Launching with four new products that Google hopes can take on Facebook, the internet giant revealed today that it believes that it has found a better way to organise social interaction on the web.
The first product is called Circles and closely apes the functionality of Facebook, with the exception that you can create groups of people to share certain stuff with, rather than with Facebook where you post and everyone sees it. Second is Sparks which will let you share stuff with people anywhere on the web. This echoes the original idea of the Internet where Tim Berners-Lee envisaged that a network would enable people to collaborate across vast distances and this would make problem solving easier.
Hangout is the third product, designed to let you share stuff with groups of people you’d like to hangout with. Like most people, you may hang out with a crowd at work but that could be completely different to the crew you hang out with in the evenings. And finally Huddle is the fourth product which is a group messaging application – a bit like sending a text to all your mates when you want to organise a night out.
All of this is to brought together in a new Google toolbar which will also encourage you to ‘share your status’ much like Facebook currently does.
So is this a credible threat to Facebook? Given that Facebook is now used equally by parents as their kids, it is likely that there will be an element of switching, simply as it is a new platform. Does it have the legs to be the new Social networking tool? That depends on your view on how much Google you want in your life…..