I am still waiting for the invite to google+ but I have read about it and thought I should share this with others. The below post is from Gigaom. Hope I get the invite for this soon. Enjoy the read.
Google launched its much awaited and highly anticipated social networking platform today to a limited number of users. Dubbed Google+ (Plus), the service may take its cue from social networking giant Facebook, but in the end it is about the harsh reality of Google saving and enhancing its core franchise — Google Search. It is search (and, by extension, advertising) that made Google a company that has run afoul of the Federal Trade Commission because of its huge size and influence.
At the time of Google’s founding, search was broadly defined as a sifting through a directory of websites. As the web grew, search became all about pages. Google, with its PageRank, came to dominate that evolution of search.
Today, search is not just about pages, but also about people and the relevance of information to them.
Google’s senior executives — long dismissive of the idea of importance of social to search — were contrite during their briefing earlier this week. “It is about time we have come to the realization,” said Bradley Horowitz, vice president of product with Google, “If you don’t know people, then you can’t organize the information for people.”
Google’s realization — however late – that it needs to use social, location and other signals to enhance its core search platform is welcome. “Google needs to understand these relationships and basically use those to make search better,” said Vic Gundotra, Google’s senior vice president for Social in an hour-long briefing earlier this week.
Why? Because the the internet (and information) are expanding with such rapidity that there is no room for assumptions, and as such our systems need to adapt to this world of no (or alternatively infinite) assumptions. Google needs to adapt, and getting social and location signals is important for the company. Search is now search relevant to you in the context of your world — and that is where Google+ comes in.
What is Google Plus?
Is Google+ a destination like Facebook.com? Is it a social network? Is this an identity play? The answer to those questions is yes and no. Google’s Gundotra said that this is the first step by the company in its long social journey, which is going to evolve.
Today, you can get to Google Plus by visiting a website – Google.com/+. But it also travels with you across different Google web properties, thanks to a Google Toolbar. The toolbar is personal to you and allows you to share and send photos, videos, links or just simple messages. A notification icon informs you if others have shared stuff with you.
Google, Gundotra says, has leveraged its infrastructure to offer an array of services, and at the same time the company is attacking Facebook’s noticeable shortcoming — granular privacy that average folks can understand. More importantly it is trying hard to not be compared with Facebook.
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