For years Google has been competing to get the number of users Facebook that has: users that spend a large chunk of time on their site, looking at things they are interested in while also subconsciously registering the advertisements on the side bars. This is why they have experimented with a few different social networking sites, all of which have had little success. Now Google is in the stages of completing a promising new social network, Google+. It combines the personal and professional social characteristics of Facebook and LinkedIn, the personalized browsing aspect of Stumbleupon, the video conferencing of Skype and Go To Meeting, and the mobile sharing features of smart phones with the sophisticated search engine that is Google. This new division of Google is not only a great new way to share ideas, photos, and videos with ones friends, but is an interesting innovation on the marketing tool that is social networking.
The first thing that struck us here at Jakobie as interesting was the way the site is divided up among Circles, Photos, Huddles, Hangouts, and Sparks: all new takes on old ideas which put all of a users favorite aspects of the web into one easily accessible site. For the average patrons of Google+, the circles allow one to divide up their contacts based one what information they want to share with whom. The Photos/videos section is synced up with the users Android phone (Google software since 2005), and any video or photo taken on the phone will automatically upload to the Google+ account. The Huddles feature is the chat application of Google+ and is another addition to the smart phone. The Google+ user downloads the G+ app to their smartphone and is able to send SMS messages from their phone to any of their contacts. It's great because it allows a group of friends to get into one conversation. This also differs from other SMS messaging services from social networking sites in that the SMS can be sent to anyone, not just G+ users. The Hangouts feature is another chat feature and is the most similar to the sites Skype and Gotomeeting.com. It is a video chat that allows he user to chat with not only one, but ten contacts at once. Sparks are a way to find new blogs, videos, games, whatever one is interested in. All the user has to do is add interests and a slew of new content will come up.