Business Magazine

Competition Hots up on Social Networks

Posted on the 21 September 2011 by Iangreen @GREENComms

Google and Facebook trotted out a variety of new social networking features in back-to-back announcements yesterday, underscoring their intensifying competition between the two.
Google integrated its flagship search engine into Google+ social network and expanded its “Hangouts” video-chat feature to allow mobile use and broadcasting.
The company said on its official blog its Hangouts feature – where up to nine people can link up and chat with a user on video – will be available on camera equipped smartphones powered by its own Android software.
And a user can now host an online broadcast with this feature — recording a session and broadcasting it live for public access online. Black Eyed Peas front man will host the first Hangout on Air on today.
Meanwhile, Facebook is introducing a new “ticker” on its users’ home pages, providing real-time notifications of what friends are doing on the service. Facebook also revamped the service’s main news feed to flag important items for Facebook users who have not logged on for a few days. It also changed the way photos are displayed on the site, increasing the size of pictures that appear in a users’ news feed.
Google did not say how many people had signed up for Google+ so far, but confirmed the social network was now open to all, whereas previously it had been invitation-only. Analysts estimate upward of 25 million users have joined Google+ since its inception.
We’ve been playing with Google+ for a while but have struggled to see the benefits so far, largely because there are so few people playing around in it.
The jury’s still out on whether Google+ can seriously challenge Facebook but that could all change with extra Google juice.
Check out the video from LifeHacker.

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