Google has finally lifted the lid on the Google+ project; their most ambitious foray into the social web to date. Unlike previous ill-fated attempts at social, like Google Wave and Google Buzz, Google+ is different. Why? Because it’s not Facebook.
With Google+, Google replicates the art of real-life communication online where the nuances of such are often lost. Google believe that social should be anywhere, contextual and inherently subtle. Something which Facebook has yet to grasp.
Facebook is a closed network. Even with the ubiquity of Facebook Social plugins across the web, including the Like button and Like box, the vast majority of interaction is restricted to the Facebook site and official Facebook apps. Users are given a rigid platform upon which to communicate and must adhere to Facebook’s social protocol; one that is counter-intuitive to the open values of the Internet itself.
Google thinks differently. Everything Google does is open. The same mantra has been applied to Google+ and will be increasingly so in future development. Google know that it’s ill-considered to place users in a specific and restricted online environment, like Facebook, and expect natural communication to take place. Google state that in “this basic, human way, online sharing is awkward” and how “the subtlety and substance of real-world interactions are lost in the rigidness” of such current social platforms. Is this respect, expect Google+ to not only be available within one specific location, but across the web.
Google+ is a re-think of sharing online. Online communication which is not restricted to a single specific platform, is contextualised among specific social circles and which replicates the subtlety and unobtrusiveness of “hanging out” in real-life social circumstances will ensure that Google+ will become a renowned success.