Last week Google introduced us to their brand new social network Google+ which has been dubbed ‘the Facebook killer’. At Nutcracker we have been exploring whether this will actually be the case, by investigating what Google+ actually offers.
Obviously the launch of Google+ is Google’s attempt to introduce social networking into their expanding portfolio and therefore gain market share within this area. Google explains its new service below;
‘We realise that today people are increasingly connecting with one another in the web. But the ways in which we connect online are limited and don’t mimic our real-life relationships. The Google+ project is our attempt to make online sharing even better. We aren’t trying to replace what’s currently available; we just want to introduce a new way to connect online with the people that matter to you. Sounds pretty cool, huh? And it is. There are 5 main features to Google+: circles, hangouts, instant upload, sparks and huddle.’
So here Nutcracker goes at explaining them!
Other social networks such as Facebook are about sharing content with a wide audience. Google however have chosen a different approach in that circles allow the user to group friends, family and colleagues for example into groups. This allows the information displayed to each group to vary. This feature allows for the separation of your personal and private life a characteristic that Facebook does not have.
These are a great feature which sets Google+ apart from Facebook. Within hangouts up to 10 users can simultaneously video chat face-to-face with each other. How good is that!
This allows the photos that you take on your phone to be easily accessible. Whilst you practice your photography skills, Google+ adds your photos to a private album in the cloud. This allows all of your pictures to be available across your devices ready to share as you see fit.
Have you heard the phrase ‘spark a conversation’? Well this in many ways explains this feature. Google+ keeps a feed of content based on your hobbies, interests and preferences which you can view at any given time which you can then choose to share with other friends/contacts who have the same interests.
This group text chat tool is for individuals to have private conversations within a circle. This feature can be used directly from a mobile phone (Android 2.0+ or iPhone 4.0+).
There is some fantastic information about these features within the videos on the below link.
Things to remember about Google+
• At present there is only an Android App available for Google+
• Awaiting approval is an Apple App
• ‘Pages’ similar to Facebook ‘Fan Pages’ will allow businesses to market their service on Google+ according to Google’s Jeff Huber.
• Google+ has adapted its privacy settings by eliminating the ability to share certain semi-private posts to other users and friends.
• On Google+ you still own everything you put on there unlike Facebook which takes co-ownership.
• Gaming rumours for Google+ are already circulating.
• Facebooks response to the Google+ hype is the announcement of ‘something awesome’ on 6th July 2011…a deal with Skype maybe to launch a video chat service?
• Information site Mashable has already published instruction on how to import your Facebook contacts into Google+. No time wasted there!
But you can’t get Google+ yet! Only a few selected individuals received an invite so for now all you can do is sign-up to receive notifications of when new invites will be available.
So is Google+ the end of Facebook..?
Well we don’t think so. It will take a lot for Facebook users to switch over to Google+. Most non techy Facebook followers are content with their user experience on Facebook. They are on there because everyone else is! Unless Google+ offers something significantly different to Facebook which could compel users to switch across then we think Facebook is safe for the time being.