Google has announced a few more social services that are currently undergoing field trials. The network of services is called Google+ and its aim is to make social networking a little more structured. Google recognizes that it can be difficult to be completely open on social networks because of the different types of relationships we tend to have with online “friends."
Introducing the Google+ Project
Sometimes we may want to say something on a social network, but we don’t feel comfortable with everybody reading it. For example, some of us are Facebook friends with our parents. Sometimes, we want to say things that our parents may freak out about. This kind of social network self-censoring is what Google is trying to eliminate.
The services that make up Google+ are called +Circles, +Sparks, +Hangouts, +Mobile and +Huddle. Let’s briefly go over each of them now.
- +Circles lets you separate people in your digital life into categories that you create. You can choose to share information with the members of one circle and not another.
- +Sparks is a service that pulls down content across the internet that you’re interested in. For instance, if you’re a fan of kittens, +Sparks will and Google will give you more cute kittens than you can handle.
- +Hangouts is a video chatting feature that feeds directly into your circles. It’s designed to remove the confusion when deciding whether or not to ask a friend to chat online. Numerous people can join in at once and talk together using +Hangouts.
- +Mobile has a neat feature that automatically uploads pictures you take to the cloud. You can also choose to add your location to everything you post online. All of this is optional of course.
- +Huddle is a group messaging feature that, once again, allows you break up group messages according to circles.
If you want to try out Google+, you have to wait for an invite.