Social networking websites have become one of the most popular tools for communication. Facebook is by far the most popular with over millions of members and its features such as creating events, groups, apps like Farmville, and so much more. This however led way to competition for other sites to “cash in” on the concept. Twitter is a prime example of a successful social networking site and is a heavy competitor with Facebook . Now there is a new contestant to gain the networking crown, it’s called Google Plus; this is Google’s latest project to join in the networking craze.
Google Plus was first introduced in June this year as a “test-run” at first but was later changed to an invite only system, where you had to be invited to join Google Plus and the chain would continue from there for people to just keep inviting others to join. The site became available without an invitation once it went public. The site introduced a system called “circles” where the user would categorize friends in certain circles. The idea is that the user can control, who sees their posts and other information. So if the user only wanted their “best friend’s circle” to see a certain post, they can do that easily. Another unique feature is the “hangout” option on the site, which allows the user to have a video chat with up to 10 other users at the same time. Other than just posting information, like on a Facebook wall, there are features such as “Sparks”, where the user can post up interesting topics and share information that is linked to the Google search engine. So the social networking site, has some interesting ideas in how to make a better and more user-friendly social network.
From the student’s perspective, it’s a lot like Facebook. “It’s a Google Facebook, I made an account but hardly use it”, said Carissa Kupper and many others do agree. Amanda Vogt, a sophomore Speech major, said “Nobody uses it so it’s boring.” This is pretty evident since a great majority of people I’ve asked about it, do have accounts but don’t use it or have never even heard of the site. Surprisingly, the site is still really unknown or ignored by a lot of people. From any ones viewpoint, the site has an uncanny resemblance to Facebook, but it does look a little more “polished” and “vibrate” then Facebook. It truly does have potential to be very popular and maybe be the next big thing. Still it’s a problem that it’s not anything really new so people may not be so tempted to change to another site that’s pretty much the same. Also if other people don’t even use it, then there is no point in making an account.
In the past, Google made other attempts in social networking, such as Google Wave and Buzz which failed. So now with social networking becoming the ultimate way to do business and publicity, Google’s next attempt has to be big. The timing for Google Plus is pretty good, due to the negative reaction to Facebook’s changes to its layout and privacy features.
It’s really anyone’s guess on who will rise up and who will fall in this battle for popularity. As of now Facebook is on top obviously, but with the mounting negative feedback could Facebook be finally toppled?