Google recently launched its own social network to a selected few and what has been leaked so far looks promising:
It has many features and it may be a bit overwhelming to start with but Google has anticipated this confusion and launched educational videos for each feature on their YouTube Channel.
Google+ has features that have been lacking on Facebook for a while. For example the feature “Circles” lets you group your friends into “colleagues”, “school friends” “besties” – whatever you want to call a circle. The great thing about circles is that you can for example share your embarrassing drunken photos from the weekend with your uni friends only. Nobody will get fired again over some wild parties on the weekend which conflict with the accounting role somebody holds during the week.
Here is a video explaining circles:
There is also a feature called “Sparks” which lets you “nerd out.together” as Google puts it. Spark lets you choose from a list of possible interests and you can also add interests not provided on the list. The feature then gathers info based on your selected interests from the web. This content then can be shared with friends (all or a selected few) and it will show up in your friends “Stream” (which is the Facebook News Feed). Watch the video to see it in action yourself:
There are heaps of other features and you will find that there is quite a similarity to Facebook but also there are some features which you probably missed in Facebook.
Overall, Google+ looks really promising at this stage and it seems easy to use, intuitive and packed with features. It brings together the best Google technology and could probably not have come at a better time considering how Facebook has been rumored to have lost millions of users recently.
Google+ mobile apps also complement the online network nicely. According to PC World, the Google+ Android app brings the main parts of Google+ to a mobile device, see image below.
From your mobile you can easily post notes, comments on others streams and the app lets you add your location to any post or comment.
Another app, which is also a feature of the main Google+ app called “Huddle” function lets you chat with a group of friends.
Google+ including the mobile app has pretty much all the functions you would expect from a social network and mobile app and thanks to Facebook and other social networks which launched earlier Google developed something almost perfect.
Here is the video to see the mobile app in action:
I have got Google+ now and spent all morning playing with it and it is serious fun to explore all the features. The only downside really is the hassle of migrating all your data from Facebook over to Google+… are you really willing to do this? I am actually not sure at this stage…