Unless you live under a rock you are more than aware that Facebook is currently the leading social networking site in the world – just about everyone has one, even President Obama. In fact, according to the most recent statistics there are more than 600 million users worldwide, roughly 150.5 million located in the U.S. But while the social networking site may sit comfortably on its throne now, if Google has its way Facebook may very well need to hand over its crown.
Last week Google announced the launch of its Google+ Project, a full-featured social network that is designed to “bring the nuance and richness of real-life sharing to software.” While still in the beta stage right now (and can only be acquired by invitational only), it’s already starting to create a lot of buzz – mostly because it’s functionality is so similar to Facebook but has improved on its weakness, including those dealing with security and privacy.
But what really makes the Google+ Project the better version of Facebook is its feature called “Circles.” Basically Google understands that users typically have different types of “friends” on their social networking platforms – co-workers, family members, best friends, party friends, former flames etc. What this “Circle” feature does is allow users to group certain people in designated social “bubbles.” That way, users can consciously share content and comments only with certain people within each circle/bubble if they want to – don’t want your grandma seeing you post comments about your crazy weekend in Vegas? Then avoid the “family circle.”
Google’s social networking platform will also have a “Sparks” feature which more or less works the same way Facebook’s “Like” button does and will also have a new feature called “Hangouts” which allows users to video chat with one another.
While the Google+ Project looks promising some are still skeptical whether it will truly take flight, especially since Google has had two failed attempts of taking over Facebook in the past – Google Buzz and Google Wave were the company’s biggest letdowns in 2009. With that said, only time will tell how the new social networking platform will be received with the public and whether Google will be able to get a strong following. But to get a quick peek of what the Google+ Project looks like and to get some more information about how it works, check out this short instructional video found here.
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