July 5, 2011 Leave a comment
The big talk in the digital world this past week has revolved around Google and their new social media experiment, “Google+”. The service launched in a very limited testing period last week, and now, everybody wants in.
And unfortunately for everyone–it isn’t easy to get in. Take it from me, I’ve been trying very hard to do so, in order to provide a proper rundown here on Digital Lust (I have now gotten a hold of an invite, I’m just not allowed in yet). The launch and demand for this new service is very, very reminiscent of the demand of when Gmail first launched back in the summer of 2004. This was right around the time that Digital Lust originally launched, and I was able to grab an invite and get a good rundown pretty quickly. I hoping for the same with this project, but not holding my breath.
Back on track! Social media has become a prominent way for friends and family to communicate with one another. Myspace was the start of the new social media trend, with Facebook and Twitter becoming the most popular today. With all of the demand that Google is receiving over Google+, are they perhaps posing to dominate one or both of the leading social sites?
Let’s take a look at the entire concept of Google+. At first sight, it will remind you more of Facebook than Twitter. Photo tagging is there. Video posting is there. Status updates and story sharing are all there. What makes Google+ different from Facebook is the ability to choose who you share your content with. Google+ allows you to place your friends into different “circles.”. You can share different stories with different circles. It’s a really unique feature that works! With Facebook, you post a story on your wall, and everyone can see it, including people who may not necessarily care about it. With this feature, you can share stories based on common interest. I’m definitely looking forward to playing with that feature.
Google+ also has a feature called “Hangouts.”. This is a video chatting service, similar to that found on Skype or Google Talk. This is something that Facebook does not have as of now (rumors have it that Facebook’s big announcement this Wednesday will be a video chat service in a partnership with Skype). As video chatting is becoming more and more widespread and more prominent, this feature will show as one of Google+’s greatest.
This entire project reminds me of Google Wave, a project that Google launched in a beta status back in 2009. Google Wave allowed you to start a new “wave,” which was essentially just a conversation between you and whomever you invited. You could share notes, videos, do polls, and all sorts of other fun. Google Wave was intended to be an evolution of the email concept, but unfortunately, never caught on, and was discontinued. I was one of the lucky ones who got to beta test Wave, and I absolutely loved it. If Google+ is anything like Wave was, I think we’re all in for some surprises.
With all of the new features that Google is planning to implement into your social media experience with Google+, I think it’s very possible we could see some shuffling of the social media empire. Will it dethrone Facebook as the leader in social media? Likely not. But the feature-limited Twitter? We’ll have to wait and see. For now, I’m going to keep trying to get in, because I’m excited to start playing with it. Once I do get in, I’ll be announcing a new online giveaway for invites, so stay tuned for that!