There are several instances thus far of Google having tried to make its mark in the social realm. But unlike search, the foray hasn’t yielded success. To straight the record straight, Google has unveiled a new social networking service. It is termed the Google+ project.
Incidentally, it happens to resemble Facebook a lot, which may be a mere coincidence or part of a concerted strategy, it is difficult to say. The service will be available only to a select group of users initially, who will be able to invite other members soon. They can share and discuss their status updates, links and photos, quite in the same as they are anyways able to do on Facebook.
So what is going to be the USP for Google+ project? It is slated to be different in one visible manner that the search engine giant hopes will be significant enough to convince internet users to try out yet another social network over and above the ones they are already using.
It’s meant for focused sharing with groups such as colleagues, room partners, college mates or hiking/trekking friends – not with all of one’s acquaintances or the whole Web World. It also offers a feature of group text messaging as well as video chat, to set itself apart.
Bradley Horowitz, a Google executive associated with product management, is shaping the company’s social path along with senior vice president (engineering) Vic Gundotra. Spelling out the strategy, the duo mentions in a media interview: “We’ve walls and windows in real life. I can converse with you knowing who’s there in the room. However, you get to a ‘Share’ box in the online realm and you share with the entire world. We’ve a different model.”
Revealing the thought process behind the new project, Vic Gundotra notes on the official blog (Introducing Google+ – Real-life sharing, rethought for the web):
“One among the very basic of human needs is to connect with others. We connect with others every single day, with a smile, a whisper or a cheer. The connections between people today increasingly happen online. Yet the subtlety and substance of real-world interactions are somehow lost in the rigidness of our online tools.”
In this basic, human way, online sharing is awkward; even broken. And we aim to fix it. We would like to bring the nuance and richness of real-life sharing to software; by including you, your relationships, and your interests. And so begins the Google+ project.”
The launch of Google+ will test, in effect whether Google is finally able to overcome its stuttering moves of the past in the arena of social networking and deal successfully with the challenges being faced by it. And at stake is the company’s status as the most popular and visible entry point to the World Wide Web…