Feeds

Google field tests (yet another) Facebook rival

Everyone is not your friend

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.