Google+ just what social thing is it this time?

Google Wave crashed, Google Buzz fell on deaf ears, but can Google+ add to our social life’s?

Google is in the process of launching their new attempt at challenging Facebook, let’s hope that they have learned from their first two attempts, Wave and Buzz, which were both terrible launches and complete disasters for users.

So a client asked me what makes this one different from the rest of Google’s social media attempts? Well they are allowing you to essentially divide up your social groups, which could either be really good or a terrible idea, time will tell.

So what do I mean by divide up the social group? Google calls this “Circles”.

Just think of all the times you’ve heard people say “my mums just joined facebook and wants to be added to my friends list” who knows what stuff you don’t want your mum to see or comments from other friends she’s never meant that show the wrong side of you. Sometimes there needs to be boundaries and this is essentially what Google thinks will make them different from the rest.

In theory this is a good idea for cases like that, but will it work in the real world? Only by getting enough people on the system and actually using it will we know if it’s a hit or not.

They bring a few other things to the table that are of interest like “Hangouts”.

So a few of you are online at the same time, wouldn’t it just be easier to set up video chat with everyone, but that’s usually a one to one affair, not with Google Huddle apparently you can do more than 2, how many more? well apparently up to ten, which is quite impressive, but will it work or kill broadband connections all over the place, guess we’ll find out soon.

So what else do they bring to the table well something called “Huddle”.

Have you ever been trying to arrange a night out with 4 or more people and had trouble with everyone knowing what’s going on then plans change and you have to do the round robin nightmare again to make sure everyone knows what’s happening. Well Huddle is apparently the saviour by letting you group everyone together in one big chat room. Problem solved, everyone now gets the same information as everyone else and can contribute to the chat without messing up your profile with useless chatter. This could be very useful to many people.

Maybe not as social right away “Sparks” is the next thing on the list.

This is basically a way for Google+ to suggest things you might be interested in from your searches. either it will work really well and you’ll discover lots of great new things or it will very quickly become spam and peeve you off.

They actually have a whole load of other things like privacy settings that are both easy to set and in your control, the ability to download all your photos and Google+ profile data so that if the service ever got canned you would have all your information – this is a nice touch, but something Facebook will probably be able to add easily enough.

Google+ will also be on pretty much every smart phone out there so it won’t matter if you have Android, iOS, Win 7 Mobile, Blackberry or Nokia Symbian.

So lot’s to take in and consider there for Google+, but do we need another social network?

I think it can’t do any harm to make Facebook take notice that maybe their position isn’t fixed at number 1. They will ultimately improve themselves as a result and maybe even simplify things like their privacy policy when they see how others approach it.

The consumers always lose out when there is only one of any service, so I would say try out Google+ and see if it is a worthy alternative for your life and business, if not, Facebook aren’t exactly going to kick you out!

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