Google is field testing its Facebook clone, Google+. You only need to see this chart to understand why:
Actually, Google says it is not trying to replicate Facebook, but trying to improve a critical aspect of the Internet – online sharing – which they believe is “broken” and “awkward” and “rigid”. Here’s how they’re doing it:
Circles – these are groups of people you organize by how you know them: friends, colleagues, family, etc. The drag-and-drop feature makes it easy to plop your contacts into each circle. What’s different about this feature is you can choose which circles you want to “share” posts with...on Facebook, your updates go to everyone.
Sparks – this is Google Reader reinvented and better organized. You indicate your interests and each of those interests gets its own Sparks page. Google then fills each page with relevant articles, videos and photos.
Hangouts – this is where you video chat with people who are in your circles.
Huddles – a group messaging app where you can select your group and everyone can chat with each other.
Instant Upload – for Android only; lets you upload photos from your phone to Google+.
Google+ is by invitation only right now and you can request an invitation on its Google+ project home page. If there’s a message that says capacity has been temporarily exceeded, you can try again another day.
Eventually, Google+ will be rolled out to everyone with a Google account. You’ll know you have access when you see a “+You” button on your Google toolbar when you log in.
Only time – and users – will tell if this latest Google social media platform will rival Facebook, so stay tuned.
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