Google+ project launch
Google has announced details of its unique project, Google+, which it hopes will change the way users share and converse online.
In February last year, of course, the same company unveiled its social networking tool, Google Buzz, which appears to have amounted to very little. However, Google is trying again. With its new Google+ project, revealed through its blog, Google aims to bring users a way of interacting and sharing online that is more reminiscent of how we interact in real life.
The ongoing project is designed with the user in mind, beginning in a Field Trial by invitation only. The blog outlines the features and purpose of the project. Google concludes that online sharing is currently too disjointed and doesn't reflect the flow and ease of offline interactions. Therefore, sharing online needs a shake-up, and project Google+ is Google's answer.
Plus much more
The Google+ project has four distinct focus areas - +Circles, +Sparks, +Hangouts and +Mobile. Each offering is specifically designed to optimise the things users do most online. +Circles allows users to create their various social circles, eg work, family and friends meaning they can share certain things with certain circles, rather than the whole web at once. +Sparks enables people to spark up conversations about the things they care about most. +Hangouts means friends can casually catch up with each other when they're free with live multi-person videos.
The +Mobile feature, which is already available on the Android Market, makes GPS, cameras and messaging more social. When users send a message to a friend, they can indicate their location in the hope their friend might be nearby and join them. When a photo is taken using a mobile phone, the image will instantly be uploaded to a private album in the cloud that can be accessed from any device, ensuring photographs never get lost. +Mobile will also incorporate +Huddle, which is a group messaging experience allowing ease of organising social occasions.
Google has also provided assurances that, while on the one hand making it easier for users to share data online, it will also give people more opportunities to decide which aspects of data are private or public.