Google takes on Facebook with the Google+ project
Google has just announced its new social networking platform, the Google+ project - its most blatant attempt at Facebook's throne to date.
Google+ is live now, as an invitation only "Field Trial", and the blog post announcing its arrival isn't shy in stating why this could be your social network of choice (without mentioning the F-word at all, you understand):
"The problem is that today’s online services turn friendship into fast food - rapping everyone in 'friend' paper and sharing really suffers," it reads.
"It’s sloppy. We only want to connect with certain people at certain times, but online we hear from everyone all the time.
"It’s scary. Every online conversation (with over 100 'friends') is a public performance, so we often share less because of stage fright.
"It’s insensitive. We all define 'friend' and 'family' differently - in our own way, on our own terms - but we lose this nuance online."
Ouch. Take that Zuck.
Google+ puts you in control of groups, called Circles, so as you can always control who sees what content that you put online.
The Big G is also aware that you may be boring you social networking pals by talking about subjects that do not really interest them. To solve this, it has created Sparks within Google+, where you can create groups of people and sections for specific interests.
Hangouts looks like being the Google Skype killer that we'd heard rumoured. It allows you to join in a video chat with a group of your friends (no limit is stated - but the demo video shows a maximum of six people in one conference) all within the browser.
Google+ doesn't forget Android either, there's location tagging and instant uploading of your pics on hand - as well as a group chat platform called Huddle.
In fact, the Google+ app is already in the Android Market - with a promise that it'll be App Store bound soon too.
As we said, it's invite only at the moment - although if your Gmail user, be on the lookout for one.
"Online sharing needs a serious re-think, so it’s time we got started. There’s just one more thing -really the only thing: You." the blog post reads.
"When your invite arrives we hope you’ll join the project. But it’s entirely up to +You."
We'd love to be a fly on the wall at Facebook HQ right now.....
Google+ or Google nonplussed? Let us know using the comments below.