After a two month blogging hiatus, there’s probably not a better subject to return to writing about than Google+, the latest Social Networking tool proposed by the Search Engine giant.
Having finally got myself an invite to the beta version today, I have been able to navigate around the platform, add friends to my ‘Circles’ and post updates. After viewing an article on Mashable about the Pro’s and Con’s of Google+, it’s easy to see why these likes and dislikes have been selected by a number of people.
It’s true, the user interface of G+ is fantastic, simple to navigate around and find what you’re looking for. I also really love Circles; being able to put different friends in different groups and tailor your updates for certain circles only solves previous issues of what personal updates you don’t want prospective employers or colleagues to see. ‘Sparks’ is also a great idea, being able to list various interests and monitor news about them is a useful addition, although a problem I have encountered so far is ‘Football’ contains news on what some may call ‘Soccer’, but also American Football, which can be annoying. I have yet to use the ‘Hangout’ feature for video calling, but an interesting comparison could be between that and Facebook’s new video service, released last week in partnership with Skype.
One thing I would personally like to see is increased integration with other Social Networks, Such as Twitter, Foursquare, LinkedIn etc, but perhaps this will be a later addition once Google+ is fully launched. Given that many people see plus as Google’s rival service to Facebook, it’s unlikely that a Facebook integration feature will be developed.
Although at present there is no easy way to share your personal profile URL with others, the website Gplus.to allows you to create an easy-to-share URL once you have acquired your Google+ ID.
Can it become the “new Facebook” ? Only time will tell, but this is definitely Google’s strongest offering in Social Networking.