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.
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.
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