We are all very aware of the type of revolution Facebook has brought in the domain of social networking. The types of innovations, the integration of various apps, unique customization of the update feed, etc. are all hallmark of Facebook holding the nerve of common man. Google’s Orkut even though had similar features but had limited success due to non-intuitive interface and simply because people were addicted to Facebook. Orkut was followed by Google’s Wave which turned to be a big disaster and now Google’s latest offering in social networking domain is “Google+”.
So lets try to see why so much hype on the Google+:
Photo Tagging: Photo sharing is one of the key of any social networking and its made still better by tagging. By default FB doesn’t intimate the person being tagged in anyone else’s album while it is enabled in G+ which is a good security measure. Heck, I should where all I feature.
Friend Management: Perhaps this is the best feature of G+ in which we can create different ‘circles’ and interact with them in different ways. So next time if you plan to write some naughty (f**k**g) comment in some of your close buddy your boss will not know that. Cool…
Better Integration: With FB’s increased presence in business aspects, need of tools like editors, calendar, etc. to be integrated is paramount. This is another feature which will help G+ excel, with some of the best used features like Google’s Docs, Calendar, & Gmail integrated with G+, I feel that G+ will definitely has something to boast. Also Picasa & YouTube is real killer in friend and family usage.
Privacy: No matter what FB advocates are babbling, FB treats that all the data uploaded or written by you is their property and they have full right to use it the way they want. Also if you have made an account in FB you have to struggle hard to remove your info from their databank and server. G+ is offering a service “Data Liberation” wherein you can simply download all your data, delete everything from server and walk away, nothing will be stored after that. Really good on Google’s part. Google for change.
Chatting: G+ “Hangouts” is the group chat application is way better than the basic mono chat offered by FB. I feel this is going to be one of the most used features of G+ in near future both for personal as well as business usage. Chat on …
Well enough of G+ appreciations, lets see how FB fares in comparison
Loyal User: FB is #1 visited site and almost all the users have a pretty active social account, no one wants to switch to a new platform every now and then so this is one of the biggest point which tilts the scale in favour of FB. Plus, I am addicted to Farmville.
Better Search Feature: It sound contradictory that FB search is better than G+ specially when Google is best known for its search engine. But if you try you will find that Search Bar situated at top of FB will almost always give you relevant result while G+ search bar, where it is?
Original Uncluttered Layout: Yes, FB doesn’t offer customization of its wall and that is its core strength, the simplicity of the wall and the way all relevant information is presented in front of eye immediately is the real strength of FB. G+ has currently adopted a similar type of interface but we all don’t like copycats. Right?
Open ID: Yes I have seen many & I mean many sites which use Facebook credential as Open-ID to authenticate you as human. Recently even blogging platform Word press has also added this feature. Google profile also works in the same way but Facebook looks to lead the race.
So after all this comparison, who is the winner?
Well, it is very hard to say. Despite having some great features G+ is going to have a real tough time competing with FB and may be FB may emerge winner but if G+ is able to gain some critical mass then G+ will definitely overtake FB. And my vote goes to “Google +”
Well I finally got a Google+ Invite but I don’t have any of my friend or family as member of Google+ which makes the point of sharing and social networking pointless. As the invite is on trial basis and will slowly and randomly expanded by opening up to more and more people. But once you get an invite and had created an account you can definitely add more people in your circle, but the process is not simple and requires to dig a bit deep and needs more than few clicks. Here is what I have learned, I don’t guarantee that this is the only or correct method but I think this process of adding friend will get you going on the way to connect and form circles and hangouts.
Click on the Circles as highlighted below:
You will reach a page as shown below, since I am using Gmail account all my contact show by default, however you can also add friends from your yahoo or Hotmail account.
Once the contacts have been imported, it will show as stamps as marked by red and green circle. You can now add them into various circles (pre-existing or make new ones). Once you have added them in circle you can double click on the circle and it will expand to show the members. Next double click on the name (highlighted in violet) and now you can send them an invite by clicking on “invite”
BTW, it also possible send invite by simply double clicking on the name on the previous page, but it is suggested that you add the people in circle and then send them invite, this is the only way which has worked for me.
One point which came to my mind while registering for Google+ was that as most of my friends are on FB then why G+, well before FB become popular in India it was Orkut all the way, but FB overtook it in India may be Google want to strike back to FB with G+. But one thing is sure whichever offers better service, uptime and easiness of usage will be winner.
So best of luck on getting Google+ invite and inviting others.
For last couple of weeks, I was away on Diwali vacation to my hometown. During this period, my access to internet was limited through my mobile (Nokia 5230). As you may be aware the mobile is somewhere in the lower middle end of current mobile spectrum but features GPRS, EDGE, 3G, GPS & Bluetooth on connectivity front. This phone runs on Symbian 60 series 5 OS. . As the speed of GPRS in my hometown was low, it was not feasible to connect the mobile as modem and browse on PC. During this period, I discovered an excellent mobile application which could cater to most of my daily browsing need which includes checking, updating and commenting on facebook, twitter functions and RSS reader. The mobile application I am talking about is Snaptu. It runs on almost all the mobile phones and utilizes very less data transfer. It can also connect to other services like Flickr and Picasa. There is support to add shortcuts for other applications like Yahoo Mail, Gmail, Orkut and so on, however these application shortcuts will open in a separate browser. The best part of this application is that it can also be used as a robust RSS reader. The app is easy to operate and provides clean simple interface. Overall, this is a near perfect application for my purpose with a absolutely amazing price tag “FREE”. Yes, this is a great killer app for people who use visit websites like facebook, Flickr or twitter dozen times a day and keep on updating and commenting. I recommend this for all the mobile user as a must have.
Based on this concept of a single application/client for all social networking client, I felt that such a software for PC will be great. So, I started doing some research & I come across Gwibber. The software is good and connects with Flickr, Facebook and Twitter among others but it has mixed reviews on usability and convenience. Another aspect of this software that it has been designed for Ubuntu Linux OS. I tried searching for some multipurpose desktop client for Microsoft Windows OS and couldn’t find any software as comprehensive as Snaptu for PC. Only software which fulfils some of the requirement is Seesmic, which has clients for most of the famous OS viz. Windows, Linux & OSX and also for mobile phones like Android & iPhone. It also sports a web interface. However, this is good for Facebook and Twitter only.
My search for a COMPREHENSIVE Social Networking Client for PC (Windows) continues, if you are aware of any please let me know. In the meanwhile enjoy using Snaptu.
EDITED: I found that few applications which may be an PC alternative for Snaptu are Sobees, Digsby and Yoono. I am trying to evaluate them and then will share my experience about them.