29th June 2011
Recent attempts to build social features into Google's services, such as its Buzz network for Gmail users, have failed. The network, announced on Tuesday and known as Google+, will at first be available by invitation only.
Google made clear that it was targeting flaws in Facebook's service to attract an audience. Vic Gundotra, senior vice-president of engineering, is quoted in the Financial Times (paywall) as saying on a blog post that "subtlety and substance of real-world interactions are lost in the rigidness of our online tools." He adds: "In this basic, human way, online sharing is awkward. Even broken. And we aim to fix it."
However, analysts said it would be difficult for it to draw many users away from Facebook. Danny Sullivan, editor of Search Engine Land, wrote in a blog post: "It has some interesting twists on the social networking model but is far from a Facebook-killer…If you're already happy using Facebook, you may have no more incentive to use Google's new social network than someone already happy using Google has to switch over to Bing," the Microsoft search engine."
Google+ will make it much easier to share your comments, photos and internet links with selected groups of friends, instead of having to decide whether to publish something to everyone you know, the company said.
The BBC says the company is now boasting that four features in Google+ could help make the company a permanent player in social networking:
On the move to make search more social, Vel0city comments on the ZDNet blog: "They already have social networking built into their search engine. They've had Facebook integration for months, and it's been linked to Live since day 1. If anything, Google is copying Microsoft by trying to make their search more social."
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