Google has been trying to get this social thing right for a while now, they have had tons of failures the latest of which was Google Wave. Today, Google is introducing their latest foray into social media with Google +. Honestly, this seems to be the their most feasible crack at it thus far. Let’s break down Google + for you.
+Circles: share what matters, with the people who matter most
Not all relationships are created equal. So in life we share one thing with college buddies, another with parents, and almost nothing with our boss. The problem is that today’s online services turn friendship into fast food—wrapping everyone in “friend” paper—and sharing really suffers:
- It’s sloppy. We only want to connect with certain people at certain times, but online we hear from everyone all the time.
- It’s scary. Every online conversation (with over 100 “friends”) is a public performance, so we often share less because of stage fright.
- It’s insensitive. We all define “friend” and “family” differently—in our own way, on our own terms—but we lose this nuance online.
I really like the concept of “circles”, when you want to be private but open at the same time. I really dig this, it’s like set it and forget it.
+Sparks: strike up a conversation, about pretty much anything
Sparks delivers a feed of highly contagious content from across the Internet. 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:
Sparks seems to be like one big RSS feed aggregator of sorts, this one isn’t as refreshing as Circles but once they combine it with the other parts of Google + it should fit nicely.
+Hangouts: stop by and say hello, face-to-face-to-face
Just think: when you walk into the pub or step onto your front porch, you’re in fact signaling to everyone around, “Hey, I’ve got some time, so feel free to stop by.” Further, it’s this unspoken understanding that puts people at ease, and encourages conversation. But today’s online communication tools (like instant messaging and video-calling) don’t understand this subtlety:
- They’re annoying, for starters. You can ping everyone that’s “available,” but you’re bound to interrupt someone’s plans.
- They’re also really awkward. When someone doesn’t respond, you don’t know if they’re just not there, or just not interested.
Hangouts combine the casual meetup with live multi-person video, Hangouts lets you stop by when you’re free, and spend time with your Circles. Face-to-face-to-face. At a high level I like the concept of Hangouts, but the concept it’s trying to capture online is inherently not an online experience. Not sure on this one so I will reserve judgment till I get a chance to use it a bit.
+Mobile: share what’s around, right now, without any hassle
+Location, location, location
- In life, the places we visit shape conversations in lots of meaningful ways. If we call John from the airport, he’ll likely ask about our trip. Or if Jane texts from a nearby restaurant, we might join her for dessert. With Google+ you can add your location to every post. (Or not. It’s always up to you.)
- Getting photos off your phone is a huge pain, so most of us don’t even bother. Of course pictures are meant to be shared, not stranded, so we created Instant Upload to help you never leave a photo behind. While you’re snapping pictures, and with your permission, Google+ adds your photos to a private album in the cloud. This way they’re always available across your devices—ready to share as you see fit
- Coordinating with friends and family in real-time is really hard in real life. After all, everyone’s on different schedules, in different places, and plans can change at any moment. Phone calls and text messages can work in a pinch, but they’re not quite right for getting the gang together. So Google+ includes Huddle, a group messaging experience that lets everyone inside the circle know what’s going on, right this second.
Starting today Google+ is available on Android Market and the mobile web, and it’s coming soon to the App Store. Google + is currently invite only so as soon as we get our invites we will write more about it. If you have your invite already, what do you think of it so far?
[source link=”http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/06/introducing-google-project-real-life.html”]Official Google Blog[/source]