There was a lot of buzz on the Internet and tech news portals/blogs that Google is coming with a Facebook killer social networking site which has lot of potential.
(If you just want to read the review, jump to next sub topic, Google+ review)
I heard of it and signed up for the service, it’s for a limited number of users, and waited for an invite.
Two of the earlier attempts by Google have failed miserably, latest being Buzz which couldn’t create any buzz!
Orkut is waiting for a mercy killing after making waves in Brazil and India. Come Facebook and people have ditched Orkut like a girl who was once great but not a marriage thing. (no sexism involved here)
Moving on to Google+, I was waiting to get lucky to be among a chosen few who would Google invite or allow a friend to send me an invite. Meanwhile I created a Google profile by clicking the top right link of my gmail account which shows up logout option. You can find a profile related option. Go on and fill all the requirements.
Next day I got the invite from a friend, Rajneesh Verma. I accepted it and clicked the link in my mail: know more/learn more. Generally, Google won’t allow you to get into Plus even if you have invite. But I think I was lucky so it accepted me and mind you, you ought to accept what Google want you too. Else they won’t take you in. Like I have to say yes to Google being able to share my picassa album.
Look and feel: Google plus has a top bar in black colour which on the left have many Google services link like Gmail, YouTube, Orkut and all. On the right you have, Twitter like, small thumbnail image of you, settings button and options to signout and all.
On the left panel it’s like Facebook, having your image and Circles, notifications and sparks and all.
Overall a mix of Twitter and Facebook with similar posting area with link, place, photo sharing options. Below the post you have share and comment links.
Login is swift: either go to the designated website, punch in your mail ID and password or just click the Plus on any of the Goggle sites like search, gmail, YouTube, or Orkut etc. There are notifications related to Plus even if you are in the Google search page. A red box will show if you have received any comment or Circle request etc.
How does it work: It’s as simple as Facebook. You have a post for ‘stream’, you write it and choose with whom you want to share. That’s a cracker feature.
You can command who all can see your post, who all can actually comment on it, who all can re-share it.
It simply gives you the absolute authority over your post and that is not clumsy. You can decide if you want only one person to read and comment, only one group/circle can comment and share etc.
Messaging: there is no exclusive ‘message’ option but you can simple work out a way. Just post something on Stream and let only the intended person have the authority to read and comment.
Circles: circles are groups which contains individuals with same liking or class or the way you define them. Circles with the name family, friends, acquaintances, an followers are present by default. You can make your own circles for school friends, teachers, workplace guys and whatever…
Hangout and Huddle: The feature of group video chat is called a hangout and group chat is called a huddle. This is one of the distinguishing features. The moment Google came with this, Facebook actually followed it with bringing Skype to them.
Privacy: Privacy is simpler to control. You have the command to know or let others not know about anything that you want or don’t want them to know. Every single post or info can be controlled from zero individual to a Circle or to some Circles to all.
Re-share: Reshare option allows or disallows the users’ Circle mates to share a particular post or info with someone else. Much the same like retweeting.
So, that was the first look on Google plus from me. There are a lot of good social networking sites and each one keeps coming with interesting features every month or so.
There are some issues which Google will take care off as it’s in testing phase.
If you are a networking guy who wants Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn (they are working to make it business oriented as well) you can give it a shot. But to enjoy it you must have a friend base. Once it is launched full fledgedly, it should be liked.
Images: Google plus