Hello Google Plus, Goodbye Facebook

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Google, having failed at social networking repeatedly, is desperate to make its mark in this Facebook-dominated market. With Google Plus (or Google+), looks like the big G has finally got it right. Amidst the falling popularity of Facebook and Myspace, seems like Google has found the perfect time and product to take the social Internet to a whole new level. Trust me on this one folks, if Google does it right this time, they’re really going to pawn the hell out of Facebook. Let’s take a quick look at Google Plus and some of its features, and then find out how it is better than Facebook:

What’s Google Plus?

Google Plus is Google’s new product, which aims at connecting and bringing people together in a more organized manner. The project is built to simplify connections between people by keeping communications real and relevant. Google + has been touted as a Facebook competitor as it offers almost everything that Facebook lacks. Only time will tell whether Google would be able to edge out a big player like Facebook.

Google+ Killer Features

Circles: When you share something on Facebook, you are sharing it with everyone, I mean literally everyone you’ve ever known in your life. This includes your aunt, your girlfriend, your parents and even your children. Now, there are some things you’d rather not share with everyone, in other words, you want to share, but share it with only a select group of people. This is where Facebook fails and Google+ wins.

Google Plus includes a great feature called Google Circles. Circles lets the user share specific data with a select ‘circle’ of friends. For example, if you want to share a link to the cool new Vim plugin you wrote, you can share it with your circle of Vim fanboys. Your Emacs-loving friends won’t know a thing about it.
Another cool aspect about circles is that you get to filter out a lot of noise. Let’s say you have 500 friends on Facebook. Now, everyone keeps bothering you with the silliest of updates like their relationships, parties and stuff like that. Google Circles addresses that problem by filtering out all that noise by allowing you to see what you want to see. For example, if you want to see updates from your fellow Linux fanboys only, you can simply access that circle to see what’s been going on in the penguinland. With Circles you can share photos, videos and updates just like in Google Buzz. Moreover, adding/removing people from circles is as easy as dragging and dropping an icon.

Sparks: Sparks is sort of a combination of Facebook and Stumbleupon. This feature, which is a part of Google Plus, brings to you links relevant to topics you care about. Say you want to know more about Giant Grizzly Bears, Google Sparks will bring popular and relevant blog posts, articles, photos and videos to your doorstep. You can share these links within your Circle and even start a conversation about them.

Hangouts: This is another great feature in the Google Plus project. It allows up to 10 friends to hangout online via real-time video anywhere in the world. Once a hangout is created, friends can pop in and out anytime making getting together really fun. Let’s hope there aren’t any major privacy bugs here, otherwise things could get really creepy.

Will Google Plus kill Facebook?

Looks like it will. As far as the demos and reviews go, Google+ is already a winner. Now, the most important thing here is how users will take it. Google has a bad track record as far as social media is concerned.

Both Google Wave and Google Buzz generated a lot of attention and curiosity before their launch. However, once they were released to the public, they turned out to be total failures. Furthermore, Google’s premier social site Orkut was knocked out cold by Facebook, leaving Google as a complete unknown in the social domain. If Google+ turns out as good as most early reviews are telling, then, there is no better time than this to make it big.

To learn more about Google+, you may go HERE.

Written by: Abhishek, a regular TechSource contributor and a long-time FOSS advocate.

1 comment

  1. AnonymousJuly 03, 2011

    One has only to answer the question of his/her sanity in giving Google still more details about private life ...