Google+ Project: Google’s Social Network

By: Chris Crum - June 28, 2011

Google has unveiled its long-awaited social network, after months and months of rumors and speculation. It’s already being greeted with a great deal of skepticism. It’s called the Google+ Project.

Google says that online sharing is broken, and it aims to fix it. Really.

At the heart of it all is a “sharing engine” called “Sparks.”

“Thanks to Google’s web expertise, Sparks delivers a feed of highly contagious content from across the Internet,” the company says. “On any topic you want, in over 40 languages. Simply add your interests, and you’ll always have something to watch, read and share—with just the right circle of friends.”

Here’s more about that aspect:

You may recall during SXSW, when rumors came out that Google was launching something called Circles. Well, that’s part of this. It’s essentially to Google what friends lists and groups are to Facebook, but they’re represented by actual circles, which you can drag and drop people into.

Vic Gundotra, Google SVP, Engineering writes on the Official Google Blog, explaining the thinking behind Circles. “We only want to connect with certain people at certain times, but online we hear from everyone all the time…Every online conversation (with over 100 “friends”) is a public performance, so we often share less because of stage fright…We all define ‘friend’ and ‘family’ differently—in our own way, on our own terms—but we lose this nuance online.”

Circles is only part of it though. “Hangouts is another. “With Google+ we wanted to make on-screen gatherings fun, fluid and serendipitous, so we created Hangouts,” says Gundotra. “By combining the casual meetup with live multi-person video, Hangouts lets you stop by when you’re free, and spend time with your Circles.”

Of course there is a big mobile angle to all of this as well, which comes in the forms of location, instant uploads, and what Google calls “Huddle.” Google+ lets you add your location to posts (if you want), and Google+ will add your photos to a private album in the cloud (with permission). Huddle, is a group messaging experience, which lets members of a circle “know what’s going on”.

Google has a tour of the product here.

Check out an interactive tour of Google+ at Lots of new things coming today! 22 minutes ago via web · powered by @socialditto

Speaking with someone at Google, Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Land was able to learn that Buzz is not integrated with Google+ at this point, and that anything you like with Google+ can be +1’d, but your friends on Google+ do not see them. Nothing from the +1 buttons apparently flow back to Google+, according to Sullivan. “It’s crazy,” he writes. “It makes no sense. It’s as if Facebook launched its Like buttons but forgot to hook them up to flow information back into Facebook.”

On the other hand, Google also reportedly told him that this is not a Facebook competitor.

Right now, Google + is in limited Field Trial. They’re testing with a small number of people, but Google says it won’t be long until the project is ready for everyone. We’ll be covering developments regularly. I can pretty much guarantee that there will be much more to come.

Google+ is available as a download from the Android Market, as well as on the mobile web. It’s coming soon to the App Store, Google says. Of course the app(s – Huddles is split into its own app after you download it) isn’t very useful until you’ve acquired an invite.

Google has implemented a black bar across its properties, as pictured in some of the demo material for Google+. The “You” part, which is part of the project is missing, however, unless you’ve been invited.

Chris Crum

About the Author

Chris CrumChris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.

View all posts by Chris Crum
  • Carlson Yamamoto

    Sorry Google, but people hate both you and Facebook! Both companies continue to collect an infinite amount of information about it’s users having a total disregard for privacy rights, whether it’s users choose to or not! Google talks about privacy, that’s another joke! There is one serious competitor to both Facebook, and now Google so called new social network, ONLYMEWORLD which is experiencing triple digit growth!

  • Aviran

    It didn`t work for you in Buzz, give up alrady.

  • LD

    Google needs to learn that they are good at nothing besides search and that’s debatable lately. If they don’t buy it, it rarely succeeds. People also don’t trust them. They are out of luck. My friends are on Facebook. It will fail.

    • Chris Richardson

      You’re saying people trust Facebook? If so, I have no idea why…

      • LD

        Not at all. Facebook is a choice, Google is a necessity. Once Google + is up, they’ll gather info. from your searches, fro G +, youtube, analytics, this and that and make a big profile about you they’ll never delete.

        • Eric

          You don’t think Google already has a profile about you? Not being paranoid… just saying. They probably already do.

  • Jomer Gregorio

    Lets wait and see. Wave and Buzz did not make any difference.

  • kalex

    I think,Google will be successful this time but the Question is – That the Time is too late of not for launching such Google Social Networking site.

  • Me

    Google had more of a chance at winning social networking by buying Myspace than starting from scratch. I can’t believe they didn’t buy it.

  • Felix Ofiwe

    I think Google is onto something here especially as it relates to privacy. Though Google is not the most trustworthy when it comes to privacy issues, I like the way they went about it this time. I may not want to share with the whole world just a few of my “friends”. How about that?

    Felix Ofiwe
    The Finance Reporter – The source for payday loan, cash advance, auto loan, and student loan information. Reporting the latest in legislation and events that will effect the ability of anyone to get the cash they need.

  • lolo

    I wonder when Chris will write the “not enough interest on Google + so Google is retiring it” article. 2 years from now? I’ll give it a year.

  • Katy

    Google+ is the new face of Social Media. Think about it…with Facebook not doing so well, add Google’s clout to that and you see why I made that assertion. Just give Google+ time, they will be the destination of choice for most social media consumers.