Google+ probably has a queue of potential users numbering in tens of millions waiting impatiently for it to open its doors to the world. Since it snuck up on the rest of the world, Facebook and Twitter addicts have been waiting to experience its promised new take on social networking, so that even Facebook has had to ‘respond’ with video chat in the form of Skype integration, and a new chat interface. All the yammer on social network planets is now about Google+ invites, rumored official launch dates and the possibilities of Circles, Sparks, Huddle and Hang Outs. Google is even stoking the ‘fires’ with promises of other cool features, and the anticipation is naturally Everest-high since it has experimented with Google Wave and Buzz amongst many others (so it must have learnt its lessons?).
After announcing record earnings for the third quarter of 2011, its CEO, Larry Page, even had the ‘nerve’ to reveal that he was ‘super excited’ about google+ which already has over 10 million users in its testing phase. So what are they possibly bringing that Facebook stagnated at, apart from annoying everyone with their privacy policies and believing that they were the un-dethronable social network gods. Granted that google+ known features look naturally like successors to Facebook’s, Google must realize that it would still take significantly more to attract a hefty 400 million users in just two years. For such an unprecedented growth to happen Facebook will have to literally fall into a deep sleep competitively while Google ‘innovated’ and brought more ‘real life’ experiences to the social network space. However, Google might have an edge in this fight because it is backed by a plethora of allies and accessories including Search, Picasa, YouTube, Android and many more.
So look out for a few more features including Background Serenade. Well, it may not be named as Background Serenade, but it is certainly a feature to covet since it has the ability to enrich your Hanging Out experience with background music selected from a mixture of playlists from all the participants. Yes, just like visiting a favorite joint with friends where the music is always great, Google is likely working to bring this overdue feature to your virtual hanging out experience so that you can all reminisce and be teary eyed if possible. In addition, expect this feature to also be able to sample your musical taste and recommend songs you might like in order to lure you into purchases.
Another likely feature would be Vestibule, again not its final release name. But this should bring the excitement of American Idol to you and your Hang Outs buddies. Imagine if it was possible to witness performances from upcoming bands and talents in the company of your Hang Outs buddies. Of course, the system would have to randomly match your Hang Out’s Vestibule requests with availability of such acts. But you would be able to offer opinion, advice and ratings after the performance, and can look out for such bands and artistes when their music or works hit the market.
If social networking is about replicating and extending real life experiences, Google+ would have to take on these features before Facebook, and it is poised with enough clout to achieve that. So happy yammering and keep expecting.