Google to get A+ in social sciences?

I’ve not been too attentive to the recent news about the Google+ project. Another attempt to get into the social web and claw back some of the significant ground made by Facebook…

Having looked at it in more detail (the videos on YouTube are worth a watch) Google+ looks like the culmination of years of social experiments (Orkut, Wave and Buzz). OK, Orkut is an established social network in Brazil, but with Facebook’s traffic increase outstripping Orkut’s by over 400% there is clearly interest in what Facebook has to offer.

Google Wave and Buzz are great examples of Google’s passion for experimentation and confidence in realising products to market before they’re the finished article. Wave was more the plaything for early adopters and technology know-hows…ahead of its time; ready for the mainstream market of 2015, not 2010.

Google+ looks to have taken all of that work in the lab, learnt from Facebook and given us a social network that could be a viable alternative. The “Circles” and “Hangouts” functionality takes something that feels like the next growth spurt for social networking – creating networks within networks. More relevant content and conversations amongst the general/diverse chatter of a social network.

Considering Zuckerberg’s passion for innovation and his business not resting on its laurels, I’d imagine Facebook are doing plenty to keep just one step ahead of the competition. But it will be interesting to see how Google+ fairs over the next few months….I’m just waiting for my invitation to play!

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