Just the other day, while not logging into Bebo, having no idea what Ping is and being stupefied at the prospect of Justin Timberlake buying Myspace, I thought to myself: “I know what the already saturated and increasingly fragmented infrastructure of the social networking market needs: just, like, summat the same as Facebook. But different. A bit.”
Turns out Google are on the same page.
The imaginatively entitled Google+ is being touted as the “Facebook killer” – by people that come up with shit dictums. I've long since abandoned Facey, the slack, gossiping cow that she is. I favour Twitter, a more perspicacious but equally filthy social media sort. Google+, in this absurd, misogynistic analogy, is the kind of lass that works hard and has an ostensibly wholesome family image. But in the right kind of atmosphere, with the right group of friends... What a little goer.
Circles is the feature that allows this duplicity. Here you group your mates, family, colleagues and complete strangers you stalk in the hope of one day boffing, into separate categories. That picture of you trying to climb into your own shoe, off your lips on ketamine in Ibiza, need never be seen by your auntie Joan so long as you keep her in a Circle that can't view your “Beefa 2010” photo album. Same goes for any links or updates.
Instant Upload is the aspect of the service that allows you to add photos to your profile. This feature is pivotal to Google+'s success. Without this element of social media, boring bastards all over the world would have no medium to purport how ace their holiday was, how debauched their nights out are or how sexy their face is – from one specific angle, in a very particular light, in black and white, after 26 attempts.
When it comes to social networking we're the collective equivalent of an attention deficit kid on MDMA.
Hangouts is genuinely useful. Here you can set up group video calling with any of your Circles – a similar albeit clunkier and chargeable service is currently available with Skype. Hangouts is ideal for talking to friends and family who live abroad, conference calls with workmates or to arrange videophone sex orgies. The possibilities are endless.
Huddle is a group texting app available to Android users – a text version of Hangouts. Again, this looks pretty practical for making arrangements with indecisive mates, sharing ideas with workmates or to arrange text sex orgies. The possibilities are endless.
The other sections you need to know about are the Stream, which is essentially the same as your Facebook or Twitter feed, and the Sparks area, a much more interesting prospect. Here you add any interests you have – trance music, Brian Blessed, amputee porn, whatever, they're kept private – and Sparks finds stories, sites, blogs and videos that you'll like. Share them with your mates or view them alone in a darkened room, it's up to you.
So. Google+. What's the verdict?
Well, it's good. We don't really need it, obviously, but then we don't really need to be friends with 50 weirdos from school that we've never ever spoken to. Nor do we need to express every single half-baked semi-thought in 140 characters. But we do. And we go batshit mental for it.
When it comes to social networking we're the collective equivalent of an attention deficit kid on MDMA. Myspace was all new and mad and life changing until Facebook came along. Facebook seems like the thick, ginger step-child of the social networking family now we all use Twitter. Google+ is set to become our next obsession. Even though it's pretty much just summat the same as Facebook. But different. A bit.
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