Google has unveiled their latest attempt at a social network, named “Google+”. The network has a few main elements, including “Circles”, or groups of friends who reside in different social circles. Users can share items only to certain circles, mimicking how social groups work in real life. “Hangouts” can be used to create impromptu group video chats through the Google+ website with friends a la Skype, and emphasizes spontaneous connections.
Sharing is a huge part of the web, a part that we think could be a lot simpler. That’s why we’ve been working on adding a few new things to Google: to make connecting with people on the web more like connecting with them in the real world. We hope you like what we’ve cooked up so far. And stay tuned, because there’s more to come.
Google has two mobile specific features: On Android, “Huddle” can be used to group chat with different Circles, making it much simpler to communicate and organize together. Google hasn’t made it clear if this will integrate into the existing Google Talk application on Gmail and Android, or be Google+ only. The mobile application will also have all the basic features we expect, like viewing posts made by friends and location sharing/check-ins.
Another part of the mobile experience is an “Instant Upload” feature for Android. Like Apple’s iCloud, it allows photos and videos to be instantly uploaded to a private Google+ album on the web, which can be shared to all your friends or individual Circles, without having to navigate through a series of menu buttons.
Google+ is in a private beta to “smooth out the rough edges”, but a full roll-out shouldn’t be too far away.