Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Interesting Features Of Google+

Google just opened up their new social network called "Google+," and it has a number of interesting features that could be enough to make users of other social networks to seriously consider it. These features  promise to change the way we interact, socialize and connect to others, and given the huge existing user footprint that Google already has, it could spell trouble for Facebook et al. Here's a look at them, thanks to International Business Times:

1) Circles - The Circles concept more closely follows the way you organize your contacts in real life. We meet different kinds of people everyday and interact with them in many different ways. Circles offers a simple means of organizing one's social network by grouping contacts into anything you can possibly imagine - family, friends, co-workers, etc. The groups can be formed by dragging the contact's picture/photo over a circle that represents the group (a group of people can also be dragged over a circle!)

2) Stream – Stream helps you receive instant updates from your friends and other contacts in your Circles list. It helps you decide and choose which circles and individuals you want to share your information with.

3) Sparks – Sparks pulls in stories, videos and other cool content relating to your specific interest. According to Google, the content in Sparks stream is different from the results you'd get if you put the same term into the search engine. Through Sparks, you can get an instant fountain of relevant information to share with friends. After you are asked to choose from a list of possible interests (biking, sailing, etc.), or to put your own specific interest, Google+ goes out and searches almost completely on-topic content from all over the Web.

4) Hangouts - Hangouts is a group video chat feature that allows up to ten people in a group to come together and video chat. Hangouts allow the person nearest to the mic and loudest to speak out.

5) Huddle - Huddle is a group SMS conversation feature where mobile phone numbers of members will be visible to all.

6) Instant Upload – Instant Upload allows the user to upload pictures and videos directly from the phone

Google+ also has amazing privacy features which will put Facebook to crying shame. It allows you choose which Circles you want to share that content with. Also, it lets you know clearly that the information you contribute to Google+ will be used to help refine search results.

Another advantage Google+ has over Facebook is their "data liberation," which allows you to pack up and take your data away from Google+ should you decide to leave the service.

This is a big plus for Google as privacy has always been Facebook’s Achilles’ heel as users have complained how difficult it is to leave Facebook and take their stuff with them.

It looks as though the invitations Google+ are now open again (they were closed due to technical issues shortly after it was launched), so let the social fun begin.
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