What’s so good about Google+?

July 23, 2011Uncategorized

I just asked around the office to see who’s currently using Google+? Of course, we all are – we are a digital content agency after all. However, when I asked what people thought of it, there was an overriding ‘sighing’ noise, which can loosely be translated to: it’s got nothing on facebook.

It’s still early days for Google however, so we’re not losing hope yet. And with the grasp/power Google has over the internet, we do not doubt that they have something major up their sleeve.

This week we’re going to outline exactly what Google + is in layman’s terms and what ‘new’ things it’s bringing to the social scene (apparently it is possible!)

So, what is Google +?

Google+ is Google’s entry into the social space. They are aiming to “bring the nuance and richness of real-life sharing to software”. If you’re wondering what that actually means, I think it’s something along the lines of “listen, we know you all use Google products anyway, so let’s just merge the data and info we already have and make social sharing more fluid”. Definitely makes sense – almost sounds too easy.

Their opening comments when explaining this new product were slightly more flowery:

Among the most basic of human needs is the need to connect with others. With a smile, a laugh, a whisper or a cheer, we connect with others every single day”.

Okaaaay………  so what do you really mean? Apparently the following:

“In this basic, human way, online sharing is awkward. Even broken. And we aim to fix it”

So, Google+ aims to fix the awkwardness of social sharing – the video below will explain more. Interestingly, it outlines one major difference – that Google is creating groups or ‘cirlces’ of friends. It’s the first and most obvious effort of Google trying to make social sharing more like real life (after all – who hasn’t accidently posted something on facebook that they didn’t want a certain person to read!)

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hC_M6PzXS9g

The key five elements of Google +

Circles:

As mentioned above, ‘circles’ are about sharing information with key groups of people. You can create circles of people meaning that your work colleagues do not have to hear about Saturday night’s escapades!

Similar to but more advanced than: facebook group chat / hiding your fb status from certain individuals /limiting access to your fb page for certain groups

Hangouts:

Imagine video conferencing for friends. You can ‘hangout’ online through a video stream with groups of people – they all appear at the bottom of the page and the person who is speaking (or speaking the loudest) takes centre stage.

Similar but more advanced than: Skype multi-calling

Instant upload:

Photo uploads and videos upload automatically from your phone to a private area in Google +.

Similar but more advanced than: uploading anything from your phone!

Sparks:

Sparks is a way of getting snippets information on the things that you like. You type in ‘fashion’, ‘music’, ‘food’ and related blogs, stories, news features pop up.

Similar but more advanced than: Wikipedia search. Seems like they are trying to streamline and personalise the information search process.

Huddle:

Huddle is a way you to instant message groups of people all at once – the conversation will be seen by all.

Similar to (but not convinced if it’s more advanced than): facebook group chat, sending a group email.