Google introduces new social networking service

09:12, June 29, 2011      

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Google on Tuesday rolled out a new social networking service named "Google+", a long awaited move of the Internet search giant to crack the industry's social trend dominated by Facebook.

Unlike Facebook, Google said that the project is designed for sharing with small groups like college roommates and parents. " Today's online services turn friendship into fast food, wrapping everyone in 'friend' paper," Google said in a blog post announcing the new service.

Other Google+ features include Sparks, which gathers articles and videos on topics of interests or hobbies; and Hangouts, which allows users join live multi-person video chat.

There is also a mobile version of Google+ for smartphones running Google's Android operating system, which enables multi- person text message chats and instant upload of photos from the phone.

The Google+ project is currently in field trial and by invitation only. Users can select people from their Gmail contacts and organize them into different groups.

Google+ is expected to test whether Google could come back from its past frustration in social networking, such as Buzz, a social networking and messaging too integrated into its Gmail service. Some of Google Buzz's features have been widely criticized for privacy concerns.

Market research data show that Facebook has surpassed Google in terms of time spent on each site, a fact that advertisers attach importance to.

According to Internet market research company comScore, including YouTube, 180 million people visited Google sites in May, compare to 157.2 million on Facebook. However, 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.

In April, Google CEO and co-founder Larry Page reportedly sent out a company-wide memo alerting employees that 25 percent of their annual bonus will be tied to the success or failure of Google's social strategy in 2011.

Source: Xinhua
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