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Google’s Thoughtful Response to Facebook [Pt 2]




The Infamous +1’s

Much like Facebook’s Like button, +1 button feature helps you like anything on Google+. These
buttons are now slowly appearing in different websites and in the Google search engine. If you see any
blog post or article that has a +1 button, don’t worry guys! Clicking those +1’s will be saved to your
Google profile and soon be added to your Plus account.

Other Features

Photo sharing is really smooth and easy as Google+ implements an Instant Upload feature,
which is useful for Android phones as it automatically uploads every picture you take in your phone with
the Google+ app. With its tough privacy feature, your pictures will surely be safe and sound.

Hangout is another interesting feature in Google+. It’s a video chat system with an embedded
YouTube app, where you can “have fun with all your circles using your live webcam”. Using this feature
requires almost no configuration and is just a click away.

However, one feature is likely to be the least developed one – the Sparks. It’s a topic-based
reader for keyword search results where you can list all your interests and save them to your sidebar.
It’s not bad, the user experience is pretty much good, although the content is sparse and there doesn’t
seem to be a quality control over the search results displayed. Most of the results came from news
feeds, which aren’t that exciting, but it does make updates easy to share and discuss with your circles.

The Verdict

So far, I find Google+ a very compelling answer to some existing problems in social media, not to
mention the captivating experience I had with the site. I see a lot of promise and commitment in
developing and furbishing the whole environment. Most of its features are elegantly designed and are
doing pretty well; and only a few more cranks and they’re good to go. I would most likely be using
Google+ than Twitter or Facebook because of its tight integration with all its products.

The experience of using this product will still depend on how many people sign up. A social
networking site like this isn’t much if no one is around to share stuff with. Since it is still in the Field Test
stage, and sign-ups aren’t available, Google still has time to polish some of its features and make the
user interface (UI) more appealing.

Soon, widespread interest to the service and its potential to battle Facebook is much likely.
Unlike its predecessors, Google Wave and Google Buzz, which we never even learned how to use;
Google Plus seems fit to what people actually want with a social networking site.



5 blog comments below

I can't help being suspicious of Google's +1 button as a hidden marketing tool to research and track Internet behaviour right down to the Websites that every individual surfer is visiting. Great way to control the Internet as well. Have you hovered your mouse over some of the +1 buttons? It probably will show an e-mail address that Google is identifying you with. I wonder whether it is tracking IPs as well.
deanhills on Fri Dec 30, 2011 3:23 pm
Quote:
I can't help being suspicious of Google's +1 button as a hidden marketing tool to research and track Internet behaviour right down to the Websites that every individual surfer is visiting. Great way to control the Internet as well. Have you hovered your mouse over some of the +1 buttons? It probably will show an e-mail address that Google is identifying you with. I wonder whether it is tracking IPs as well.


Facebook already does the exact same things with their "Like" button that you fear Google will do with their "+1" button. In fact, Facebook's button tracks people who neither have a Facebook account nor click the button. An article about Facebook's button is here.

Google will probably use their button mostly for targeted advertising. I don't think it will be as abhorrently evil as what Facebook does. For example, Google anonymizes your search data (this doesn't affect the interest categories you've been placed in, though) after 18 months (9 months for IP address, 18 months for cookie ID) while Facebook never anonymizes or deletes any of your data, even years after deleting your Facebook account.

[/quote]
hw3patch on Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:12 am
Excellent article hw3patch. Provided great reading. Except I'm still not that convinced that Google is really that innocent. There are just too many of its bots crawling everywhere. For example when I was hovering my mouse over a plus sign of a Website I visited, that I had not clicked yet, it shows one of my e-mail addresses. Where did it get hold of the e-mail address?
deanhills on Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:42 am
I never said Google was innocent, just that they're less evil than Facebook. Was the email address that it showed when you hovered over the "+1" button a *@gmail.com address and were you logged into any Google services at the time? If I remember correctly, Google uses your Gmail address to identify your account. If it was showing an address with a different domain name, it beats me why it's being shown.
hw3patch on Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:49 am
It was a hotmail address! And "no" I was not logged into Hotmail. I'll check out more Websites to see whether it is still the case. And report back later.
deanhills on Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:44 am



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