From the ashes of “Buzz”, “Wave” and “Orkut” rises yet another attempt by Google to take over its arch rival Facebook; say hello to Google Plus. Google Plus, like any other aspiring Facebook competitor, plays up on the notion that Facebook does not provide as much privacy as people would like.
Google vice-president of Engineering, Vic Gundotra, went to the extent of referring to Facebook as sloppy, scary and insensitive in its approach towards social networking. Gundotra states that every activity on Facebook is almost a public performance and the element of privacy and selective sharing is lost. Google Plus will make sharing more “real-life” and “selective”.
There are several features about the Google Plus interface that definitely show promise. The “Circles” feature is based on the fact that people don’t have just one group of friends. Each of us has separate sets of friends and hence the interaction with each set differs greatly. With the “Circles” feature users can add different people to different groups and share in separate and unique ways.
Facebook has been talking about introducing video chat for a long time now; Google went ahead and did it. Google Plus ‘Hangout’ allows you to join a group of friends in a video chat with the click of a button. Until we perfect teleportation (or “Apparition” for all you Harry Potter geeks), the Hangout feature seems to be the best way to instantly ‘catch up’ with our friends.
Google Plus will soon be made available on the Android phone market. The ‘Huddle’ feature simplifies tasks for cell phone users by allowing them the message a group of people at the same time.
You didn’t think Google was going to let the “Facebook Like” button get away that easily, did you? Google has come up with the “Sparks” feature which is a twist on the “Like” button. If you find something that interests you, it can easily be put up on your profile.
The approach that Google has taken leaves us wondering; is the search engine giant genuinely creating something “different” or are they looking for an opportunity to put down Facebook? Google’s past attempts have been disastrous, to say the least, and are probably responsible for the scepticism that fans face. The reign over the Android market may, hopefully, work in their favour and lead the “social” attempts to fame. Google’s most popular social channel, ‘YouTube’, had to be acquired and that too came at a hefty cost.