Google unveils social network to challenge Facebook

June 29th, 2011 - 11:28 am ICT by IANS  

Facebook New York, June 29 (IANS) Google Tuesday unveiled its new social networking service to take on Facebook.

The Internet search engine introduced Google+ social network for what it called ‘real-life sharing.’ To be available first by invitation only, Google said its social network will meet the most basic human needs to connect with others.

Aiming to take advantage of flaws in networking on Facebook, Google said, “Today, the connections between people increasingly happen online. Yet the subtlety and substance of real-world interactions are lost in the rigidness of our online tools. In this basic, human way, online sharing is awkward. Even broken. And we aim to fix it.”

Google said, “We’d like to bring the nuance and richness of real-life sharing to software. We want to make Google better by including you, your relationships, and your interests. And so begins the Google+ project.”

It would offer options of networking, including ‘Circles’ interface for adding friends and sharing ‘what matters, with the people who matter most’ and ‘Hangouts’ interface for group video chat.

“The debut of Google+ will test whether Google can overcome its past flops in social networking, like Buzz and Orkut, and deal with one of the most pressing challenges facing the company,” said the New York Times.

“At stake is Google’s status as the most popular entry point to the Web. When people post on Facebook, which is mostly off-limits to search engines, Google loses valuable information that could benefit its Web search, advertising and other products.”

But Google+ might be already too late, the paper said.

“In May, 180 million people visited Google sites, including YouTube, versus 157.2 million on Facebook, according to comScore. But Facebook users looked at 103 billion pages and spent an average of 375 minutes on the site, while Google users viewed 46.3 billion pages and spent 231 minutes.

“Advertisers pay close attention to those numbers, and to the fact that people increasingly turn to Facebook and other social sites like Twitter to ask questions they used to ask Google, like a recommendation for a restaurant or doctor, because they want more personalized answers,” the New York Times said.

(Gurmukh Singh can be contacted at gurmukh.s@ians.in)

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