An online sharing tool which is not competing with Facebook
After a long time rife with speculations galore Google has unveiled its long-awaited social network. It’s already being greeted with a great deal of skepticism. It’s called the Google+ Project.
Google says that online sharing is broken, and it aims to fix it. At the heart of it all is a “sharing engine” called “Sparks.”
“Thanks to Google’s web expertise, Sparks delivers a feed of highly contagious content from across the Internet,” the company says. “On any topic you want, in over 40 languages. Simply add your interests, and you’ll always have something to watch, read and share—with just the right circle of friends.”
Here’s more about that aspect:
You may recall during SXSW, when rumors came out that Google was launching something called Circles. Well, that’s part of this. It’s essentially to Google what friends’ lists and groups are to Facebook, but they’re represented by actual circles, which you can drag and drop people into.
According to Google official Blog, explaining the thinking behind Circles. “We only want to connect with certain people at certain times, but online we hear from everyone all the time…Every online conversation (with over 100 “friends”) is a public performance, so we often share less because of stage fright…We all define ‘friend’ and ‘family’ differently—in our own way, on our own terms—but we lose this nuance online.”
“Circles” is only part of it though. “Hangouts” is another. “With Google+ we wanted to make on-screen gatherings fun, fluid and serendipitous, so we created Hangouts,” quotes the blog. “By combining the casual meetup with live multi-person video, Hangouts lets you stop by when you’re free, and spend time with your Circles.”
Of course there is a big mobile angle to all of this as well, which comes in the forms of location, instant uploads, and what Google calls “Huddle.” Google+ lets you add your location to posts (if you want), and Google+ will add your photos to a private album in the cloud (with permission). Huddle, is a group messaging experience, which lets members of a circle “know what’s going on”.
According to Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Land, Buzz is not integrated with Google+ at this point, and that anything you like with Google+ can be +1′d, but your friends on Google+ do not see them. Nothing from the +1 buttons apparently flow back to Google+, according to Sullivan. “It’s crazy,” he writes. “It makes no sense. It’s as if Facebook launched its Like buttons but forgot to hook them up to flow.