Google Plus was on the BBC News just now, but I missed what the main story was. Sounded like it was rolling out today!
One thing that still bugs me about The Google Social Plus + Circling Thing, is why don’t they just call it Google?
I am sure that the average Internet user will be far more likely to drift from Facebook to Google if they just advertised / marketed Google as having a new and improved social networking feature. Then people will say “See you in Google later” rather than, “chat with you on Google Plus, or circle, or whatever”.
I am not an expert in branding, but it seems to me that the Google brand is rather well known, and also Google are currently making their homepage even tidier, many users would be happy to have a busier homepage with mail, chat, video, photo, mini-blog etc. all built in, much the way Facebook looks.
I think that Google search is nice clean, but not convinced that this is the best use of the Google homepage.
Unless they plan the social to be on the right …. on widescreens? Maybe that is the strange testing panel that I saw.
Anyway, I vote for Google Social + Circle (what is the bleedin’ thing called Google!) but it will be almost impossible to get my friends and family off Facebook, especially for those that still do not have a Google account.
US / Canadian Launch?
Just found an article on the BBC News website about it; http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-13953416
Seems that it may only be available in America and Canada today. The image on BBC News shows that in place of where there is currently a “web” link on the top left of the page, there is now something else… it appears to say “+You”
Circles tackles the problem which Facebook has in that all your “friends” are grouped together and all can see all parts of your profile. In Google Circles you place your contacts into different “circles” and these cannot cross, so all work colleagues can go into one circle, school friends into another, family into another.
Google Hangout lets 2 or more people quickly hook up with a video chat. If you see someone in another circle who you know you can still make contact. I am a bit vague about how this works really!
No idea how I missed this, but they talk all about it on the Google Blog; http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/06/introducing-google-project-real-life.html
The main new features seem to be called Huddle, Spark, Hangouts and Circles.
And this I think will serve to confuse many people. Why all the different names Google! Do you think that my mum will understand which part she needs to log in to to chat to me? Maybe it will all make more sense than it seems at the moment.
Google blog also confirms that it is still in live testing by a small number of individuals.