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Google+ Comes Out Strong Against Facebook

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tx4ljr22 thumb Google+ Comes Out Strong Against FacebookAnyone who gets on the Internet lately, you can’t help but see the news about Google. Making changes to Blogger, GooglePicasa and they have also launched a new service called Google+; it’s the direct competitor to Facebook. You just matter of time before Google decided that they decided to really immerse themselves into the social sphere.

They started with Google Buzz, and then Google +1, but I think the introduction of Google+ is really going to be there defining moment. Google has shown without a doubt that if they put the effort into it, they can create some really effective applications and services for Internet users.

Facebook on the other hand, seems to be torturing users with bad programming and abuses of privacy with theiruser accounts. Facebook has the largest user base on the Internet, it’s visited more often than Google. And while Facebook has been trying to into the search business, Google seems to be making efforts to get into the social business; with Google+ I think they have found a recipe for success.

 

Over the past couple of days Google has been filling the Internet with all kinds of announcements on services and function changes, and everyone’s talking about what’s coming next with Google. Offering Google+ to users is going to be a huge benefit to Google as far as advertising goes. Google has already established themselves as the advertising giants of the Internet; they know that business backwards. But now that Google can offer a social network/website [Google+] they’re going to be able to aggregate information directly off of you, your profile and the people you communicate with directly; they’re going to be able to advertise directly to your interests.

 

One of the things that I like about Google+ immediately is the level of control of who has access to what information. Google+ has a function called Google’s ‘circles’ you can create circles [groups] of friends, in which you can send information to those groups of individuals only and the interface to create these is very intuitive; you simply drag-and-drop connections into the circles. The process is actually kind of fun… [sounds bad right?]

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And for users who are looking to try something new, or to get away from Facebook, they’ll find that the interface for Google+ is very similar to Facebook; there’s not a huge learning curve. From the main Google+ home page you simply share ‘what’s new’– this can be videos, links, pictures or just random thoughts. Everything that’s placed into your ‘stream’ can be commented on, shared or +1’d. Google is really taking advantage of the services it offered to collect and rate information.

Google+ also offers the ability to redirect your website to your Google+ profile. The overall feel of Google+ seems to be just a more robust offering right out of the gate.

And within just a few days of launching Google+, Google has announced that it’s going to be making changes to the Google+ website based on the feedback from the users; I’ve always indicated that Google has the resources to make these quick changes, but I’m curious to see how long these quick changes will stay in effect once Google+ has established itself as a viable service– hopefully not dying off like Google Wave.

Google+ doesn’t have any offerings right now of any applications or games on the Google+ website, but I’m sure those will come later if Google+ is planning to directly compete with Facebook; and from this format, it looks like they are…

I see hangouts is a big bonus for Google+ something that Facebook doesn’t have. With the groups/circles of friends with Google+ you can interact with people and not worry about including others that shouldn’t be there, just as you do with every other real world conversation. Google’s existing services for instant messaging, video chat and e-mail will surely come into play with Google+. And with services like this, you don’t need Skype orMicrosoft, or Facebook. These services are already built into Google+; from Google.

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I haven’t seen any information so far on the availability of what Google is going to offer for developers, where’s the API? but you can bet once they do, they’re going to be focusing on what information can be shared, the level of privacy; something that has continuously shot Facebook– in the face.

Another question is going to be, how many people are going to defect from Facebook? Facebook has a very large following of users; some people are just absolutely devoted to Facebook, checking in on it every day, sometimes many times a day; notwithstanding the Facebook application for the various smart phones.

Technically, Google has a very large user base, and if you have a Google account, then essentially you can have a Google+ account. Purely out of speculation, I would have to say based on the number of people who defect from Facebook [for various reasons] will directly affect the amount of people that will switch just because the other people did.

My purposes for Facebook are to simply stay in touch with friends, older friends and to have a central hub of communication for everything [social]. But if Facebook proved nothing else; if you can do it better, people will come to you, putting the other guy out of business [example: MySpace]…

One of the things I’m really impressed with the Google+ website is that you can submit feedback about the website and things you’d like to see changed.

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In the bottom right-hand corner there’s option for ‘send feedback’. this is a feature that I’ve never seen with any other website or any other service on the Internet. immediately after choosing this option Google+ goes to your browser and captures the screen which are currently on…

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And then you’re given options, to highlight the area of the screen that you want to talk about or the problems you’re having with that particular page; having done tech support for many years, I see this function as very valuable.

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From the screenshot above, you can see where the sections have been highlighted and there are sections where you can blackout personal information that you don’t want to share with the Google support staff; this is a fantastic way to get feedback about your website or what changes need to be made with the Google+ website.

From Google+’s initial offering, I think that Facebook needs to put on their hardhat and get to work…

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