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Tuesday, July 26, 2011
I've been yearning to blog about this getting-more-interesting-as-days-go-by social media tool that is frightening off our behemoth social networking site, Facebook. Upon inception of the idea of creating this whole post, I understand that this would demand an in-depth consideration to note some important features and how this emerging social media gonna do its job to start a tough competition against the giant, Facebook.

My Facebook friends, Twitter followers, Glayreaders, Ladies and Gentlemen... Let me introduce to you, the social networking site that swears Facebook's downfall, Google+ or Google Plus.

Yes, exactly. Google finally gets back to work as they introduce their latest groundbreaking project,  Google+. After a few failed attempts in creating their own social networking site like what they previously have: Orkut, Buzz, Wave, Google has still managed to create a better concept (and it's a lot more interesting one) to capture the egressing number of social media tool users that were mainly gathered around by Facebook.

Now what makes Google+ ahead of Facebook? That is sure tough question. Let me share to you some of my Plus impressions to give you a slight idea how it captured my attention (besides I am an ongoing Google+ tester :)).

Let's start with Google+'s main strength - CIRCLES. If you have watched The Social Network movie, you should have noticed that the common statement used by Facebook pioneers was "Facebook me", and this has certainly confused other people who have not heard of Facebook beforehand, the statement was actually referring to "meet me up on Facebook" or "add me up on Facebook". Interestingly, Google has carefully re-thought this base point concept to easily get the attention of potential users, one would just say "add me to your circles" - which is a more vernacular language used when interacting with people you've already known before or you've just known the first time (later dragging them to your "acquaintance" circle). Indeed, this is way much better in starting virtual connection with people you really know. The people you add in your circles are not just some people who you could not think of which circle he belongs, which compels one to be fully responsible of having the right people in your circles (a much intuitive way of having known individuals in your network). To compare this feature with Facebook's "add to list", the significant difference between these two is the emphasis of each categorization. On Google+, right from the start, "circles" has obliged its users to categorize specifically the persons they'd like to add. This functionality has actually something to do with its next edge over Facebook - PRIVACY.

While Facebook's main concern for most of its users is privacy (data mining, information control, default configuration and so on), if you've noticed the default posting visibility on Facebook, it is set to visible to all friends  (or it depends on the configuration of user's posting default). On Google+ however, the users do not have to follow through few steps to keep his posts from her family for instance, because it's just given right there that a particular post would be visible to a specific circle (as you may have already understood, a circle is a group you categorized yourself from the very beginning). Hence, if you would like to post how dissatistified you are with your co-employee's attitude at work, you definitely would want to share it with your "friends" circle instead with your "officemates" circle (I could not think of a better example ;)). The main point here is, with Google+, privacy of your thoughts is enforced in just a second while on Facebook, you are necessitated to do a few more steps to enforce the "hide" actions. This difference shows that patience is something you do not want to demand in a user. Convenience should always be considered.

Aside from circles and the different benefits it renders, there are few other features I am quite impressed of. One thing is its notification. I really like how I receive notifications from Plus. While I am on Gmail (another Google product, just FYI Yahoo users), there is this small dashboard on the upper-right corner that allows me to view notifications without the need to open my Plus profile. Plus, I could also interact through it (they really do value time, I promise!). Another + attribute is that my 1's are featured separately in another tab on my profile! Why this is significant to me? By the way, 1's is similar to LIKEs (if you're curious with how to use 1's gramatically, please follow this link). The 1's tab allows any user to scan through the different interests of a specific user, I for example, did few 1's on blog sites I follow or blog posts/contents I like which are automatically shown on my 1's tab, people in my circle would generally know my topic interests and so on (that is if they're curious enough). Plus, I just love how everything on the site flaunts nice web interface --- from drag and drop circles to speedy uploads and much better photo browsing functionalities with nice viewers' interaction area on the sidebar and a lot more.

Well, some of the features on Google+ are similar to that of Facebook's. News Feed for example, is called Stream on Plus. Btw, talking about convenient interaction, Plus users can easily change the stream to specific cirle (this feature is actually available on Facebook but one needs to perform few steps [again] --- which is time consuming). Facebooks' Top News is Plus' Mainstream (though, it's not yet presented on the home dashboard), I have not fully grasped how it works for now (y'know I only have a few people in my circles that I could not see much difference with "streams" as of the present). I have also learned that Google+ plans to incorporate games which is a very obvious Facebook counterpart (and I am actually not into it).

So now, let's talk about this big MINUS I have just realized recently on PLUS. Though as you might have already been aware of, Google has provided us with wide array of services aside from the most popular service, Google Search. As highlighted in Google privacy policy, the information they collect from us upon Google registration will be processed, used and sent to other Google services or third parties to improve the quality of their overall service. That is something you should not disregard unless you want your activities or personal information to be published in Google Ads. Somehow, all these privacy issues can be reverted by configuring your privacy settings.

It would be too early for now to say that Google+ could finally get the chance to have a head-to-head battle with Facebook (presently, they are still doing field tests --- with a few of us as Google+ testers), what important is that such anticipated competition would yield to future and much better conceptualizations for social networking services as both parties will certainly re-think real-life sharing to make the world a more open place (sounds like more of GoogLike or FacePlus right? :)).

I would like to end this post with Epipheo's restatement of Google's very confident outlook into creating this new service , "you don't need to choose Google+, sooner or later, you are going to end up using it." ;)

Watch Epipheo's video below: "What is Google+ and do I need it?"



P.S. Mark Zuckerberg is now one of us (Google+ testers). Check out his profile.
What's more interesting, Facebook is now obviously threatened by Google+.

Create your CIRCLES now. But first, read Google+ Privacy Policy.

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5 comments:

  • Kevin Paquet

    Hello,

    Google+ isn't really a Facebook killer. It goes even beyond that. It's not all about getting you into their Social Network, it's about getting you to use their other services (left hand side on every Google+ Page and most pages of the other services I'm talking about)

    That's what I read somewhere and it makes sense to me, at least..

  • Glayra

    Wow thanks!

    Very valuable thought right there...

    I agree with you.

    That's the focal point of having Google+... :)

  • Catherine

    found u thru blogger community. :) i have yet to know more about google plus and just bout to read ur whole post. was just too excited to post a comment when i saw u work thru odesk too:D

  • Raphnexx

    This Google+ is really a hit!.But i don't think it will surpass Facebook-not this year .

  • Glayra

    @catherine

    Nice.. I'd love to have you on my circles.. :) have one now!

    @raphnexx

    nandito naman sa blog ko ang iniidolo ko.. :)

    yes, it certainly is a hit! But I still doubt if they'd get what they're aiming for... double plus luck on that!

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