In the first part of this article we had a look at Google + and some of its essential features.
Google is pinning great hopes on +1, and whilst it may deny its introduction is intended to act as some sort of direct competition with Bing/Facebook, the similarities are unmistakable. So, what does Google+ offer in terms of its live ‘stream’? Is it simply a direct replication of Facebook’s live feed, or does it offer new and enhanced facilities that may have the social networking giant worrying about the future?
For all the protestations, Google+ is pretty similar to Facebook’s news feed: it offers all the features you might expect. So is there anything included here that might come as a surprise?
• When you share something on Google+ it’s added to your own stream and the stream of everyone you shared with.
• The stream shows you what all of your Circles have shared with you.
• If you mention a user, using the “+” or “@” symbols, the person may receive a notification that you mentioned them.
• You can see who specific posts were shared with in the stream, whether they were shared with a limited group, an extended circle or shared publicly.
• You can filter the stream by choosing to only communicate with specific circles of friends.
• You can chat directly with those you share with, pretty much like Facebook.
• You can filter out, and report, inappropriate content.
• You can search for people from the search box at the top of the stream, again, like Facebook.
• Google claims that you will soon be able to search the stream itself from within the search box.
• Any comments you might leave on a post can be edited or deleted.
• The same applies to your own posts: however, you can’t edit a post’s shared settings after the post has been shared. What users can do though is delete the post and then share it with different circles.
• You can re-share other posts and your own, much like a re-tweet.
• You can also ‘mute’ a post if the comments seem to be getting out of control. This will then let you stop receiving unwanted updates from the post.
So does Google+ offer any additional features or improvements over Facebook? On the face of it, not at the moment. However Google is keen to point out the application is be improved and extended over time: these features are just the starting point. Things will definitely become more innovative over time.