Messaging & Online Collaboration: Google+ Project Emerges as Facebook With More Refined Manners
After more than a year of denials that any major social network initiative was in the works, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) June 28 unveiled Google+, the company's take on social networking. Not to be confused with the existing Google+1 search result and ad-sharing services, Google+ is intended to alleviate certain pain points that plagued Facebook as its network grew to 700 million-plus users. For example, while Facebook users added friends, family and colleagues to one big connection pool, Google+ is designed to let users create smaller buckets of contacts that share common interests. Users may create these Circles by dragging and dropping Google Profile pictures of users into separate Circles and sharing information only within those Circles. Users may also strike up conversations around topics, called Sparks; gather in video chat rooms, called Hangouts; and instantly upload photos and videos from their mobile phones to Google+. Google isn't trying to kill Facebook with this launch; it's wisely looking to provide an alternative to the massive info-sharing (and over-sharing) occurring on the world's leading social network today. To check it out, eWEEK received an early invitation to participate in the invitation-only field test. Before we fully battle-test it, please check out this walk-through of the service we received from taking an interactive video tour.