Google Throws Its Hat Into The Social Network Game For The Third Time; Will It Be The Charm?
With Google+ (Google Plus) Project, the search giant is unleashing its most refined and well-developed attempt at taking their piece of the giant social networking pie.
Google Wave was supposed to be a collaboration tool, but it went over the heads of the mainstream social network users, and Buzz fizzled out because of initial privacy concerns (email contacts aren’t necessarily your friends). With their newest foray into the world of online social networking, the search giant Google might have finally done it right this time. The Google + project, currently testing with invite only users, looks to be exactly what the doctor ordered.
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Google+ won’t be a Facebook killer, at least not yet. Judging from the dynamics and utilities of Google’s + project, the search firm is touting their new service as “Real-Life Sharing Rethought for the Web.” The design layout seems to be similar to Facebook’s, but how many ways can you design a profile page? The real difference, and what looks to be the main facilitator of the early buzz (no pun intended) this new project is garnering, are the differences in the ways you can communicate and share on Google + as apposed to Facebook.
Most people, aside from middle school pupils and the delusional megalomaniacs are finding Facebook ‘s inundation with spam bots and game requests a bit counter-productive. Furthermore, Facebook’s privacy controls have been criticized for being notoriously difficult to traverse, being accused by some to be intentionally laborious.
Goolge + aims to alleviate al of these concerns, and by concentrating on privacy and allowing people more control over what their friends see, who their friends are, and integrating applications with real utility (group video chat for one), they’re really giving Facebook a viable challenge this time around.
News Corp just recently unloaded Myspace.com for $35 million, cutting a half-billion dollar loss on their initial purchase of the site at $585 million. The lesson to be learned here is that the masses are fickle, and the herding effect isn’t as predictable as once thought. It won’t be the same reasons people decide to leave Facebook and start anew with Google + that they did for leaving Myspace, but there’s always room for improvement.
It remains to be seen how many will jump ship, because most analysts don’t believe people will maintain two (sometimes three or four adding Twitter and LinkedIn) online social networks in their lives. Either way, it’s exciting to see some innovation and a change of pace from Google in this regard, and even more exciting to see what Facebook might implement if they see a decline in their user base.
You can sign up to be invited to test Google+ here.