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June 30, 2011 / Raffy Pekson II

Google Goes Social Media – Me Too

Google Office in Melbourne from Google.com

“Among the most basic of human needs is the need to connect with others. With a smile, a laugh, a whisper or a cheer, we connect with others every single day.

“Today, the connections between people increasingly happen online. Yet the subtlety and substance of real-world interactions are lost in the rigidness of our online tools.

“In this basic, human way, online sharing is awkward. Even broken. And we aim to fix it.

“We’d like to bring the nuance and richness of real-life sharing to software. We want to make Google better by including you, your relationships, and your interests. And so begins the Google+ project.”

Google is entering the realm of Facebook (again), trying to redefine itself as “not just a search engine” portal. In an indirect way of saying, Google complains in its blog that today social media sites, maybe Facebook, only provide sloppiness of hearing from everyone, the scary feeling that everyone sees what you are sharing (termed as a public performance), and the insensitivity of defining “friend” and “family” differently. Google defines one’s network of people as a “Circle of friends,” so to speak. Hence, the Google term “+Circles.”

“+Sparks” is another definition of Google which intends to provide the Google+ user the ability to get “feeds of interest” according to what you watch, read and share, and within the +Circle of friends. Does that mean +Sparks is a calculating engine to continuously define who you are and what you want and need? Cookies and privacy, anyone?

So, instead of Groups and Pages to join and like, respectiviely, Google will mimick it as +Hangouts, a virtual place for casual hellos and live multi-person video meetings. Others call this Facebook Group chats and Skype, I think.

Here’s where the fun begins: +Mobile. It’s Foursquare meets Facebook Photos plus Facebook Group posts, including GPS, phone cameras and messaging, all boiled into one app on the cloud uing your mobile phone. Neat!

Being Google, it all starts with the Android phones (only) and mobile web for other kinds of phone. We have no idea when the iPhone will get integrated, or Symbian or other mobile phone operating system. Right now, it’s in Beta testing with some users. There’s no word yet when the entire world or a limited territory will start experiencing Google’s next attempt to social media stardom.

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