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Google readies Google+ to take on Facebook

Google readies Google+ to take on Facebook

Google+; hiding your drunken photos from family members = killer feature.

Google has unveiled its latest new service, Google+, with the goal of creating a more private, personalised social network than services such as Facebook.

While the service is currently only available in a limited beta trial, the Google+ demo site demonstrates a few of the features that will be included in the new service. These include:
  • Circles: Place friends and contacts into specific groups, enabling you to share, or not to share, specific things with specific people. This would enable you to avoid sharing those drunken night out photos with your boss, parents or significant other.

  • Huddle: Effectively a multi-contact Google Talk window, Google pitches this as a way to 'conference call' with friends to help organise nights out or activities.

  • Hangouts: Multi-contact video chat for up to ten people, with a drop in/drop out ability.

  • Instant Upload: Ready to nom its way through your mobile data plan, Instant Upload automatically uploads photos and videos from your smartphone to your Google+ account. You then choose who to share them with, or whether to share them at all.

  • Sparks: A step up from sharing random links with friends (or the videos of awesome thread on the forum), inputting your favourite activities or interests sees Google suggesting potential articles and media for you, based on your interests.
Of course, Google+ will also integrate with Google's myriad other services, including Google Maps, YouTube, Picasa and Gmail.

Even with the vast array of resources at its disposal, though, Google+ faces a hard fight to win users from social network titan Facebook. The Google+ app will hit the Android market today, and begin rolling out to desktop users over the coming weeks.

Are you excited about the prospects of Google+? Would you consider leaving Facebook for Google's fresh pastures, or will this go the way of Google Buzz and fail to garner people's interest? Let us know in the forums.

41 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Stickeh 29th June 2011, 11:27 Quote
Oh how i would love for this to take off...
BentAnat 29th June 2011, 11:29 Quote
Integrating into YouTube, gMail, etc is cool and all, but if we thought Facebook is a risk to user Privacy - google sees your mail, your calendar, possibly your work...

Personally, I am ll for the +1 button, but other than that I don't think we need another social network at present.
Jamie 29th June 2011, 11:56 Quote
Hipster Social Network: Google+
You're probably not on it.
Salty Wagyu 29th June 2011, 11:57 Quote
If Google+ doesn't have a spamming news stream of friends doing farmville, poker, mafia wars and whatever else rubbish at Facebook I'm sold.
Aracos 29th June 2011, 12:11 Quote
Dammit, just when I thought the social networking fad was slowing down, google get involved.
mclean007 29th June 2011, 12:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Salty Wagyu
If Google+ doesn't have a spamming news stream of friends doing farmville, poker, mafia wars and whatever else rubbish at Facebook I'm sold.
Unfortunately for you (and me) the popularity of these games among otherwise apparently sane and intelligent people means that Google+ will need to adopt apps or won't entice these people away from Facebook. You may say that's a good thing, but the value of a social network is in its user base, and Facebook is thoroughly entrenched in that regard. A site omitting features used by many on Facebook, however annoying those features may be to others and however slick the new site may be (and, this being Google, you can bet your bottom dollar it will be quick, slick, minimalist and with reasonably well placed, relevant and unobtrusive advertising) isn't going to steal a significant market share.
wuyanxu 29th June 2011, 12:19 Quote
not another one!



on the other hand, bring back Google Wave. that thing actually had a purpose, helped my uni project a HUGE amount. while they are at it, won't mind LaTeX syntax highlighting.
azrael- 29th June 2011, 12:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by storm20200
Dammit, just when I thought the social networking fad was slowing down, google get involved.
This! So much THIS! I hate FB and others of its ilk with a passion. My hate recently reached a new level when Steam started to integrate FB. And they're really pushy about it too...
Technobod 29th June 2011, 12:51 Quote
If Google had cranked this out a year ago it *might* have stood a chance of being competitive, but now the only way they could make this a possibility now is by offering a total migration tool to convert peoples Facebook's to Google+'s.

Can't see Fb really being happy with that, but the fact Fb is so established means Google will really have to offer something spectacular (which I haven't spotted yet) to get people to switch.
mucgoo 29th June 2011, 13:03 Quote
You can already specify specific people and/or groups of people who can access photo folders and such on facebook.
mpr 29th June 2011, 13:10 Quote
I'll gladly make the switch... google knows about me more than facebook, yet it would seem my info from google wasn't as much at risk as it has been on FB... sadly I don't think every one I know will jump ship, which means I won't be able to either fully.
leveller 29th June 2011, 13:17 Quote
It sounds ok, but FB will now respond with added features and better policies. So I'll stay with FB tbh.
Snips 29th June 2011, 13:33 Quote
Really? Do we really need Google to do this?.........NO
echeb 29th June 2011, 13:54 Quote
This should do until Diaspora has a full release or they add Farmville, whichever comes first
BLC 29th June 2011, 13:58 Quote
I've had a look at the tour and I quite like the look of it. Right up until the point where I tried to actually sign in to it and it told me I needed an invite.
Baz 29th June 2011, 14:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLC
I've had a look at the tour and I quite like the look of it. Right up until the point where I tried to actually sign in to it and it told me I needed an invite.

http://www.southparkstudios.co.uk/clips/sp_vid_152804/

"You Cant Come!"
Gigglebyte 29th June 2011, 14:31 Quote
I don't give it long until they bend over to micro-transaction games.
BRAWL 29th June 2011, 15:04 Quote
Wow... Google, I am disappoint.

I enjoy the odd funny thing Google do, but ANOTHER social networking site? No google, get in the corner like the bad dog you are.
Blademrk 29th June 2011, 15:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Salty Wagyu
If Google+ doesn't have a spamming news stream of friends doing farmville, poker, mafia wars and whatever else rubbish at Facebook I'm sold.

tbh, in the main FB page hover your mouse over the feed you don't want to see (farmville/mafia wars/whatever) and click the x next to it to stop them from clogging it up.
zimbloggy 29th June 2011, 16:58 Quote
I don't really see this taking off, at least, not for a while. For me, a social network is only good if you know a lot of people on it. All my friends used to be on Xanga, but now they are all on Facebook. Transitions happen, but I think until people either get tired of Facebook, or Facebook becomes really awful, people are not going to move.
pendragon 29th June 2011, 18:10 Quote
don't see myself ever using this unless it *really* takes off and i've no other choice to stay connected to people
l3v1ck 29th June 2011, 20:40 Quote
They had me at "More Private".
Or at least they would have done if I believed them.
ssj12 29th June 2011, 22:45 Quote
hope it takes off, Facebook (the CIA's favorite global information network now) needs to be taken down.
jamsand 29th June 2011, 22:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by zimbloggy
I don't really see this taking off, at least, not for a while. For me, a social network is only good if you know a lot of people on it. All my friends used to be on Xanga, but now they are all on Facebook. Transitions happen, but I think until people either get tired of Facebook, or Facebook becomes really awful, people are not going to move.

Well I'm already tired of them screw over my privacy thing is google are the very same but they've got so much money and influence already the can advertise the hell out of it and get people on it...Chrome for example lol
Lazarus Dark 30th June 2011, 02:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by confusis
http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/googleplus.png

lol This pretty much says it all. I have come to like social networking. It's a lot easier to share links to cool pics, articles, sites, etc and let people know what concerts I'm going to be at on FB than via countless emails, texts, forums, etc. That said, I dont want FACEBOOK. Never did. I had an account for years unused until I got an Android and found FB was the best (available) way to share stuff on the go. But I always thought of it as a necessary evil. And given how easy and quick it was to abandon Myspace in droves, I knew it would be the same when something better than FB came along (or really ANYTHING other than FB.) Am I very plugged in to FB? Yes. But then again, so too was I plugged in to people on Myspace. We all found our way over to FB, and we'll do the same with G+. I've been telling everyone today, and I'm surprised at the huge number of people who are sick of FB and fully ready to move on to something else. Hopefully something with better privacy controls, better Android integration, and the fact that I'm already fully plugged in to all other Google services like Gmail, Gcal, Youtube, etc, means the transition should be much easier than the Myspace>Facebook migration.

As for those who keep calling Google into question for privacy concerns: While Facebook has proven over and over they don't care about my privacy, Google has never let me down and I have yet to see them do wrong by its users. (on purpose. They have made a couple mistakes, but have apologized and fixed those issues when they came up. FB does not apologize and gives its users the finger when they complain about privacy issues.)
DarkLord7854 30th June 2011, 02:50 Quote
Just got in, looks pretty spiff.


Got unlimited invites too it seems
Xir 30th June 2011, 09:34 Quote
Do I understand it right that they tackle "Sharing Information (pictures/vids/test)" exactly the other way than facebook?
  • Not "Share everything with everyone by default" (and make it hard to turn off)
  • but "Standart is Private" share only when prompted?
Or do I just want to read that in the article, but it doesn't say it? :D
ch424 30th June 2011, 11:54 Quote
You're right Xir - the default option is that all your data is immediately hidden from your contacts, then you choose who to share it with later. Interesting that it's the complete opposite of facebook!
rainbowfication 30th June 2011, 12:23 Quote
Looks interesting but so many social networking sites but this will probably merge your youtube account and that so that will be cool

But this is mainly to improve Google adwords so that they can target you more as they will have information from what videos and music you like interests and what you the search on the web and to Google information is $$$
Salty Wagyu 30th June 2011, 12:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkLord7854
Got unlimited invites too it seems

Wouldn't mind an invite via PM if you got any going. Cheers :)

edit: got an invite already thanks.
hexx 30th June 2011, 17:47 Quote
ha! last thing i want is that google knows more about me. I don't like google, i don't trust google. don't forget, google lives from ads! no thanks. i'll stay with twitter, that's social enough for me, i haven't used fb for some time, like a year or two :)
Sloth 30th June 2011, 19:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mucgoo
You can already specify specific people and/or groups of people who can access photo folders and such on facebook.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blademrk
tbh, in the main FB page hover your mouse over the feed you don't want to see (farmville/mafia wars/whatever) and click the x next to it to stop them from clogging it up.
It really does seem that the majority of complaints against Facebook can be solved by simply understanding these two points.

That said, I fail to see how Google+ will really be any different. People will think they're sticking it to the man by not using Facebook while still playing right into the hands of the greater social networking phenomenon.
Xir 1st July 2011, 08:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ch424
You're right Xir - the default option is that all your data is immediately hidden from your contacts, then you choose who to share it with later. Interesting that it's the complete opposite of facebook!
Wow...that's my major complaint about facebook.
If they've solved that, this could get interesting.
r3Q 1st July 2011, 15:23 Quote
personally i think it looks awesome. i do not like facebook. i do not like the little teenie boppers that are on their phone all the time. i was at a baseball game the other day and this like 7 year old girl had a smartphone and was taking pictures of the game (like, a AAA game, nothing special. like 10 percent of the stadium full) and was posting it to facebook. it is stupid that the internet is being clogged up with people and the pictures of cats that they post.

this looks like a great way to take the people i know and actually congregate with and put them into some groups that will seamlessly transition to my mobile device. i remove people from my facebook if i do not talk with them for a while in person. i think i have 60 people on there, most are family, and i have over 100 invites that i will ignore haha.

an invite would be neat if somone would like to shoot one my way.

+1 from me.
thehippoz 1st July 2011, 16:14 Quote
I heard zuckerberg roid raged
azrael- 1st July 2011, 17:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by thehippoz
I heard zuckerberg roid raged
That doesn't sound kosher... :p
dancingbear84 1st July 2011, 18:52 Quote
I got my invite and I'm loving it. It will be infinitely better when it goes"live" as there will be people on our I'm interested in. I have had my niggles with it but once you realise how it works it is simples. All new products have a learning curve, thankfully this one seems very easy
Dude111 4th July 2011, 22:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BentAnat
Integrating into YouTube, gMail, etc is cool and all, but if we thought Facebook is a risk to user Privacy - google sees your mail, your calendar, possibly your work...
Exactly...... This will be just as intrusive as facebook is IF NOT MORE!!

Google should not be trusted!!
wuyanxu 5th July 2011, 09:32 Quote
anyone know how does circles work?

seems rather strange that you can add people to your circle and then broadcast to it, would that not open up a lot of spam opportunities?
dancingbear84 5th July 2011, 10:34 Quote
I don't see we why you can choose to ignore posts from people youyou're not interested in. facebook is kind of the same thing, I add you then I can send you what I want. I agree that + is in early stages but I prefer the circles approach, I want my work to see some of what I'm up to but not debauched evenings with friends. Similarly I don't want to send my I phone touting pals the latest android information.
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