by Debbie Clarke
After 2 and a half months of closed beta testing Google+ is now open to the world! News that may have social network giants such as Facebook and Twitter feeling a little anxious.
After reaching an impressive 10 million users through invite alone, relatively low in comparison to Facebook’s 750 million and Twitter’s 200 million, Google+ will now be accessible to the masses. The move is likely to give Google+ a big boost in numbers and comes with several new features to improve a service which is already giving its competitors a run for their money.
These new features include the addition of search within Google+ a feature that many felt was missing during testing stages and improvements to Hang Outs, one of its already standout features. It has been suggested that features such as screen sharing; enabling users to share images, Sketchpad, named Hang Outs; letting users create public hang outs on different topics and Hang Outs for Android Smartphones are among the improvements to be made. There is even talk of being able to record and broadcast a Hang Out with up to nine people. All this makes the new and improved Hang Outs a very exciting prospect.
But Facebook is fighting back, not willing to let Google+ gain any kind of advantage, the social network giant has been releasing its own changes including adjustments to its current friends system which allows users to add people into categories, a feature which mirrors Google’s very popular Google Circles. And rumour has it there are more improvements in the pipeline to rival the offerings of Google+. Although according to Facebook, these changes have been in the pipeline for quite some time, of course!
It will be interesting however to see how these changes will go down with Facebook’s somewhat impatient users; how often has your news feed been filled with friends complaining about an “improvement” to Facebook? Quite a lot we imagine, but this doesn’t mean that Google+, with its new features, will be enough to tempt avid Facebook users away. Let’s face it, Facebookers love to complain but they just get used to the changes in the end.
So it seems the fight is on – Facebook vs Google+. Who do you think will come out on top?