Google Plus takes Facebook to the ring
Jay Be Brookman
September 14, 2011
Filed under Opinion
Remember Myspace? It wasn’t too long ago that people thought Myspace would keep growing and continue to be successful…that was until Facebook took the position as the top social networking website.
Today, Facebook is a household name and even grandma has a Facebook account. Meanwhile, the use of Myspace has declined and many analysts have written off the company as essentially dead.
So, to some people it would seem crazy to predict the doom of Facebook, but if there’s one company that could dethrone it as king of social networking, it’s Google.
Google’s success was originally built on its search engine that has become so ubiquitous dictionaries now recognize the name as a word. A good example of its use is, “I just googled a great new dinner recipe.”
However, the world has seen continued innovation from Google and they’ve been massively successful connecting with their other services Gmail, Google Maps and Picasa.
But Google has had its share of failures too. The most recognized examples are Google Buzz and Google Wave. If you don’t know what those two things are, you’re not alone.
Google realized its failures and abandoned them learning a great deal from its mistakes in the process.
With Google Plus, the search engine giant has finally stepped into the social-networking arena and seems poised to go toe-to-toe with Facebook.
Google Plus, also known as G+, is Google’s attempt at creating a social networking service and from the looks of it, it’s no wonder many are calling it the “Facebook Killer.”
According to a PC World web article, “Google+ is a solid start to an incipient rival social networking platform that is sure to be enhanced rapidly over the coming months, and it could soon offer a solid alternative to Facebook.”
Google has taken cues from both Facebook and Twitter.
So, what exactly is Google Plus? To put it bluntly, it’s like Facebook, but better.
Google+ has a more creative “About Me” section because it asks you to write an introduction about yourself, then to list your “bragging rights,” unlike Facebook’s basic questioning that makes up the profile section.
The most exciting feature of Google Plus is the group video chat, called “Hangouts.”
The chats support up to ten people and, as with everything in Google Plus, they’re absolutely free. In other words, say goodbye to Skype.
After trying out a group video chat with friends and family, it was instantly apparent that these “Hangouts” are both practical and entertaining. In addition to just having a good time talking with friends or family, the group video chats are also quite handy for students who need to collaborate on an assignment or study together.
G+ triumphs over Facebook with its privacy and sharing.
Many people have complained about Facebook’s privacy and sharing policies because they accidentally end up sharing things with the wrong people or by making them public for others to see.
Google Plus addresses this problem with a concept called “Circles.”
Once you have a G+ account, you can add other people to your “Circles.” You might have a “Circle” labeled “Friends,” another “Family,” “Coworkers,” “Acquaintances,” and so on. Any time you say or share something, you can easily decide who gets to see it and this makes it much easier to prevent the wrong people having access to it.
Google+ also has a “Stream” section that is the same as Facebook’s News Feed. The only difference is the user has the option to decide which of the Google+ “Circles” is to be read and posted, and this offers more privacy then Facebook.
Google Plus is still in its “testing” phase, meaning that in order to sign up for an account, users with a pre-existing account need to invite new users into their circle.
Google Plus has chosen to do it this way because they want to work all the kinks out of G+ and have a smooth service before they “officially” release it to the public.