Google recently launched a new social networking site called Google+ (Google plus). Advent of Google+ is marked by change of the familiar gray strip at the top of every Google page turning black. Google+ will be built as a layer that not only integrates different Google social services, such as Google Profiles and Google Buzz, but also introduces many new features including Circles, Hangouts, Sparks and Huddles. Several new options for accessing your Google+ profile, viewing notifications and instantly sharing content will soon be visible in every Google page.
Within just 2 month of its release Google Plus amassed more than 25million users making it the fastest rising website on internet. Its because of the craze it generated across the internet in addition to some of the most innovative features ever dropped onto internet.
Google+ will also be available as a desktop application and as an application on Android and iOS.
Features of Google+
Group contacts in Circles using Drag and Drop Interface
Circles enables users to organize contacts into groups for sharing, across various Google products and services. Circles makes it easy to put your friends in one circle, your parents in another, and your boss in a circle by himself, just like real life. A drag-and-drop interface allows users to drag groups of friends in and out of these circles. They make a full use of friends list and helps users to categories them according to their importance in life. You can create custom groups to categories just like you create groups in mobile address book. One of the nice things about the product is its soothing GUI — a puff of smoke and a -1 animation appears when you remove a friend, and when you remove a social circle, it rolls away off the screen. That’s where Circles are entirely different from Facebook.
Group Video Chat with Hangouts
Google implemented the most desirable activity from real life. Hangout is a group video chat feature where you can chat with multiple friends at the same time. To join a group chat, users just need to click “start a hangout” and they’re instantly in a video chatroom. Message soon spreads out to other members within the social circles letting them know that you’re hanging out. The maximum members in any video Hangout is 10, though users can get on a waitlist and wait for someone to leave. With Hangouts, unplanned meet-up comes to the web for the first time. It’s surely the most amazing feature in Google+.
Identify useful stuff and recommend others by Sparks
Sparks is Google+’s personalized content aggregator. With Sparks, Google+ allows users to identify topics they might be interested in sharing with others; “featured interests” sparks are also available, based on topics others globally are finding interesting. To spur sharing, Google has added a recommendation engine for finding interesting content. The feature, Google+ Sparks, is a collection of articles, videos, photos and other content grouped by interest. For example, the “Sports” spark will have a listing of recent and relevant content for that topic. The system relies on information from Google products like Google Search as well as what is being shared via Google+ and through +1 buttons.
Group Chat on mobile by Google+’s Huddle feature
Huddle is a feature available to Android, iPhone, and SMS devices for communicating with circles. Huddle allows multiple users to enter into group chat at the same time. It’s rather like Hangout minus video chat. It turns all different conversations into one simple group chat, so everyone gets on the same page long before thumbs get sore.
Ready to share images with Instant Uploads
Google will also be launching mobile apps for Google+, starting with Android. The Android app includes access to the Stream, Circles, Sparks and multimedia.
The addition of these features in a mobile app isn’t a surprise. What is a surprise, though, is the app’s auto-upload feature. Any photo or video you take on your phone through Google+ will automatically be uploaded to your computer, ready to share. These uploads aren’t public, but the next time you log onto your desktop, the photos button in the status bar will have a number, indicating how many new uploads are available for sharing. It keeps these photos and videos available for sharing for eight hours after upload.
Google seems to sponsor a new dictionary with words like destroy, beat, crash and acquisition taking front spot while terms like windows, skype, internet explorer deleted. Google bumps into the market of it’s rival and conquer it without much hassle. While Google controls the search market and has a strong presence on mobile with Android, it hasn’t been able to stablize itself in social networking. Google+ is expected to roll put in stages. Google+ is unquestionably the company’s response to the rise of Facebook. The two companies are in heated competition for talent, page views and consumers. Its most successful social product, YouTube still ranks as one of the most expensive acquisitions in the company’s history. Has Google finally nailed social with Google+? Coming days would tell if Google replicated it’s search engine success in social market.