Google has unveiled its new project named Google+ led by Senior Vice President, Vic Gundotra, aiming towards making some new laws for the social space. Google started a limited field trial of Google+ with a small number of people on Tuesday to help smooth out the rough edges. According to Google, “it won’t be long before the Google+ project is ready for everyone”. Its new features can be summarized under five main heads — Circles, Hangouts, Instant Upload, Sparks and Huddle.
Circles lets you share different things with different people. Unlike Facebook, it aims at making different social groups instead of one mass group of ‘Friends’. It allows users to make some kind of social circles or groups and then drag their connections into these circles by just clicking and dragging. ‘Circles makes it easy to put your friends from Saturday night in one circle, your parents in another, and your boss in a circle by himself – just like real life’. Check out the screencast below for a better demonstration.
Google+ brings a whole new flavor to group video chats by its feature — Hangouts. With Hangouts, users can let some specific buddies know that they are “hanging out”. By this, they enter a video chat room alone. Those buddies who are interested in hanging out may drop by for a face to face chat. The maximum members in any video Hangout is 10, though users can get on a waitlist and wait for someone to leave. Unlike other video chats, whoever is speaking (or speaking the loudest) takes the centre stage. If successful, this can revolutionize the entire social networking. According to Google, “Until teleportation arrives, it’s the next best thing”.
Instant Upload is again a superbly strategized feature. In this, the photos and videos automatically get uploaded from the user’s phone to a private album in Google+. In this album, there are photo and video editing options and from here, users can decide whom to share their personal belongings with.
With Sparks, users list their interests and according to their listings, they can get updated by related videos, articles, pictures or some other content. It relies on information from other Google products (e.g. Google Search).
The service called Huddle gives users space for group texting on mobile phones. It is just like any other group chat.
Just like Facebook’s ‘News Feed’, Google+ comes with ‘Stream’ where users can update their statuses or share photos, videos, links, etc.
With Orkut almost eradicated and failure of Google Buzz, this time what Google brings seems bang on target. Very cleverly designed, it’s obvious for anyone to notice who Google wants to compete with. Will Google+ emerge victorious in the battle with Facebook or will both of them exist symbiotically, only time will tell.
Are you a part of Google+? Share your views about the service in the comments below.
Watch the demo video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycHeXVYRb74&hd=1.