In case you still didn’t know too much about Google’s brand new entry into the world of social media with their Google+ website, we can tell you that it’s a pretty big deal and much more groundbreaking than Google Buzz.
It’s obvious that comparisons are going to be made with the market leader Facebook at the moment, so how does Google+ shape up just a few weeks after launching? At the moment, the service is still invite only but if you have been following our coverage on Google+ so far, you’ll know that we are happy to offer invites to those who still do not have one at the moment.
Back to the features though, and we have found an excellent way for consumers to discover the capabilities of Google+, in an simple and easy to understand format. This comes via an visually impressive infographic that we have discovered courtesy of the guys over at Technobombs. It lists the key features of both Facebook and Google+ side-by-side, and you can see Google’s versions of some of the popular Facebook features, as well as features that are totally unique to Google+.
For example, Google Plus Circles is Google’s version of Facebook Groups, the only difference is that Google+ Circles is a lot more sophisticated and allows users to add people into separate divisions, with the user being able to decide which content is accessible to every unique Google+ user. You can create a Circle called ‘Business’ and just have a select number of contacts in this Circle, and create another group called ‘Friends’ for example. If you prefer, you can opt to hide the entire contents of your ‘Business’ Circle feeds from your ‘Friends’ Circle and vice versa – a feature which instantly makes Google+ appealing to the more professional user compared to Facebook.
Other new features include Google Plus Hangout, which is Google’s vision for group chat. While Facebook recently unveiled their video chat feature, Google Plus Hangout takes things to a whole new level, again adding a sense of professionalism by allowing up to 10 users in a group chat, while adding video support as well.
Google has also come up with a mobile version of their Google+ initiative, and while it may not be as advanced as Facebook for Mobile at this stage, Google+ Huddle allows users with a Google+ account to send instant messages to one another at no extra cost.
If you haven’t guessed, we are very impressed with what Google has brought to the table so far with Google+ and the best thing about it is that its obviously a service which is going to keep improving constantly when new functionality is added to it. It’s still a relatively new service, emphasized by the fact it’s still invite only but when it reaches the stage where many users are comfortable using Google+, Facebook may have a formidible competitor on their hands.
You can view the infographic here so you can see it for yourselves. If any of you would like an invite to Google+, feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get back to you with your invites. In return, hit the +1 button to the right of this article and start spreading the word about Google+ from your end.
How highly do you rate Google+? Do you see it as a real alternative to Facebook in the future?