It was bound to happen eventually.
Google has spent several years trying to find a platform with the right combination of practicality and gee-whizzery to compete with Facebook. Partially because of a PR nightmare over privacy issues, Google lost the first round with their ill-fated Google Buzz. However, Google Plus just might win round two.
The differences between Google Buzz and Google Plus aren’t massive; as a matter of fact, many Google Buzz features have been integrated into Google Plus. However, Google’s newest attempt at social networking has some charms all its own, particularly for those of us who like to share photos.
From his observation post in the Gadget Lab at Wired.com, Charlie Sorrel reports:
“It has been said that the biggest feature of Google Plus is that it’s not Facebook. However, there’s another feature that may be of interest to all you Gadget Lab photo nerds out there: the photo integration. It turns out that G+ is a pretty sweet way to manage and view your shared photos.”
Google vs Facebook; 3 Improvements in Uploading Photos
One of Facebook’s most popular features is their photo gallery. Consequently, the photo gallery for Google plus was engineered to give Facebook a run for their money. For instance, the Google photo gallery offers three important advantages;
- the ability to upload faster because there’s no need to configure or toggle the pictures beforehand,
- the ability to upload higher resolution images – up to 2,048 pixels,
- the ability to upload directly from your Android (and iPhone)
On that last note, the Blackberry app is not available yet but is on their way. However, if you happen to be considering a switch to Android or iPhone, this might be a good excuse.
I, for one, intend to make my next phone an Android, primarily because my son Justin has convinced me of the error of my iPhone ways.
My friend Vinny was taking photos of the 4th of July fireworks show over the Hudson River in New York. He was able to upload them onto Google Plus directly from his Android without a problem. In fact, he raved about it.
It seems that Google’s higher resolution capabilities makes the Google+ gallery an ideal platform for sharing photos, whether they be from a friend or family member sharing their life experiences, to a professional specializing in infrared photography sharing images with clients, it’s now easier than ever.
Google vs Facebook; 2 Improvements in Sharing Photos
The whole point of uploading photos to a site like Facebook or Google Plus is to share them with friends and associates. Of course, as both Facebook and Google have discovered, social networkers now have higher standards regarding what they want to share and with whom.
The Google photo sharing options address these standards by offering two important advantages;
- the ability to upload photos immediately into a private album so they can be categorized and shared later, and
- the ability to share photos with specific circles, rather than simply “friends” and “everybody”.
While these two features offer improvements over Google’s old photo sharing options, they certainly don’t mean a death knell, or even a retirement party, for Facebook.
It is unlikely that Google Plus – or anything else – will completely supplant Facebook anytime soon, but it is refreshing to see some serious competition in the market.
College kids uploading their latest party shots will appreciate the multiple privacy settings offered by multiple circles. It will give them the ability to share the good times with their friends but not with prospective employers.
Serious photographers will appreciate the picture quality and ease of uploading. It may also help them further justify the purchase of their latest high-tech device, whether it be a professional editing software suite for the latest infrared cameras, a new Google Android supported mobile device, or a HD video camera. Why? Because they now have a platform capable of fully displaying their work.
Folks like you and I, by the way, will benefit whether we take advantage of the photo sharing options or not. Let’s face it, whenever AOL or Ebay or even Facebook is challenged by someone else’s new technology, it’s good for the market. Whoever survives the initial confrontation will go on to offer an improved product, every time.
What does the arrival of Google Plus really mean, then? David Seaman from BusinessInsider.com opined, “It will be a huge success, and Facebook is in trouble — although by no means obsolete.”
The jury is still out on whether Google Plus will actually be a Facebook killer. What Justin and I are looking forward to, though, is watching these two virtual behemoths duke it out. It should be quite a show.