Jul 05 2011

Circles, Huddles, Sparks and Hangouts: Google takes on Facebook


Google has had a few forays into the workd of Social Media.’Buzz’ was the buzz last year. Itwas closed within the 12 months as it failed to gain traction.

However, Google has very very deep pockets, and this week they launched Google Plus. Google Plus brings together all the Goggle Services (Search, Mail, YouTube, Apps, Chat, Picasso) and adds in a Social Media function.

Google Plus looks like Facebook on steroids. You have ‘friends’, but they move in Circles. You drag your contacts into the circles that they belong – friends from Uni, local freinds, workmates, family. You decide, and overlaps are allowed.

This allows you to share different things with your friends from the rugby club than the things you share with your gran.

You can arrange to meet with your friends using a ‘Huddle’, which is a group SMS servce.

Or you can all just ‘Hangout’ in a very neat Skype-like video conference – where you can see all the people on webcam hanging out with you at once.

Sparks allows you to register an interest in a topic and receive updates when Google finds news about that topic.

About 50% of web users visit Google every day! Facebook is not far behind. If Facebook appears unassailable in Social Media, it is worth remembering that in 2008 MySpace was the king, and Facebook a minnow-sized competitor.

Google Plus is currently in testing with a limited number of invitees.

You can sign up to be next in line at this page

Google also hosts an interactive demonstration of the Google Plus Service

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