Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/12/16/nokia_pulse_google/

Google+ gets group vid, Nokia still has a Pulse

Social networks for people who don't like people

By Bill Ray

Posted in Applications, 16th December 2011 09:14 GMT

Google+ is adding group video to its hangouts on Android, while Nokia Pulse gets updated for those who like their social networking a little less social.

Both networks are very mobile-orientated, but Nokia Pulse is primarily about geotagging content for sharing with groups of cloud-based friends while Google+ has bigger fish to fry. The latest Android client for Google+ enhances its real-time nature - and levers the rest of the Google portfolio - with video-enabled Hangouts getting archived to one's private YouTube channel as shown by this particularly-sickening video.

Using Google+ is a bit like visiting a theme park in the rain, during the school term, but at least there's some life - Nokia Pulse echoes with an almost post-apocalyptic emptiness. If you're a Windows Phone user then it still might be more attractive than the heavily-Android focused Google+, though Android-toting friends will be limited to the web-based version for the moment and, to be fair, it still claims to be in beta.

The Google+ Android client is now available in the UK, and very pretty it is too though the promised video hangouts aren't yet in evidence (the updated version is expected in the next few days).

Real-time hangouts are a key differentiator for Google+, while Facebook continues to ape Twitter's live text streams and Twitter keeps lifting features from its Chinese contemporaries. Competition is certainly driving social networks to innovate, and mobility is the focus - even the most proactive of users seem unwilling, or unable, to maintain more than two or three online identities.

Those identities are largely with Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter today, so in order to attract users Google and Nokia need a killer feature to get them to drop one of their existing networks. For Google+ that's hangouts with videos, for Nokia Pulse it's Windows Phone integration, but getting users to switch networks will be a tough job indeed.