Google has boldly revealed its new face on 28th of June, 2011 by challenging the biggest social networking sites of our times, Facebook and Twitter. Google Plus has been in a process of development ever since the failure of Google’s first social networking site, Orkut. Several alternative ideas have been tested such as Google Buzz, Google Wave etc. but were not big enough to compete with its rivals. Never mind the struggles, the tough gets awesome by repeated attempts, and hence Google is back with a bang. We are yet to see whether it’s worth the present hype. However, Google+ is obviously a strong rival for Facebook, which has got over 750 million active users. Google+ is fresh and fun. With the initial survey reports, there are 280% active registrations going on worldwide for Google+. The interesting fact is, large communities of Facebook users are still unaware of the new Google magic.
Now to break the silence, the master brain behind Google+ is that of an IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) graduate from India. It’s none other than Vic Gundotra, the Senior Vice President of Social for Google. Born in 1968, he fell in love with the power of software in his childhood days. He joined Microsoft in 1991, and later became the General Manger of Platform Evangelism, a part of Microsoft. He specialized mainly on Windows Live services and MSN to compete with the Web based software applications of Google. In 2006, he signed an agreement with Google and resigned from Microsoft. After spending 1 year in charitable endeavors due to a Microsoft employee non-compete agreement, he joined Google in 2007.
At Google, he has played a major role in the realization of Google Real-time Search, Google Buzz, Development of Android applications, Google Gadgets, Google Gears etc. The biggest contribution being the inception of Google+.
Google+ is an integration of Google profiles and Google Buzz along with new additional features such as +1, Circles, Hangouts, Sparks and Huddles. Google+ is way much advanced in comparison with Facebook in areas such as E-mail, Voice & Video chats, News features etc. Though Facebook has recently integrated Skype, its way much behind the Video call experience offered by Google+.
+1 is a feature much similar to the ‘’Like’’ of Facebook.
Circles, is the revolutionizing feature of Google+ offering a new social networking experience enabling users to group people without any social obligations. This is much different from the traditional friends list used in Facebook. It helps users to categorize the people into separate circles without letting the people know where exactly they have been placed. The user’s advantage here is in having the privacy of not revealing how many and what all circles he/she has. Hence other users could see the list of friends in ones profile as in Facebook, but they will be completely unaware of the circles. This eases and adds more fun to the networking experience.
Hangouts, is actually an enhanced version of the conference video calling in Skype. It comes with more user friendly features like having around 10 people in a group video chat at any given time.
Huddle, is a messaging or chat like feature within any given circle, available in Android and i0S mobile devices.
Instant upload is a feature for mobile devices enabling users to store pictures and upload when they wish to.
Sparks, is an enhanced Google search feature which works in a customized fashion.
Personally I find Google+ more advanced in every possible way. Am loving its fresh and simple interface. It was Orkut which took me into the world of social networking and was an active user for almost 3 years. Then, to keep up with the race, I finally configured a space in Facebook. In between I got into Twitter and LinkedIn. Social networking sites have always been an integral part of our lives with lots of personal attachments mainly owing to the people involved. One thing which we should keep in mind, no matter what social network we are into, is nurturing and prospering with our real life relationships.