Google+ Takes on Facebook

Google has made no secret of the fact that ‘Social’ is at the top of its ‘to-do’ list. And on Tuesday, the Search giant moved a step closer to ticking it off the list, with the launch of Google+.

Although the company will inevitably deny it’s their answer to Facebook, there’s no doubt it is. The social networking platform offers many of the same functions as Facebook – such as a strikingly familiar ‘Steam’ (read: News Feed), uploading photos, chatting and so on.

But there are a few features which, although they’re not 100% original, do mark it apart. Google+ has cottoned on to the fact that we might not necessarily want to share everything with everyone – therefore it has created very simple ‘Circles’ that allow you to group friends by ‘school’, ‘work’ or ‘rugby club’, for example.

Other unique features include Hangouts – where groups of people can join video chats with anyone from their Circles who start a ‘hangout’. There’s also Huddle, a group chat tool; a mobile app, which will automatically upload any picture or video you take on your phone to your computer, ready for sharing; and there’s Sparks, a content sharing, recommendation tool grouped by interest – so a “Music” spark will have articles, photos and so on about the bands you love.

To see Google’s official take on it all, check out the Google blog.

Like the hugely popular Gmail, Google+ is being rolled out gradually. Initially, only those invited are able to use the new platform – and we’re pleased to say that Reload is among the lucky few! We’ll let you know our thoughts once we’ve had a proper play…!