Feeds

Google field tests (yet another) Facebook rival

Everyone is not your friend

The essential guide to IT transformation

Google has introduced yet another another answer to Facebook, rolling out a social networking "field trial" dubbed "Google+".

Mountain View describes the project as a means of connecting with people online more like you do "in real life".

"We’d like to bring the nuance and richness of real-life sharing to software," reads a blog post from Google senior vice president of engineering Vic Gundotra, the man who oversees the company's efforts to rival the social networking success of Facebook. "We want to make Google better by including you, your relationships, and your interests."

What goes unsaid is the project is also a way for Google to collect more information about what you like and who your friends and acquaintances are – information that can then be used to customize ads and search results. This is why Google is so determined to follow in Facebook's footsteps. Zuckerberg and company have somehow convinced the world to cough up personal information that not even Google has access to.

Before Google+, there was Google +1. And before that, there was Google Buzz. And here's the obligatory reference to Orkut: it's big in Brazil, you know. Or at least it used to be.

In an effort to create a viable alternative to Facebook, Mountain View has built Google+ around a platform dubbed Circles, which lets you readily create multiple social networks that operate separately from one another – something Facebook doesn't really believe in.

"The problem is that today’s online services turn friendship into fast food – wrapping everyone in 'friend' paper – and sharing really suffers," Gundotra writes, in a clear reference to Facebook. "From close family to foodies, we found that people already use real-life circles to express themselves, and to share with precisely the right folks. So we did the only thing that made sense: we brought [these social circles] to software."

On top of this, Google+ offers several sister services, including Sparks (a "news feed"–like service for sharing information with others) and Hangouts (for multi-person video chats). There's also a mobile client that lets you tag posts with your particular location, move photos and videos to and from your phone, and text chat across groups of friends people you know.

Mountain View is currently testing Google+ among a "small number of people", and if you're chosen for the trial, the company makes a point of saying the services "won't be perfect". You can sign up here to receive an email when the service goes live to world+dog. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
True fact: 1 in 4 Brits are now TERRORISTS
YouGov poll reveals terrible truth about the enemy within
Microsoft exits climate denier lobby group
ALEC will have to do without Redmond, it seems
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?