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Sunday, July 3, 2011

What Is Google+? Introducing the New Evolution of Social Media

Big changes are coming to Google.

You may have noticed the many drastic changes to the Google interface over the past several weeks. First, there was the big striking black navigation bar on top of the screen. Then, the left sidebar menu changed its font, colour, size and iconography. This is followed by the integration of the "+1" button next to your search results, not to be mistaken with its evil counterpart: the "Block all results from this website" button. They even removed the popular RealTime Google search function, which previously retrieved live-time tweets from Twitter users. All these changes finally came together on June 28th 2011, when Google announced its launch of the Google+ platform.

What is Google+? The latest innovation from Google has been classified under many descriptions. It is most commonly hailed as the "new rival of Facebook" due to the prominent social media integration within the Google+ platform, where users can submit live-time news and share online content within their social communities. You are able to categorize online users into different communities, such as friends, family, business acquaintances, and other like-minded individuals, and communicate different kinds of information through these compartmentalized channels. Google+ places a heavy focus on creating, communicating, and sharing social content with online users – but not just with any ordinary Joe on the Internet; instead, Google connects you to a specialized community of users that has the same likes, interests, and online surfing habits as you do. In other words, imagine Google+ as a more intimate and customized level of social media.

With the launch of Google+, the biggest search engine in the world is about to get even bigger. This article will continue to explore the many changes that you can expect from this massive Google update, and how it might affect your online browsing experience.

Social Media Made More Personalized
Remember the Google Buzz and Google Talk products that were launched in the previous year? Google+ intends to incorporate these tools as part of their social media experience. Now, you can communicate with your social communities through voice chat and video conferences. This makes social media far more personalized, as you actually get to talk with other individuals face-to-face. The "Hangout" function, in particular, allows up to ten users to communicate in a private video chat.

Adding a Profile to Your Search Results
A new function to the recent Google update is the incorporation of profile pictures in your regular search results, especially if they are submitted by prominent high-authority users. Now, as you are going through the search results, you will be able to identify the original author of the content just based on the Google search page!

Adding +1 to Your Searches
Certainly, the +1 functionality operates in the same way as the Like button does on Facebook (of which drew many comparisons between the two platforms, and some even suggested that Google+ would challenge Facebook as a prominent rival). This social bookmarking feature is certainly not a new innovation, and it is definitely not exclusive to just Facebook, but now that Google has their own ratings system in place, it is likely that the more popular websites (+10, +100 etc.) will likely rank higher on Google than those with lesser online approval.

No More RealTime Searches
The introduction of Google+ makes Google RealTime searches obsolete, which is the reason why Google has retired that functionality from their platform. Previously, users can search live-time content from Twitter through the Google portal. Now, Google expects that their users will submit content through the Google+ network rather than just Twitter.

Speculated Impact
Google+ has definitely made a splash to the online community. Account registrations were met with so much overwhelming response that they have been closed for the time being (similar to the Gmail launch a few years ago). You know Google+ posed as a serious threat to the Internet when the Republic of China already enforced their online censorship against all things Google+! It remains to be seen whether Google+ will have longevity within social media circles, but as the popularity stands now, it remains a very strong contender to influence our online experience.

1 comment:

  1. It is right that the biggest search engine in the world is about to get even bigger. This article will continue to explore the many changes that you can expect from this massive Google update, and how it might affect your online browsing experience. This is the right topic for anyone who wants to find out about this topic. Great stuff, just great!
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