Google’s just launched their biggest attack against Facebook yet with Google+, a new social networking service that emphasizes the sharing of content and updates to groups of people instead of Facebook’s universal wall spooge approach. But is Google+ destined to be just another wanna-be failure like Buzz and Orkut, or could it instead finally lead to Apple and Facebook to put their differences aside and strike a deal for iOS 6?
Most important, Google+ is a social network of your friends, family and other contacts, a way to connect to these people, just like Facebook.
Unlike Facebook, Google+ is built from the ground up around the concept of sharing material with groups of people, called “Circles.”
The idea is that you can easily drag-and-drop people into different types of Circles, which you can then use for sharing different types of things.
For example, you can create a “Family” circle where you might chose to share things only with family members in it, while another “Work” circle might contain work colleagues who only see what you share to that.
From the pictures, the interface looks very clean and nice, and we have to admit that we love the whole “Circle” concept of sharing different content to different groups of people easily.
That said, this isn’t a notably different approach to Facebook’s, especially when you take Facebook’s Lists and Pages into account. If you’re already on Facebook, it’s not like you can migrate or mirror your account, meaning that most users are already probably locked in. Heck, Google+ doesn’t even roll Google’s other social networking services into itself, like Buzz or +1: it’s a totally separate product. Weird.
At first blush, then, Google+ isn’t doing much different from Facebook, but I’ll tell you what could change everything: Google hardbaking Google+ social network functionality into their Android platform. Mark my words, that’s exactly what is going to happen, because it’s the only advantage Google+ has over Facebook and Twitter: it can make its social network the default for hundreds of millions of Android users.
It’ll be interesting to see the ripples such a move could cause. Will Google+ spark a mobile arms race in which companies strive to more deeply social networking functionality into the core operating systems of tomorrow’s smartphones and tablets?
It’s possible. iOS 5 already deeply integrates Twitter into every iPhone and iPad’s DNA, and Apple and Facebook almost teamed up for the launch of Ping back in 2010, only for the deal to fall through at the last minute.
Would Google+ integrated into Android be enough for Apple and Facebook to finally come to terms?Whether iOS 6 has deep Facebook integration or not may very well have a lot to do with how successfully Google integrates Google+ into Android. That makes this curiously redundant social networking project by Google a product worth keeping an eye on for any Apple enthusiast.
What do you think?