Google announces social network Google+, should Facebook worry?

Google announces social network Google+, should Facebook worry?

Google has finally taken the wraps off their long awaited, highly-anticipated (what?) social network, Google+ and it looks like a really clever take on the age-old problem of mapping personal relationships to a virtual space. It will eventually roll out across Google's web properties, but rather than one monolithic service, it's comprised of several parts:

  • Circles, which let you define your relationships and how much you want to share with who and when. These are usually annoying to set up so no one uses them. Google aims to change that.
  • Sparks, which brings you content based on your interests and hopes to strike up conversations
  • Hangouts, which is multi-person video chat. FaceTime is currently only one-to-one...
  • Mobile, which lets you share and upload from your devices (iOS app in the works?)
  • Huddle, a group messaging platform now in competition with the mature BBM on BlackBerry and nascent iMessage on iOS

Google hasn't had much luck with previous projects like [ and Buzz, but this feels both more ambitious and far better considered. Whether it will be enough to put a dent in Facebook's 750 million member and growing dominance of the social space remains to be seen. (See how I snuck them into the post? I thought you did.)

One thing is clear, with Apple integrating Twitter into iOS and introducing Game Center, Ping (no snickering), and replacing MobileMe with iCloud, they're getting more serious (if not yet more adapt) at Social. And Google's just re-entered, once again, that game in a big way. Are you going to switch?

Videos after the break.

[Google blog via Android Central]

Google +




Mobile (Instant upload)


Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

More Posts



← Previously updated, been far too long working on iPad 2 Jailbreak?

Next up →

Ionocraft Racing HD for iPad now available

Reader comments

Google announces social network Google+, should Facebook worry?


don't know enough about this social network yet, but i'd honestly say they're a few light years behind facebook already. soooo, no. i don't think zuckerberg (nor his $13.5 billion) is even remotely concerned.

Isn't that what palm Blackberry and MS said about apples iPhone? Who's to say Facebook isn't the next myspace. I really don't know if it's going to be any good or not but I do know that things change quickly who's to say what will be here or won't in the next 5 years.

It'll certainly be here, but the question is in what capacity? I mean, even Friendster is still here. Facebook does seem to have more staying power than Myspace and the like though, just because Facebook has branched out and gotten its hands into way more things than when it started out, which previous networking sites never did.

Myspace and Friendster didn't have nearly the reach that Facebook does.
They didn't have entire families using it. Most of my family uses Facebook, from young to old.
And I never heard a news broadcast end by saying "visit our Myspace page and leave us a comment"

Really? Light years behind? I have many family members that are on my FB page that I don't want them to see videos, links, info that I would like to share with other friends. Circles is awesome for this. I can send a pic or video to my family of my son for only family members to see. I can send a YouTube vid that is rather explicit to only my friends so that my grandmother does not hear or see F bombs being dropped every 5 secs. I support what google is doing and while you might be right this may not affect FB and its users, it would be nice to choose what people see the content and info I share. I feel many others feel the same.

U can do it on Facebook too. Just create a new group and add people and do your group private

Idk. That's a lot of talk. We will see. My effin googletv is still useless after a years worth of promises. Girls android phone sold after getting annoyed with tons and tons of bugs. I have little faith.
Than again, Facebook is expanding upon their already confusing app with a new app? And they haven't even fixed all the bugs making their iPhone app useless.

Whatever... they just better not "opt-in" all the Gmail/Google apps users like they did with Buzz. Hope they learned their lesson from the class action suit.

Circles seems very cool -- like most others, I have things relevant to share with one group of friends, but not others. I'll sign up, but probably end up using it about as much as I use FB and Twitter -- not much.
Obviously Google cannot do the deep system integration on iOS as they will on Android, but, short of those concerns, I hope that if/when Google makes iOS app(s) for these, that Apple does not block them.

I can't imagine that the app would be blocked outright, but a lot of the utility of the Android app will probably relate to notifications and contact list integration, which Apple could easily (and likely) disallow.

no use for it. i dont have my space dont have facebook dont have twitter. why cause i dont need them or use them. everybody i want to talk to i can get in touch with whenever i want and vice versa. if i havent spoke to you since high school there is probably a reason for that. and if you automatically get this service cause you have a gmail account i am deleting my gmail. social networks make no sense to me

Okay, I'm the bitter guy so the idea of another social network turns my stomach. How much of your personal information do you want to put in the streets? Do you really want to reconnect with your 2nd grade best friend's cousin's uncle?
But, if you must open your underwear and let everyone smell it then this is the site for you.

Ah.... This is the thing. First came myspace, then Facebook around the same time. I do miss when Facebook required you to be invited and now ANYONE can make one but oh well. Anyway, Google as some work to do since they are WAY behind in Social Networking. Who want’s to STOP doing / using what they are using right now and just change for the heck of it? It required people to learn something new. I’m sure many of the Google / Android lovers will move onto it, and I see what google is trying to do here.... but I just don’t feel it’s something that will take off. Not right now anyway. Maybe i’ll be wrong.... and someday I’ll have one. I’m happy with my Facebook, i’ll check out this Google + thing but 98% of my friend wont move to it LOL and I’m not about to manager 2 Social networking sites. That’s why i got rid of my MySpace.

Seriously? Google can go suck a lemon and die! Google is an advertising company! What person in their right mind would give them any more private info!

Apple is an advertising company too. So is Facebook. Where do you store you contacts now? With one of them. Should they suck lemons too?

Google's business model is one that earns all income from advertising. They now have some products etc to branch out, but advertising is there main business.
Apple's is not. While they have stuck their toe in that water, their business model has to do with hardware (traditionally) and software.

What do you think Facebook is doing? Collecting detailed info on your habits through likes, groups and general profile padding, just to improve targeted advertising.