Google+ makes debut as it wages battle with Facebook over online advertising
Google, the king of Internet search but a bust on the social
front, launched its rival to Facebook on Tuesday 28th June, a social networking
service called Google+. "Online sharing is awkward. Even broken. And we aim to fix
it," said Vic Gundotra, Google's senior vice-president for engineering, in a blog
post about the long-awaited social networking initiative from the Internet giant.
Unveiling Google+, Gundotra stressed the ability it gives users to separate online
friends and family into different 'Circles', or networks, and to share information
only with members of a particular circle.
One of the criticisms of Facebook is that updates are shared with all of one's friends
unless a user has gone through a relatively complicated process to create separate
Facebook Groups. Google+, located at plus.google.com, is currently being tested
by a small number of people or is available by invitation only. But Google said
in a message on the site that it "won't be long before the Google+ project is ready
Google unveiled several new tools integrated into Google+, including 'Hangouts',
which allows for video-chatting among friends, 'Mobile' for location-sharing and
'Huddle' for group text messaging. Photos and video can be uploaded and shared among
Circles using a feature known as 'Instant Upload', while an online sharing engine
called 'Sparks' delivers content from the Web into a user's feed.
Google dominates Internet search but the Mountain View, California, company has
failed to make inroads on the social networking front, where Facebook has accumulated
nearly 700 million users and Twitter around 200 million. Google's last major foray
into social networking Google Buzz, launched in February 2010 spawned a slew of
privacy complaints and led to a slap on the wrist from the US Federal Trade Commission.
Under a settlement between the US regulator and Google announced in March, Google
is required to implement a comprehensive privacy program and will be subject to
independent privacy audits every two years for the next 20 years. Google+ makes
its debut as Google and Facebook wage a fierce battle over online advertising dollars
and how people navigate the Internet.
Google does not send people to Facebook and vice versa, and both companies are seeking
to become the chief gateway to the Internet.
In May, Facebook was left red-faced after acknowledging it had hired a
prominent public relations firm to draw attention to privacy practices at Google.
"If you're happy using Facebook, there seems relatively little to make you want
to switch over to Google Plus, at the moment," said Danny Sullivan, editor of technology
Courtesy: DNA India