Finally, Google has unveiled its giant social network, Google+ ( Google plus ), which is all ready to set fire on stage. This top secret social layer of the company is a culmination of a year-long project directed by Google’s senior vice president of social, Vic Gundotra. With minimal field tests and being delayed several times, the search giant’s new social project is expected to be omnipresent on its products, as a result of the completely redesigned navigation bar. Now, the gray strip on top of every Google page has been turned black and is equipped with many new options for accessing Google+ user profiles, viewing notifications and sharing content straight away. More interestingly, this notification system is quite analogous to Facebook’s policy of handling notifications.
What Google+ Has To Offer?
Google+ is a minimalist design with plenty of white spaces but is not overwhelmed by its too many features. It is easy to navigate, and the icons speak for themselves. The core of Google+ is the Stream that does not bring anything new to the table and is more like Google Buzz or Facebook News Feed. Google+ Circles are well implemented and quite easy, as compared to creating a Twitter List or a Facebook Friend List. Moreover, simple drag and drop functionality is a beautiful addition in this network. The profiles port the existing data on Google user Profile and include a Tabs feature that allows users to add content from their Google Buzz.
Google+ Hangouts is another innovative concept by the company, which is a fresh approach for getting users to accept group video chat. Then Google+ Photos is primarily Facebook photos, but with a photo editor, which is quick, well-organized and help create simple ways to make pictures more “artistic” and personalized. The mobile version of Google+ is simple and has two unique features, instant photo uploads, and Google+ Huddle. Though instant photo uploads is an exciting addition, auto-uploading the photos for privacy reasons may be a tricky job and Huddle is a group-texting feature for Circles that users create, but this isn’t too exciting.
Google games product seems quite exciting and is pretty clear. Although Google can always choose to scrap a Google+ Games product before the launch, who knows what will happen here, due to the reasons being Zynga, the creator of FarmVille, CityVille, and many other social games. Last year, the company invested more than $100 million in Zynga, and as per sources, this investment was designed to be part of a great partnership. Zynga is expected to file for its IPO in a few days, and there will be a few references to what kind of organizations it is exploring with the search giant.
There Are Ways To Get On Google+
There are many ways to get on Google+, the omnipresent search engine’s foray into social networking, especially if you have not got an invite via the circles share exploit, which is working quite sporadic. The first way is through the iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. In Safari on Apple devices, you can directly point your mobile browser to “plus.google.com.” in case, you are using a Mac, then set Safari’s user agent as a portable version and then tap on Sign In. A Signup form will be loaded to join Google+ that prompts for your name and gender. Apart from this, you can also join Google+ with a regular Gmail account.
As you sign in, you may be redirected to the mobile version of Google Buzz, and in this case, you can log in with the credentials that you have created on the mobile to the desktop version of Google+ on the PC. Once you are on Google+, you can check “Getting Started with Google+” guide. Moreover, if you feel like getting started with Google+, check out nine Reasons to switch from Facebook to Google+. You can also try using the Google Chrome browser for downloading this Chrome app. After installation, click on Google+ icon in a new tab and you can then login and sign up for the service. Last but not the least, a workaround found by Andy Rowe, allows you to link to your profile that takes you directly to a signup page, especially if you are not on Google+ already.
Google Plus & Facebook
The long awaited Google+ looks a lot like Facebook. Now, is it right or not? Let’s find out…. Although the services by Google+ will initially be available to a selected group of Google users, they soon will be able to invite others, share and discuss status updates, photos, links and lots more. When people post on Facebook, which is usually unavailable to search engines, Google loses valuable information that could benefit its web search and advertising. Moreover, Google has always been criticized for misunderstanding the importance of social information on the web, while competitors like Twitter and Facebook are already leaping ahead.
This project is different from Facebook in one significant way; that is, it allows users to share with small groups like college roommates, colleagues or even hiking friends. Moreover, it offers group text messaging, and video chat and Google expects that this will be enough to influence people for using this social networking service.
In a nutshell, Google+ is a bold and dramatic attempt, which made the company call it a “project,” rather than a “product.” And is not a Facebook killer or a game changer. Though Google+ cannot compete with the king of social, as of right now, if it can persuade users to come back every day, it will win the game.
The Indian Face Behind Google+
Google’s senior vice president, engineering, Vic Gundotra was the former Microsoft veteran of Indian origin who led Google’s efforts at social media including Buzz. His Google+ profile says “Fell in love with the power of software at age 11, and am still in love.” He is the man behind this substantial social project. This social network is an innovation king, as it allows you to form elite circles of friends. You can add your location to every post, upload photos and can even enjoy group messaging for a play or party – with a mobile version on the anvil.