An exclusive look at the new Google+
01 July, 2011 | Web design
Released yesterday, Google+ is the highly anticipated social network that, by some people, has been dubbed ‘The Facebook killer’. Whilst this is a dubious title, it has to be considered seriously when the biggest search engine is not only behind it but has been plotting, scheming and sweating over this for some time now.
Luckily for Estate Agents, Resource Techniques was able to acquire a sneak-peak!
This makes us the first wave of users to have access to a social network that is designed to integrate all the benefits of a social network alongside your online surfing search engine experience.
From first impressions it is this ‘+1’ that will be the defining factor on Google+’s success. So far it seems to have combined:
- Facebook’s photos, comments, sharing and ‘like’ button - whilst taking away people’s ability to write someone else’s wall (instead users comment on individual posts).
- Circles – Circles let users place people neatly into different and customisable categories. Then each post can be tailored towards its intended audience. For example, property news may not be your family’s cup of tea, but you can share it with your ‘Acquaintances’.
- Photos – Again it has the same functionality as Facebook, users can upload and comment on photos but with one difference. With the Google+ mobile app users will instantly upload photos as soon as they have taken the photo.
- +1 button – this will integrate with the web meaning that users can share their favourite websites with their friends alongside search results.
- Sparks – A constant feed from websites of interest defined into categories. Sparks is a great way to get the latest news and opinions on whatever you’re interested in.
- Hangouts – Along the same lines as Skype and Facebook’s next big thing, users can video-call up to ten people at once.
Initially there has been some very good feedback about Google+’s features and interface, but many people are wary that this will go the same way as Buzz and after initial interest, will be forgotten about.
From personal opinion, Google has given Google+ the right tools to succeed – i.e. placing people in circles, free video-calling, integrating along with the web, etc. - but people initially struggle with the interface, a risky ‘barrier to entry’ for the average user. Then again, that’s what people continue say about Twitter and look how popular that is…
James Coyne – eMarketing and Social Media Consultant