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Friday, July 01, 2011

What's new in Google Plus?

Apparently the most searched keyword for this week on Google has undoubtedly been 'Google plus'. Every one is eager to know if Google's going for a head on collision with Facebook, the social networking giant head of the recent past. Based on my experience, here's my take on Google plus, so far.

1) Well, If you ask me, what do I love the most about Google plus, I would surely say that it is its clutter free user interface. White background, glassy finish, the most readable Sans serif font certainly adds to its elegance. As of now, the UI looks neat without advertisements or stupid suggestions (as in facebook) showing up.

2) Spam messages on chat, improper offline visibility et al. Some reasons why we hate facebook chat. We never had any issues with Google talk and henceforth the Gtalk chat element would remain intact within Google plus.

3) Circles is more apt to conceptualize in terms of social networking when compared to lists in facebook and twitter. Editing lists on facebook can be a pain in the ass where as Google plus made it an all easy drag and drop.

4) Google Buzz was initially much hyped because of its basic feature that one doesn't have to go searching for friends, as in Facebook or Twitter. Google plus exploits the same feature as well.

5) Sparks on Google plus, IMHO is an insanely innovative concept. It is a great thought to include such a feature that would keep you posted with news feeds related to topics of your interest. Although I am not sure of the quality and accuracy of the feeds in sparks. Either ways this is one aspect where in Google plus surpasses Twitter that provides real time feeds. How would one ever know which photographer to follow on twitter if he/she is interested in photography? This feature reminds me of stumbleupon, Nevertheless it is awesome.

6) Facebook curbs freedom giving way too much importance to privacy. Twitter on the other hand gives too much of freedom for a user. You've to be friends with a person on Facebook to view his/her feeds. On the contrast, everybody on Twitter is given the right to view anyone's tweets and follow 'em. Google plus is a perfect blend of both. It doesn't compromise freedom of use for privacy. Any user is free to add up to his/her circle, any person of his choice (as in twitter) but is again enforced with a restriction of not being able to access all the updates of the user. One can always set the visibility of an update or a shared item to public (viewed by all users who follow you) or it can also be set to be viewed by one/few particular circle of yours. This is again a simple yet brilliant thought of Google to combine the best of twitter and Facebook leaving apart their shortcomings.

7) Adding to this, tiny yet noticeable features of easy editing of updates and comments, mobile app availability, total sync from picasa web albums and easy pop ups to include friends in a circle, all of these add up to what Google plus could provide better than the rest of the social networking sites.

Hopefully, in the near future we could also expect Google to expose the API for the same. Comprehending the fact that Google plus is still in its first phase of release, it is still yet to take off. It is not a very serious threat to Facebook or Twitter as of now but we surely cannot deny the fact that it has the potential to leave a trace on the sands of social networking, After all it is Google at work!


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