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Google+: The new Facebook?

Google+: The new Facebook?
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BY: Kira Paterakis

Google has recently released a social product called Google+ and in less than three weeks, it has gained more than 10 million users.  This new, creative social network allows you to communicate in an organized fashion by bringing together all of your online connections in one place. Seemingly similar to Facebook, Google+ lets you easily designate and organize all of your contacts into different groups (e.g., friends, family, acquaintances, work associates, etc.). Furthermore, Google+ is planning to establish and incorporate awesome chat and mobile features that will come in handy when uploading photos and organizing get-togethers. There are many more details to uncover about Google+, considering its new and innovative recent launch. 

Google+ revolves around five main features: Circles, Hangouts, Sparks, Huddles, and Photos; all of which are integrated into the Stream (which is essentially the same as Facebook's news feed).  

Circles: These are basically your friend hubs. Instead of grouping everyone together as your "friend" (like on Facebook) you can create different circles for the different types of people in your life. Hangouts: Send a broadcast to your friends that you're online and ready to chat face to face, and your pals can drop by your "hangout" to video chat with you. Sparks: Designate your interests in Sparks, and Google+ will collect and recommend articles, videos, and photos of the things you love from around the web to read when you're free.  Huddle: This is your group messaging/texting service. Huddle allows you to chat with a number of friends on the go via your mobile phone. Instant Uploads: With Instant Upload, your mobile photos and videos are automatically uploaded to the web.

With this new trendy kind of social media, I’m curious to see how successful this product will be and whether it has the potential to threaten Facebook now or in the future.  In my opinion, Google+ has an edge over Facebook in the sense that it has the capability to group people in specific categories. With these particular groups, there is an easier, more convenient way to communicate to a specific audience. As a new means of digital interactive communication, will Google+ rise above and take away from Facebook and other social networks in the near future? Is this just another attempt from Google to take over the social space (e.g., Google Wave, Google Buzz)? 

Sources: https://plus.google.com/up/start/?sw=1&type=st http://www.geeksugar.com/What-Google-18058574