BY THE WAY: This is my first original blog post on WordPress, thanks for visiting!
Google had it’s busiest week in years with the introduction of a new social networking service, and it’s most ambitious redesign in the web company’s history. As you’ve probably already heard, the new service is called Google+ and its had the Internet going talking all week. You can tell right off the bat that Google is aiming to dethrone Facebook, and that it looks very similar to Facebook. There are some distinctions in Google+ to distance itself (if at all) from Facebook, like splitting friends or family into specific groups called Circles, and it allows you to send status updates or any other content only to the “Circle” you choose, which could be all if you’d like to make it fully public. Another interesting feature is the Hangouts feature, which is probably the most original feature in Google+. Hangouts allows video chatting between friends right from the browser, and it allows up to 10 people chatting at once. It’s an amazing feature, especially since it’s web-based (so no software downloading) and it’s free! Video chatting services like Skype and ooVoo charge for video chatting with more than 3 people, so for 10 being allowed to chat all at once for free is pretty unheard of… And AMAZING! The last feature I’ll talk about quickly in this post is the Huddle feature, which is another original feature in Google+. Huddle offers group messaging with friends with their mobile devices to make a group texting conversation. Since you’re probably going to use Huddle inside the Google+ app (which will be released for iPhone soon), you will be able to message everyone for free, no texting fees. This isn’t the last feature in Google+, but if I posted every feature, this post will be 10 times longer than it already is. If you’re interested in Google+, just go to it’s page at plus.google.com.
Next, Google’s redesign. The web giant decided to change the look of it’s website after introducing Google+, and it’s very Web 2.0. The usually white-themed website got a black bar on the top for the first time, which was criticized by some, but the outcry died down quickly. The sidebar that was introduced a few years ago looks kore modern, as well as the image search and Google Calendar. Another redesign uncovered yesterday is that Gmail is also getting a UI change, looking a lot like Google+, and what will soon be the rest of Google.
You think that’s all? Well Google’s just getting started, as Google+, which has been in a field-testing private beta, has opened to the public this morning, so you can now sign in with your Gmail account and try Google’s social service yourself; and since Google+ is in beta, Google is constantly getting feedback, and will be adding and fixing features in the coming days and weeks.