The moment I logged in to check my mail I was surprised to find messages from one of my friends with the Google logo on it. Google+??? Huh…Pinged him to discover that Google has finally jumped onto the social network bandwagon called the Google+ project.
On Tuesday, Google launched its restricted access of its new social networking site called Google+ pronounced Google plus. But by Wednesday night Google turned off the new signing up as it could not handle the huge inflow of users, who realized they could send unlimited number of invitations to other people by email. Suddenly there seemed to be an insane demand of users who had bombarded their contacts on Twitter and Facebook to sign them up.
I guess Google couldnâ€™t resist but take a share of the huge social network pie that has supposedly made Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder of Facebook a household name the world over. Mark has supposedly made a fortune that is estimated to be a whopping $13.5 billion!
Though the service is similar to that of Facebook, Google+ aims to make provisions to users who can share photos, links and updates to only a small section of friends and not an entire social network as in Facebook.
As I was updated about this service by my friend, my mind recoiled from the thought of, ‘another forumâ€™? ‘Another round of checking status updates, notifications, messages?' Oh no, not another one.
It is true we get to contact many of our friends and contacts through a site that allows us to post innumerable photos, links and other things that wouldnâ€™t have been possible physically when people meet. But, where is the time for another social network? How do I make provisions in the limited time that I am left with on a daily basis to check into another social networking site? I started to reason that Google+ wouldnâ€™t be able to catch on like its ally Facebook did. In fact I was wishing it wouldnâ€™t.
I felt Google's bitten more than it can chew. Can it hold the Facebook bull by its horns and steer it away and capture its place? Will it be able to carry it off with aplomb like Mark has done allowing people from everywhere to get in touch with anyone!
The difference between Facebook and Google+
Google+ is intended to be shared only with smaller, closely aligned sets of people unlike Facebook where anything and everything can be freely posted. The marked difference between the two being unlike Facebook where friendship rests on being two-way, in Google+ users create groups of other users or ‘Circles' as it is termed in Google lingo.
The ‘Circle' of friends in the group ares in no way connected to one another and one neednâ€™t necessarily communicate with the other just because he/she is in that group and if needed a member in the group can also be ignored without his knowing. The ‘Circle' is only for the convenience of the person who has initiated it so that he can share things with the rest of them or view their updates, as a group.
When sharing things on your wall, that resembles that of Facebook, Google+ initiates you to choose carefully the circle and groups that you would like to share the information with. This way one needn't go through the arduous task of fine-tuning your customization settings, as it needs to be done in Facebook, in order to ensure who does or doesnâ€™t view the postings.
In Facebook messages and notifications are generally reflected in the user's mail box whereas in Google+ it uses the member's email accounts that needn't necessarily be the Gmail system. This ensures you arenâ€™t saddled with another inbox. Also you can reply to those messages without having to log into Google+.
Besides these Google+ also has the following features:
- â€˜Sparksâ€™ a searchable news feed wherein one can share news within the circles or the groups.
- One can display ones personal interests without the same being visible to anyone in your Group or Circle.
- Hangouts are video chats that can happen between 10 people only.
- One can create ‘Huddle' a group SMS chat within members whose mobile numbers are available.
As the forum is still in its beta stage, work is still in progress with loads of room for changes and improvement.
After all this my mind still reels with doubts and the foremost one being can I take to this forum as the hangover from the previous one persists?
For more information on Google+ and its features you can rely on this article from the New York Times.