Well, it’s officially been announced on the official Google blog — Google+ is still a go. No, it wasn’t one of Google’s oh-so-clever April Fools Day pranks. No, it wasn’t the result of LulzSec hacking Google to post fake announcements. Google+ is 100% real, and it’s looking to become the next big thing in social networking.
Considering that we just found out that over 750 million people are now on Facebook, Google definitely has a rough road ahead. Aside from some serious viral marketing miracles, it’s hard to see Google+ being a viable competitor for Facebook anytime soon. Among the “new” features that Google hopes will lure in users:
- “Hangouts” — Instead of just text chatting with friends, Google+ supports multi-user video conferencing (a la TinyChat).
- “Circles” — Each of your updates can be sent to a “circle” of friends. This means that your mom/relatives won’t have to see the promiscuous photos of you at your friend’s bachelor party.
- “Sparks” — You can search for new friends by typing in a similar interest. So, you can find the two other people in the world that have made a hobby out of knitting socks for cats.
Right now, it’s difficult to say if Google+ will be successful — a lot depends on how they plan to market their network to potential users.