Google Plus

by Shawn Powers

The early years of the 21st century forever will be known as the age of social media. I don't know if that's something we should be proud of, but nonetheless, here we are. During the past decade, we've seen things like Friendster, Pownce, Twitter, Wave, Facebook, Tumblr, Buzz, Gowalla, Brightkite, Foursquare, Loopt, Plurk,, LinkedIn, Yammer and now Google Plus.

Google hasn't had a great track record when it comes to social networking, with both Wave and Buzz being largely unsuccessful. Google Plus, or G+, seems to be its most appealing offer so far. At the time of this writing, it's still very early in the beta stages, but it already seems to have a cleaner and simpler interface than its direct competitor: Facebook.

Google offers unique features like group video chats called "hangouts" and "circles" of friends to help organize your following/followers. G+'s integration with other Google services may be the kill shot. Gmail, Picasa, YouTube and Blogger easily can be integrated directly by Google, making it simple for those folks already using Google apps to get their Plus on. Is the third time a charm for Google, or will G+ be another unfortunate carcass in the pile of outdated social media platforms? Only time will tell.