After almost a month of Google ‘s social network in beta, it remains an invite-only process with rumors of a public opening in early August. Of its already 10 million users, Mark Zuckerberg, one of the founders and CEOs of Facebook, has been included in those invitations.
Mark’s succinct profile in Google+, with a dry webcam shot and the riveting introduction of “I make things”, shows his true interest in the network. He and 62 other Facebook employees are currently scouting what kind of competition they can expect before the public release of Google+.
Differences and similarities between the Google Plus ( + ) and Facebook
Google+ features the Stream, which is much like the news feed of Facebook. What Facebook does not feature that Google includes is something they are calling Circles. With this you are able to drag and drop existing friends into social circles you can choose from or create your own.
Photos and Video chatting
Google+ offers more options with your photos and video chatting. You will be able to not only share photos as you can on any social network, but here you can edit the photos, choose from more privacy options and sharing features.
The video chatting system is set up with sessions known as ‘Hangouts’. One friend can start a ‘hangout’ video chat and a message is sent out to those online in that friend’s social circles. The friends can then choose to join. The limit, however, is 10 friends per chat, but remember the current network is still in beta testing.
Another feature is Sparks, a recommendation engine meant to cut down on the often congesting act of sharing with friends on Facebook.
Sparks is a collection of media deemed recent and relevant according to your interests, other Google products, like Google Search, information coming from Google+ itself and +1 buttons, which is Google’s take on Facebook’s ‘Like’ feature.
It should be no surprise that they will also release an app for mobiles that links directly with your account on Google+. An unexpected feature, however, uploads any photo or video you take through Google+ directly to your computer. It will not publish them automatically, but you can keep these uploads on your computer for eight hours after upload.
No matter how friendly or cordial the two companies may seem to be to each other in the public eye, they are now going head to head for the social networking dollar. Google acquired Youtube when they first went for the social aspect of the internet, but now they have developed their own network to combat Facebook, hopefully making it go the way of other failed social networks.
Stay tuned and informed when Google+ goes public, and make your own judgements and decisions of where to be social.