Jul 6, 2011
Let the Race Begin… (G+ vs Fb)
Google+ allows netizens to share photos, messages and comments in addition to a video chat function which is absent in Facebook.
A new kid on the social networking scene appeared last Tuesday, ambitiously named Google+, Google’s long expected shot at taking on Facebook. This is one race that promises to be as exciting as any Hollywood action packed flick. It’s the race between the two iconic technological giants of our times.
At first, it looks like Google+ has cleverly borrowed some very good ideas from the reigning kingof social networks, Facebook, butin addition offers some exciting features for sharing content and managing privacy. With a reported 700 million users worldwide, Face book’s privacy practices are the leading issues facing the company and Google is going directly after that point with Google+. That won’t likely beenough, however, to win the social media battle.
But going by the series of reviews by the critics all round the world it looks like Google has the capability to offer a solid alternative to Facebook.
Like Facebook, Google+ allows netizens to share photos, messages and comments in addition to a video chat function which is absent in Facebook. Google, whose previous attempts ended in failure with both Google wave and Google buzz proving unpopular with the users, is banking on four special features of Google+ that the company says will resonate well with the social networking audience.
1. Circle: A functionality that allows you to group your friends into individual circle/group. You can share different content with different circles. More interestingly, in these circles you can define who gets to see what kind of updates. Google says, “You share different things with different people. So sharing the right stuff with the right people shouldn’t be a hassle.” So in shortGoogle+ gives you the option of separating your Friends from JustFriends, Relatives, Family and of course your boss.
2. Sparks: This functionality connects individuals on the network to others with common interests. This feature lets you choose from a list of interests or to enter your own specific interest. It then does what Google does the best, it gathers all relevant content from the webfor that topic and allows you to control which circle views what content. It’s obvious that Google will try to leverage its core competency i.e. Search in its fightagainst Facebook.
3. Huddle: A type of group messaging. It turns different conversations into one simple group chat, so everyone gets on the same page all at once.
4. Hangouts: Now this is one feature which could be a potential Facebook killer. A multi-user video conference, a sort of group video chat. You can create hangouts of up to 10 people. By the looks of it, it gives me a feeling that this could revolutionise the way people will use social networking sites.
Besides the above listed four features, there are other features like Stream which is akinto your Facebook newsfeeds. Another important feature is the instant upload. The photos and videos from your mobile can be shared instantly. You can take a photo and it uploads to your Picasa or YouTube account and then you can share those photosand videos via Google+ to specific “circles.”
One critic said that “if it looks likea duck and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck. And Google+ looks like and quacks like Facebook in several ways.” Googledubs Google+ as a project rather than a product, stressing “it’s part of making Google itself more social rather that being a standalone social network”, says the company.
So what is it in Google+ that augurs well for its survival against Facebook? If you have to take my opinion, then it is the ability of Google+ to become a one stop shop for all that netizens crave online using different URLs. Imagine a social network with Google search, Gmail, Picasa, Google videos, Youtube, Google Maps all integrated on a single platform, providing you a wholesome package of all your daily online needs. With all those great services and now a tightly integrated social networking platform under one roof, who needs Facebook?
Who will win the race? The answer to this question lies in thefuture. In fact the race hasn’t even started still; apparently Google+ is not even launched worldwide. But the critics are already out with their daggers. Itwill also be interesting to see themaneuvers by Facebook in response to Google+. Will Google+ prove to be a Facebook killer? Your guess is as good as mine.
The writer is an IT graduate fromMumbai University.