latitude in to Orkut, and boom a social network rather than this fragmented strategy they've got going
Its important they remain unfocused. Haven't you seen the wonders this strategy did to Windows Mobile?
The more unfocused they are, the more products they make. Simply, more stuff for their employees to work on. /s

FMH said,
Its important they remain unfocused. Haven't you seen the wonders this strategy did to Windows Mobile?
The more unfocused they are, the more products they make. Simply, more stuff for their employees to work on. /s

That /s is very important! I thought you were serious!