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Google Goes Social

June 30, 2011

After Facebook’s smear campaign against Google was leaked by a rogue blogger it looks like Google may have its revenge. Early reports on Google’s social networking tool Google + say it’s intuitive and easy-to-use. The different interfaces borrow liberally from Apple’s playbook of clean, simple design and the product relies on these six innovations to Facebook’s model:

- Circles: Social circles dependent on your different areas of interest rather than on Friend or Not
- The Stream: Similar to your Twitter or Facebook feed with images, videos, links and commentary
- Sparks: An information feed tailored to your specific interests
- Hangouts: Video chat with one or multiple users
- Huddle: A group chat/text app
- Automatic mass photo upload from your phone

Eventually Google + will be integrated into Google +1 which already allows social recommendations to appear in your search results. With over 75% of search market share and close to 50% of mobile, a lot of people already use Google for something and it seems like adding Google + to the mix will be pretty easy. This comes at an interesting juncture for Google which is involved in a Federal Trade Commission antitrust investigation into its suspicious ad practices and general domination of the Internet, and the “Street View” case which alleges that Google violated the Federal Wire Tap Act by “accidentally” collecting personal information with its “Street View” vehicles. Despite Google’s informal motto (“Don’t be evil”), it boggles the mind to think of all the data available to them already.

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