Google announced today a new social networking project called The Google+ Project. It appears to be another attempt by Google to compete with Facebook and move toward a more personal user experience on the web.
Google has had a few flops with things like Google Buzz and Orkut, but they seem to be taking a more careful and a more innovative approach with Google+.
For instance, the new social network is not immediately available to everyone. As of right now Google+ is available to a select few users who will be able to invite other users in the near future. Google+ will continue to change and evolve as more people test it.
The Google+ Project deviates from Facebook and other social networking sites in the way it lets you interact. Instead of sharing things en masse with every one of your friends it chooses a more intimiate way of sharing. Users create “circles” of friends or acquaintances who you can share specific things with rather than making announcements to the entire world. This feature might be nice for users who want to keep some information private, but it will make Google+ difficult for businesses to use like they do Facebook currently.
Google+ also sets itself apart by offering things such as a group video chat service called “hangout,” and group texting. There is also a feature called Sparks that lets you look for videos and articles based on interests and then discuss them with other users that share the same interests.
So as The Google+ Project rolls out to users worldwide do you think it will catch on? Can Google overcome their history of failures in the realm of social media? Do you think Google+ could be business friendly and allow new opportunities for social media optimization services in ways Facebook does not? What are your thoughts?