The Google+ is a social networking site initiated and operated by the search engine giant Google, and allows users to upload and share photos, videos and links with their friends.
Just like Facebook and other social media networks, Google Plus allows account owners to reach out to their friends from across the world. Launched for a test project on June 28, 2011, the social media started on an “invite only” mode and allow invited users to send invites to friends 18 years and above.
Google+ ensures it has all the features of different popular social media networks today particularly Facebook and twitter. But according to its senior vice-president and project head, Vic Gundotra, Google+ offers a better experience of those features.
• Circles. Circles are the groups to which the account users can organize their friends or contacts for sharing posts, photos and videos. The circles are named by default, but they can be renamed to other labels that only the account holders can see or know. Account users also have the flexibility to adjust the privacy settings of their posts to certain circles.
• Hangouts. The hangout is a feature of Google+ to enable members of circles to converge for a video and/or audio chat. Up to 10 users can be accommodated in one hangout. Although the hangout activity is visible to friends, anybody who has access to the URL to the hangout can join.
Members of the hangout can watch together a video from YouTube by clicking on the “Share” button.
Mobile phones with Android 2.3+ Operating System can also perform a hangout via their mobile phones. Members in the hangout can also create webcasts, which they can record for future retrieval.
• Messenger. Previously known as Huddle, the messenger is a feature of iPhone, Android, and other SMS-enabled mobile device, in which, friends from circles can send instant messages.
• Stream. The stream is where posts and updates are published. This includes posts of the account users and their friends who shared those posts with them. In each post—photos, shoutouts, videos or links—friend from circles can leave and like comments as well as the posts.
• Instant Upload. To make it easy to upload updates and photos, Google+ enables Android mobiles with the instant upload feature. This feature allows users to upload photos taken from their mobile phones.
• Games. Many internet users are big on playing games online and Google+ hasn’t forgotten about this group. Google+ currently integrates 16 games organized under a tab located on the top of the stream page.
• Data Integration. Google+ allows users to take advantage of all other features of Google and Google apps including e-mail, calendar, documents and much more.
• Search. Account holders of Google+ can search for contents within the Google Plus. Anyone can carry out a search via the search box and the search engine will provide results in photos, links, and posts.
• What’s Hot. A new feature called “What’s hot?” is a compilation of posts, events, videos, photos or links that is trending on Google+.
Integration of Features
Google+ is an amalgamation of twitter and Facebook. Instead of sending a request to become friends on the social media, users of Google+ shall only add a friend to a certain circle. The newly added friend then has the option to add more friends to his/her own circle. The content within circles is only visible to members of that circle.
Friends who were sent an invite to join Google+ but yet undecided whether to sign up, can receive notifications via e-mail of the recent activities of the person who sent them the invite.
Does Google+ have the potential to compete with Facebook and twitter. Early numbers would seem to suggest that it does. However, we’re guessing the rate of adoption of Google+ isn’t nearly going to be the same as that of twitter and especially Facebook.