Is Google+ good enough to take on Facebook?
Google’s new social network, launched today, boasts a host of innovative features
It's not the first time that Google has attempted to take on Facebook with a social networking innovation: Google Wave and Google Buzz have both come and gone. But today, the company hopes it will be third time lucky as it launches its latest creation: Google+.
Even though Google is an internet megalith, registering two out every three internet searches in America, it has consistently failed to gain a substantial share of the growing social network market. The company hopes that a number of new features incorporated into Google+ will attract users.
Like most social networking sites the service allows people to share photos, messages and comments and it also integrates the company's maps and images. But it also has other selling points.
'Circles' is Google+'s main innovation. The feature allows users to place friends into separate groups, thereby giving individuals total control about what content they can share with whom. "Sometimes it's not relevant to talk about certain things with certain people," explained a girl on Google's video promotion for the website "especially my guy friends – I don't fill them in on every aspect of my life whereas I might with my girlfriends or my mum or whatever".
The idea could prove a hit. Analysts have blamed the popularity of Facebook – which puts a user's friends, relatives and co-workers in one place – as part of the reason why the thousands of people are now logging off the site.
Other new features on Google+ include 'Hangouts' – multi-user video-conferencing – as well as an group instant messenger called 'Huddle', and a feature that connects users with common interests called 'Sparks'.
Google claimed, in gushing terms, that the new product would "bring the nuance and richness of real-life sharing to software."
Ben Parr, who writes on the social media website Mashable, gave a mixed review after trying out the new site. "Overall, Google+ is solid," he said, "but I'm not going to call it a Facebook killer or a game-changer… If Google can persuade users to come back every day, it has a winner. But the company will have to do even more to provide a truly compelling alternative to Facebook." ·
Comments are now closed on this article