Google+ - the next social networking hit or a messy mashup?

Posted on June 29, 2011 | 2 minute read

Google+ - Google’s newest attempt to delve into the world of social networking on a scale that it hasn’t done before. Orkut looked promising but enthusiasm died, Google Wave flopped (even though I quite liked it originally, I never used it after the first day), Google Buzz fizzled out. I hope that Google+ will be the hit in Google’s track record of social networking misses.

But the announcement of Google+ - Google’s new social network - isn’t even what intrigues me the most. It’s knowing that in a “rolling thunder” approach as described in Steven Levy’s article on Wired, Google will be rolling out more releases that tie the whole shebang together - more than 100 releases in total, in fact, making Google+ just the tip of the iceberg.

Google+ features

+Circles

A way to organize your relationships, kind of like Facebook’s lists. Your family and friends can be in one circle, colleagues in a separate circle, etc. Circles will allow you to share your information selectively with whatever group you choose and, from the sounds of Google’s official blog, not slap the “Friend” sticker on anyone and everyone. I might make a circle for my most annoying acquaintances…

Sounds like: Facebook lists

+Sparks

Sparks are topical feeds that are presented to Google+ users on their selected subjects, aiming to trigger conversations amongst people with similar hobbies and interests.

Sounds like: RSS feeds, Quora interest feeds

+Hangouts

I think Hangouts is meant to be video chat. Not really interested in this one, to be honest.

Sounds like: Skype video chat

+Mobile

An easy way to use Google+ on the mobile, featuring things like location tagging, group messaging, photo upload on the go, etc.

A strong set of features or a messy mashup?

Really it seems like Google is taking a bunch of features that other social media platforms already have and bringing them together into one social network, hoping to make them better. The question is, are they biting off more than they can chew? I mean, sure, it’s Google - they can pretty much chew anything. But trying to get people to use their mashup of services and stray from solutions that already specialize and hone in to a particular feature, such as Skype, might prove to be tough for even the big G to swallow.

What do you think of Google+?




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