Messaging & Online Collaboration: Google+ Grabs Attention: 10 Ways the Social Network Is Making Waves
The most popular high-tech topic since June 28 has easily been Google+, the social network Google launched that day to challenge Facebook for user engagement and social ads on the Web. Google+ is an alternative to Facebook that provides users the ability to gather family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances or just folks users want to follow into Circles of trust. Users may also customize their own Circles, sign up to track topics (called Sparks), and use Hangouts for video chats with up to 10 users. The mobile application includes a group-messaging tool called Huddle and an Instant upload feature to let users zip photos from their Android smartphone to their Google+ accounts. The service appears to be super catchy, with early reports pegging Google+ at 5 to 9 million or more users, though Google isn't commenting on user engagement at this stage. No less than Bill Gross, the serial entrepreneur, said he believed Google+ can reach 100 million users faster than any service in history. "The service is great. It is timely. People are engaging with it like crazy," Gross said. "The next year will tell. Will there be bumps in the road? Sure. Will Facebook and Twitter fight back with more innovation? Of course. But I'm saying that Google+ is already good enough, and the team on Google+ is being so responsive in a way that makes me believe they have a real winner here." That strong praise is one of the many comments swirling around Google+ these days. In this slide show eWEEK looks at more.
Invites are sometimes easy to come by and often impossible, as Google keeps opening and closing its membership fire hose depending on system capacity. Yes, you wouldn't think the company with the most servers in the world would have to stagger even a social network launch, but there it is. eWEEK received 15 invites in the early going, promptly handing those out to colleagues. As of July 10, users are now being permitted to invite other folks... but that could change like the direction of the wind.