Facebook, Meet Your Newest Social Network Competitor: Google+ | Skatter Tech

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After long speculation, Google is officially introducing the company’s Facebook rival today, named Google+. It has a number of unique features to the service. Plus, there is no sign up required for anyone with an active Google account. But is this really the Facebook killer we have been waiting for?

Google+ has five different points of emphasis. The first is Circles, which lets you drag and drop friends into specific groups. Similar to Facebook friend lists, yes, but a lot of the sharing revolves around which groups the user decides to share certain bits of information to.

Building upon Circles is Hangouts, which is really just Google’s fancy term for group video chat. In the stream, users can see who is “hanging out” and decide to join a hangout and participate in a large video conference. Hangouts may consist of random friends or specific Circles of friends.

Sparks is the third point of emphasis, and it stems more from Google search than it does from the social aspects of Google+. In a nutshell, it is a mini search engine. The service encourages the user to search for things of interest and save them in a list. Instead of a standard list of results, Sparks presents different articles or videos the user can watch, read, or share. And using the list of interests, the results for each are accessible again at any time.

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