So last week Google launched their latest product/service/short-term-social-fix. If you don’t know, it’s called Google+. Still on a limited trial, Google are letting a trickle of users in at a time after the ‘first wave’ were allowed last Thursday.
Essentially it gives you FULL control of your news feed and how public everything you share actually is. You create Circles of friends or people you wish to follow. Your friends can be in multiple Circles and you limit what each Circle has access to. You are the only person who can see your Circles. Your friends can see who is in your Circles but not which or what they are called.
Still with me? Good.
To take the privacy and limitations a step further, you can now edit each part of your profile page to allow different Circles, different levels of access. So your phone number can be shared with just your real life friends, or your job title hidden from the public. Whilst editing, you can view your profile through the eyes of a friend. Test the settings to make sure your access limitations are set just right!
Now for the fun stuff. Hangouts are awesome. I’ve been lost in several hangouts for hours on end. Strike up a hangout and you share that with your Circles. Anyone can join in and so the fun begins!
A clever thing Hangouts does, is switch the ‘camera’ from person to person as they’re talking. So you can follow the conversation naturally without any effort. If you want, you can select a friend and their camera will stay onscreen. But click again and autopilot kicks in!
If someone wants to share a YouTube video, they can and everyone else starts watching. Mic’s are muted and you have to click+hold a button to talk over the video. If someone pauses it, it pauses for everyone so you can comment on what just happened.
There’s also chat and you can share links and photos and all the usual stuff but this is first wave. Imagine what’s gonna happen as soon as you can automatically spunk things into Google+…
What will happen? Will it get better? Will it ride the Wave or catch a Buzz?