WTF is Google+?
Is Google trying to take down Facebook, or is this the birth of a new way of computing?
By: Jorge T. Armand, Staff Writer
When you are at work, there are forty five of your friends online, chatting their faces off. You get home from work and there are only eight. Is that social networking or social-not-working? Tell me.
You probably already heard about Google+ and how it’s Google’s attempt to challenge Facebook. Look Facebook, I’d relax if I had 750 million members and 700 billion minutes spent on my site per month.
What about Twitter? Don’t think so. Taking on Twitter is like taking on…CNN + Steven Harper + Hollywood + Justin Bieber + 10 million zombies + 250 million tweets a day.
Everyone has thought of quitting Facebook, some even dare to try. Some of the reasons people sometimes want to quit Facebook are: drama, time-wasting, jobs, and privacy invasion. This is where Google+ comes in.
So WTF is Google+? And why would you create another social network if you’re already using Facebook and Twitter?Google+ is about better privacy. As a user, you have control over who you share information with on your network.
Google+ works with a concept of “circles.” Yes, just like your circles of friends. With circles you can categorize people, for example: co-workers, family, or tennis friends. To add a person to any circle you have created, simply drag their name into one.
“Google has found a seamless formula with more structure…it is extending Google’s communication platforms into a unified sharing platform.”
You can control how much of your profile is visible to each circle. Type a person’s name into a box, and see what your profile looks like through their eyes.
Google+ is like Facebook and Twitter combined. You can have friends in a social network, and you can also follow certain people, for instance an artist you don’t know personally, just like Twitter.
Charlene Li, Founder of Altimeter Group, a social-media advisory firm, told ABC news on June 30, 2011 that Google+’s goal is not to replace Facebook.
“Key thing here is that going against Facebook directly is suicidal,” said Li. “Google has found a seamless formula with more structure. It really is the plus part. It is extending Google’s communication platforms into a unified sharing platform.”
Ever heard of the Blue Ocean Strategy? Markets are divided into “red oceans” and “blue oceans.” Red oceans are known market space. There are many competitors fighting for market share. Cutthroat competition turns the ocean bloody.Blue oceans are unknown market space with few competitors who create market shares. New market makes competition irrelevant.
In a red ocean, you update status, stalk, like, tweet, and blog. That’s getting old. In a blue ocean, you fix collaboration and share across applications and across platforms. That’s Google+.
Other interesting features of Google+ are “Sparks” and “Hangouts.” Sparks helps you find interesting content based on your interests. It’s like an automatic Google Reader. Hangouts are virtual rooms where you can simultaneously video chat with several people in your circles.
Google calls its new service the Google+ Project, meaning that what’s available now is only a first installment of several more features coming in the pipeline.
Do you know how often people still email photos and documents? What’s obviously in the pipeline: a combination of Microsoft office with Google docs and apps. And probably a breed of Mac app store with Chrome web store. Don’t forget all of this goes mobile with smart-phones.
Google+ is still developing and its success will be proven in the coming months. But besides all the new cool stuff and the “battle” between Facebook and Google, there is something else you should start thinking about. Who owns your information?
Have you ever looked yourself up in 123people.com? Do it. You’ll be surprised to know how much advertisers know about you. I call Google Inc. the biggest monopoly of history. Not only is it your search engine, but it’s also your new browser, your android phone, email, document sharing, Youtube, and a database for advertisers. The list goes on. That’s quite a bit of knowledge and power.
Subpoena. Advertising. Password. GPS. Call log…now imagine if Google+ trumps Facebook.
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