Just as we thought that Facebook and Twitter were reigning supreme in the realm of social-networking- what with a 750 million registered users across the globe, Google comes out with this new brain-wave called Google+!

In the past Google had tried desperately to make forays into social networking but to no avail. The Google Wave never took off from the beta version and the Google Buzz had privacy concerns. On the contrary, Google+ has been able to evoke tremendous response since its launch on June 28.According to a survey by ComScore, in its first three weeks (June 29, 2011-July 19, 2011), Google+ has amassed 20 million visitors. The US tops the charts with 5.3 mn visitors followed closely on its heels by India with 2.8 million users. UK, Canada and Germany makes up the rest of the top 5 slots.

The rapid turnaround in Google’s newest endeavour can largely be attributed to its clever scheme of deploying a beta version which they also did in the past with its other services like Wave albeit much success. Google calls it as Google+ Project which gives it ample scope to fine-tune the whole thing and add new features before the final product is out. At present only those with an invite from a pre-existing member can join Google+.

So what’s this craze all about? Well at the first look, it seems like a mirror-image of the Facebook page with just a few trifling change in the names:


Facebook Google+
Share Stream
Like button +1 button
Friends Circles
Interests Sparks
Chat/Video Chat Buzz/Hangout


But if you look closely you’ll find that Google+ has some more tricks up its sleeves or rather the “+1”s:

*Circles: If you are a regular FB user you must have noticed that there is an option where you can arrange your friends in separate lists in accordance with your comfort level. However over time, it becomes a tedious activity, especially when the number of friends has increased manifold.

Herein comes Google+ with its innovative Circle design that strives to eliminate this short-coming with an innovative drag-n-drop feature. Just click on the ‘Circles’ tab and you land on a page where the contacts from your clubbed e-mail accounts are displayed on the top of the screen.At first you’ll have 3 default circles categorized as: Friends, Acquaintances and Followers. In addition there is a provision to add circles tailored for your needs as many as you like! The biggest advantage of this feature is that it enables you to save the blushes so that the snaps of your late-night parties are visible only to your selct circle friends and not your boss at workplace.

 Moreover, with the touch-pad mobiles carrying the ubiquitos tag nowadays, the drag-n-drop feature will be a hot potato in the tab and touch segment.

*Hangout: It’s Google+’s reply to the Skype+Facebook video chat feature. No hassles here.Just install a simple plug-in in your browser and you’re ready to go and hangout with your pals. You have the option to hangout with a specific friends or a circle of friends. As the tag-line goes “Until teleportation arrives, it’s the next best thing.”

The current Facebook video chat enables you to chat with only one person at a time. Google steals the show with a multiple user interface.

*Instant upload: You have option to upload the pics shot with your mobile cam directly to your Google+ private album. Later on, you’ll have the option of editing and sharing of your photos with only those whom you want to see.

*Sparks: It’s where you list your interest. Just type in the name of your hobby in the search bar and you will see a tab “Add interest”. Just click on that and it will be directly listed as your ‘Sparks’ in your profile.

* Huddle: Huddle is mainly for Android supporting mobile phones. This feature enables you to group-chat with your friends. Its

Social networking has become a new tool for the ad market. The personal information shared by the people helps in precisely targeting specific audiences based on their likes,locations and other parameters. Facebook currently displays its ads in little rectangles running down the right side of the page,each holding a tiny image and 160 characters of text. According to eMarketer, Facebook ads hauled in nearly $2bn in revenues last year. Social networking is envisaged to fuel the next boom in online advertising.

The bets have been made. So the question now is-“Who will now have the maximum access to people’s information and thus garner the maximum ad-revenue?” For that, we will just have to wait and see!