Google readies Google+ to take on Facebook

Written by Harry Butler

June 29, 2011 // 11:21 a.m.

Tags: #circles #facebook #google #social-network

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.

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