The Rise of Google Plus: A New Social Network

The Rise of Google Plus: A New Social Network

Search engine Google’s new social network, Google Plus, is zooming into the stratosphere. Will it leave its rivals Facebook and Twitter back on Earth?

The search engine monolith Google has launched a new social network, Google Plus, allowing users to share links and videos seamlessly. Already gaining more than 7 million users, it is predicted to reach 20 million by the end of the weekend. Will this be a seachange for Google’s social networking activities? And should Facebook be quivering in their boots?

“If these numbers are anywhere near accurate,” said Erick Schonfeld on Techcrunch, “Google Plus could very well become the fastest growing product in the history of the Web. Then again, Google is simply turning on the product for the hundreds of millions of users it already has once they get an invite and sign up.” Based on calculations by Paul Allen, founder of, “It’s unlikely that [the] estimate is completely accurate, but he should at least be capturing the growth trajectory.”

Going the right way? “A brilliant start from Google,” crowed Online Social Media, “for their social network which at the moment we see as one of those things you either love or you hate! … What better way than to bring it in along the top of your Google page as a toolbar to access it. Whilst one of the ways you can access the site is genius in itself, the fact that there seems [sic] to have been little or no technical problems with the site so far means that it has been well designed and has undergone thorough testing to get to where they are. Google has certainly gone about things the right way.”

Buzz, buzz, buzz. Google’s last attempt at networking, Google Buzz, was an epic failure. But with Google Plus, “it looks like the search giant may have finally built a social product that people will use,” said Anthony Ha at “The company’s most infamous social fumble was its product Google Buzz, which many users saw as a violation of their privacy — as did the Federal Trade Commission.”

Diving deeper. “It’s easy to think about Google Plus as a Facebook clone,” said Adam Clark Estes on The Atlantic Wire. “At first glance, it looks like any other social network … A deeper dive into the unique features to Google Plus shows that you can group friends into Circles and set up virtual Hangouts with your friends. Hangouts are basically video-enabled group chats. You set up a Hangout, send the URL to whomever you want to join, and as everybody joins you can see their faces via webcam and chat in real time.”

Threat to Facebook. “To be honest, my gut reaction after using Google Plus was initially, ‘Why on earth would anybody switch to this from Facebook?’” wobbled Nick O’Neill on All Facebook. “However, when I loaded up Google Finance as I do every morning, I suddenly realized that I was asking the wrong question. The reality is that users won’t have the option of not using Google Plus.” As a user, he found himself drawn to alerts and notifications that friends had shared content with him that popped up as he browsed Google-powered sites; a smart move for Google, which is already so ubiquitous that users will easily be drawn into its web.

Product. “It’s not like I need another social media platform to downgrade my productivity”, grumbled Don McAvoy on NewsOK, “so at some point I suspect I won’t be active on Google Plus without scaling back my activities on Facebook or Twitter. Meanwhile, keep in mind that the free service ultimately is designed to deliver your eyeballs to advertisers. As one online sage noted: ‘If you’re not paying for something, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold.’”

Fifth columnist. But, according to Daniel Blake on The Christian Post, “the most popular person on Google+ is the Facebook founder and chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg who as of Tuesday evening had just under 35,000 followers.”

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