07. 01. 2011
Our initial thoughts: Google's social network Google+
This week online giant Google has tweaked the design of many of its services, introduced a load of new features and has even launched what many are referring to as a "Facebook killer" but is Google+ really going to be a game-changer or just fall by the wayside like Buzz and Wave before it?
Google+ is currently an invite only service and we were lucky enough to be one of the first to get in and have a sneak around.
It's hard to make judgements at this early stage as it's so new, very few people are actively using it and well, we were a little overwhelmed! But here are our first few thoughts:
One of the main features of Google+ is Circles, which lets you group your contacts in any way you please. This means when you send out updates, add photos or make changes to your profile, you have complete control over who can see it, from everyone, to all of your Circles, to only one Circle, to just you.
The best way to describe Hangouts is probably like a very informal Skype with as many friends as you like. It's meant to mirror a casual "hangout" in real life and as more and more people join, we're sure that'll become one of the most popular features.
So this may seem a little superficial, but we can't help marvelling at the simple UI and clean design of Google+, with the red, white and black colour scheme it's a nice change to the blue we usually see elsewhere (we're looking at you Facebook).
Privacy is such an important consideration and it seems that Google has it covered, with the option to make each and every bit of your profile visible to whoever you want - this is another reason Circles comes in handy.
We're sure there are plenty more things we'll love about Google+ and plenty more that we'll hate, but for now we think it's well designed, pretty intuitive and is already proving a hit amongst those that are using it. Only time will tell whether it'll be popular among the masses or just be a gathering of tech geeks!
There's no official word about when the service will be open to everyone, but in the meantime, to receive an invite to you can sign up from the main website and wait for one to arrive in your inbox.