Google Plus – The New Facebook?

By Cassie Doney

Something “new” is allegedly coming to the world of social networking. Google’s second attempt at creating a social networking site to rival Facebook is finally off the ground, and it’s called Google Plus.

 

Look, Grandpa Joe! We’ve been invited to Google+!

Initially Google+ required the user to be “invited” by a friend, or receive an invite directly from Google. This added a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory aura of mystery to the whole thing, and the comment sections of pretty much any articles discussing Google+ were filled with people searching for someone to give them an invite. It opened to the general public last Tuesday. This testing stage was probably invaluable to hyping up Google+ after the dismal failure of Google Wave, which was unveiled in May 2009 and closed in August of the following year.

I haven’t tried out Google+ yet. I’m not a technophile – I only plucked up the courage to tackle Facebook a year ago, and had it for about two months before I fully understood how to work it. But even to my Luddite eyes, Google+ looks good. You can add your friends to “circles” without them knowing! And you can choose to share your content with only some of these circles! (Which will at least end the humiliation of your mum commenting on your drunk postings.) You can also create “Hangouts” which are basically video conferences with all the online members of a circle. Which is supposed to be much more personal than Facebook chat, and encourages face-to-face interaction to boot. But to be honest, I see those as disadvantages. (What is someone starts video chatting to you and you get bored? You’ll have to actually leave your computer as opposed to just saying you are! Google+ is obviously not meant for awkward neurotics like myself.)

Google+ (predicatably) already has an app out. The obsession with social networking on the go is definetly being exploited here.

The major problem I can see with Google+ is that it’s new. Normally, new things are pounced upon and explored within an inch of it’s life. But. But. But. I’m happy on Facebook. Facebook understands me. I’ve got a whole collection of witty pages that I “liked”. I’m getting invites for birthday parties in countries I no longer live in. I have a hoarde of embarassing photos. In other words, I’m settled, and I don’t want to up sticks and move into a brave new world.

For those wondering if Google+ will take off, there are some big questions that need to be considered. One – will Zuckerberg concede without a fight, or will Facebook go through some revolutionary new change to keep up with this new challenger? Two – will anyone actually use it, or will those ahead of the technological curve sit on it all day looking at their friend count of 0? And three, arguably the most important one – what will a frape be called?

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2 Responses

  1. Heya, this article is nice – enjoyed reading it and the picture works so well!
    Very informative as well. Though I am not rushing to check out google+ yet.
    Thanks!

  2. I am not a Googlepluser yet and I am adamant to hold off as long as possible. My reasons? I have become one of those FaceyB haters. You’re right in that the problem with Google+ is that it is new and I guess that’s why I have yet to pluck up the courage with this one. Where Zuckerberg claims everything should be shared, it would be nice to know when privacy settings and updates are coming eh? A growing hatred towards Facebook seems to lurk in the back of my mind with any new social network as I can’t help but remember how much Facebook has changed since I signed over to the Devil. They are competing with each other and so all these new ‘safer’ ways of social networking (in reference to your drunk posting) just feel like marketing gimmicks that won’t last. The new Facebook surely needs to act in a similar way as its competitor to attract groupies that already have a comfort zone elsewhere. Maybe I am too cynical.

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