Google Launches Social Network

But Facebook shouldn't worry too much: Danny Sullivan
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 28, 2011 3:08 PM CDT

(Newser) – Google's highly anticipated social networking project is here—and it's interesting, but "far from a Facebook-killer," writes Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Land. (For starters, it's named Google+, which, as Sullivan points out, is awful: "Google+? Google+! I can’t even question or exclaim about the bad name without it looking bad in writing.") The project—not, Google stresses, a product—isn't a standalone social network but, rather, bundles existing products together to make Google more social.

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Google offers several educational videos on its blog, and Sullivan offers an extensive rundown of what will be offered. Highlights:

  • Circles: Allows you to organize your contacts into different circles and share things with each circle differently.
  • Hangouts: Sullivan sees this as one of Google+'s main selling points. It allows up to 10 people at a time to "hang out" in a group video chat or play video for everyone in the chat to watch.
  • Huddle: Similar to Hangouts, this is a group text chat service that aims to make it easier to plan in-person outings.
  • Sparks: This feature allows you to follow topics you're interested in. Google then suggests search results you might want to share in your stream.
(Read more Google stories.)

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