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A window into the Digital Life of Bryan Vyhmeister

Google Launches Google+ for Social Networking

Google has launched its new Google+ social networking service billed as “Real-life sharing rethought for the web.” Currently Google+ is in “limited field trial” according to the Google+ web site.

You can learn more about Google+ from the Google+ web site, This is my next…, GigaOm, and TechCrunch. Most visitors to the web site are greeted by a message stating that “Right now, we’re testing with a small number of people, but it won’t be long before the Google+ project is ready for everyone. Leave us your email address and we’ll make sure you’re the first to know when we’re ready to invite more people.”

Even if you currently have an invitation, the site states that “We’ve temporarily exceeded our capacity. Please try again soon.” Videos and feature descriptions are the best we can get right now.

We are particularly interested in the more fine-grained control over who sees what with Circles. Unless you individually customize who can and cannot see your posts, it is hard to have this level of control on Facebook.

The other two major features that are intriguing are Hangouts and Sparks. Hangouts are designed so you can have a group video chat. Sparks provide a feed of your particular interests and it is updated based on what you have watched, read, or shared.

With the increasing volume of information we are daily exposed to, it is not possible to keep up with it all. If the Sparks feature works well, this will be a great way to follow your interests and cut down on the volume of information.

We will be watching as Google+ becomes available to more users. Although Facebook has a huge lead, Google+ could change the way we use social networking with its features. It will be interesting to see how Facebook responds.