First came Orkut, then came Buzz, and now Google+ has entered the social networking picture. There’s no denying that Google wants a piece of the social networking pie. But, how many attempts is Google going to make before the company gives up on networking altogether? Perhaps three is the magic number. Or, perhaps, Google’s timing this time around is just right.
A certain lull has been surrounding Facebook (Google’s main target) recently. The air around Facebook is quiet, user participation is lingering, and people in general seem to be fed up of the Facebook arena. The problem is that there aren’t too many other options. MySpace has been rebranded (for better or worse), LinkedIn has a different kind of air to it, and Twitter is all time-consuming. Where else can people turn? Google+, may be the answer.
A Circular Approach
Similar to Facebook groups, Google+ allows users to create “circles.” These circles can be labeled according to a user’s wishes. For example, you could label one circle “weekend friends” and another “relatives.” You could then choose what information you want to share with certain groups.
If, for instance, you don’t want your relatives to see that crazy weekend photo of you, all you have to do is prevent people who are not part of your weekend friend circle from viewing the photo. This makes having absolute control over sharing details easy and possible.
Google+ also allows users to automatically upload any photos snapped with a smartphone or other electronic device. As all of these photos are uploaded to a Google+ account, users can then decide whether or not to share photos. Copyright information and privacy details have yet to be revealed by Google+.
Presumably, posting photos on your Google+ account would render them property of Google, but the opposite could also be true. Either way, if you don’t want Google to suck up all of your photos, you can simply cancel this option.
Just like Facebook, Google+ wants to know what your interests are. Unlike Facebook, Google has found a way to throw in a bit of advertising with certain interests. If you were to sign up for a Google+ account, you would be asked to list some of your interests. In turn, Google will send you “stuff” that will interest you.
What kind of stuff? Newsletter and coupons pertaining to your interests is some of the stuff that Google is set to send to users. Some of these items may prove to be interesting, but more likely than not, Google is banking on users purchasing items through sent promotions and websites.
Google has stated that Google+ is currently in its trial stage. The website is up and running, but it is not a complete site yet. It’s safe to assume that Google wants to see how Google+ will perform before the company puts the site into full motion.
Google has been trying to get at Facebook’s throat for years now. Will Google+ be the end all of Facebook? Only time will tell.