So Google has been dipping their toe into the social networking for the last few months with a service called Google + (Plus). In order to join you have to be invited by someone in your contact list. They have a strict age limit of 18 to be a member and you have to have a gmail account to log on. It has some things that Facebook and others do not have namely a feature called Hangouts which are video chat rooms where multiple people in your circle can talk to each other. The people in my office invited me and we had only had one hangout – which was mostly business related. It is interesting as it sets up the video image for each person in a slide show format showing all of them at the bottom on the screen and then highlighting one person for a few second before moving on to the rest.
Apparently there are many more features that exist and people who have used it extensively in the Beta testing phase call it an “Advanced Facebook”. Among the features is something called Sparks, which is comparable to Stumbleupon, as well as games, and an instant photo upload option for smartphone users. From what I have read they have no advertisements all over the pages as they do in Facebook and I gather other social networking sites have. I personally don't find the ads on Facebook that objectionable but have had no other experiences with other sites.
Since Facebook and Twitter have been around for a long time, it is questionable whether this will catch on at all. The little I have seen of it is interesting but I rarely have time to get into many of the things they are including so I can’t tell if I am going to do more with it. I have gotten a few requests to be added to other people’s circles, so maybe at least the video chat would be useful for quick meetings where travel time is not an option. Since may people are so used to the other things time will tell if this new network will gather steam.