Google+ was released a few days ago and is a true contender against Facebook. If you don’t know what Google+ is, check out the project demo from Google. You are the center of everything. You, your friends, your coworkers, the places you like to hang out in… You get the idea.
According to Google, it’s the fix to the natural way to online sharing. This is certainly a Facebook competitor, and personally I think it’s come a long way in the making: Picasa, GTalk (both text and video chat) and Buzz a big part of this project. For example all your Picasa pictures get linked to your Google+ profile, and the fact that you don’t have to sign in into different services makes it a breeze.
Like in Facebook, you can update your friends via updates, photos, videos, links and locations and before you send the update you choose who you want to share it with: specific circles, everyone (all of your circles) or even make the updates public (to the world).
According to Google there are four elements that will be the base, with more features coming in the future:
- Circles: Think of them as the easy way to sort your contacts that Facebook doesn’t have. You can arrange them as “School”, “Family”, “Home” and share relevant information for each circle. You just drag and drop!
- Hangouts: According to Google “Until teleportation arrives, it’s the next best thing”. So, this feature makes you the boss of where you hang out, you can have a face-to-face video chat and anyone in the Hangout can invite others to join as well. The best thing here: You can include more than two people in a chat! You can get this feature on Skype but you have to pay for it.
- Huddle: Ok, how hard is to multiple text people at once? It can be confusing and with applications like WhatsApp or Live Profile it’s easier, but not everybody wants to download extra app on their phone. This is a basic and easy way to be able to share texts with your friends through Google+ Mobile.
- Sparks: Have you played with Genius at any of the App Stores (iTunes, Mac App Store)? This is Google’s version but it takes your interests in consideration. If this works as they say it will it will be the place to check out for the next new cool thing online to check out: You can modify and delete interests as time goes by. Who keeps interested on the same things all the time?
All of the social networking sites grew big because of their mobility. Google is also going to get into the mobile apps market. They already released an Android app and there’s one for iOS4 that will be available soon on the iTunes App Store. In the meantime you can access Google+ on its mobile site.
If you want to add me on Google+ you can find me here. An extra tip: Google doesn’t give out vanity URLs just yet. Try a service called GPlus.to. You just have to enter the vanity name you want (I entered iKitty) and your Google+ ID. And, if you haven’t got Google+ yet, leave a comment on the blog! I’ll send out some invites!