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While in October 2010, Google, the wannabe social hub, attempted to encourage its users to fill up their Google Profile’s details by announcing that the ones who will especially fill in their date of birth in their Google Profile, shall be greeted “Happy Birthday” with a Birthday-special Google Doodle on a personalized Google.com Home Page, not many turned out to be supportive in Google’s desire to become more social and hence followed another failure attempt. On the other hand, neither have Google’s other social products done well, lately.
To be more specific, their social product - Google Buzz, was a huge failure and not to forget Google’s Social Network – Orkut, that was once massively loved in India and Brazil, too has lost a substantial part of its share to Facebook. While Orkut still remains to be the most popular social network in Brazil, in India, Facebook lately overtook Orkut to become the most popularly used and loved social network.
Also have there been rumors of Google working on a fresh, new social product named Google Me, to compete with Facebook, though Google’s Product Management Director, Mobile, Hugo Barra, denied about the rumor.
But it seems that even after so many failure attempts to become the social hub, Google still hasn’t given up yet and thus continues its strive towards becoming more social, with the newly launched Social Search, Revamped Orkut and Google Profiles.
Here are the brief overviews of Google’s new social products.
According to the post on the official Orkut blog, based on users’ feedback, they’ve made some improvements in form of changes to Orkut’s look and feel, which will be gradually rolled out to all the users in a few weeks. It seems that the changes resemble with those made by Facebook, back in December, that also include a new Facebook-like lightroom photo-viewer.
Here are some of the new enhancements that the new interface will comprise of:
- 1. Left navigation, to help you get to the most popular features more easily.
- 2. A new larger profile photo, a popular request. Be sure to upload a higher resolution photo of yourself!
- 3. New full profile view, which lets you and your friends see your info, interests, badges, testimonials and recent photos and videos.
- 4. New full-screen slideshow for photos.
Revamped Google Profiles
With Google failing to attract many by its Birthday special doodle deal, in addition, it has more to offer to those who shall set up their Google Profiles. Google Profiles has now got a revamped interface with changes in the profile’s layout.
The new Profile looks a bit more like the Info page on your Facebook profile, with your photo in the top left corner, brief summary about you below, while a scrapbook of photos and more detailed info about you, such as occupation, employment, education and whereabouts dominating the biggest part of the page. The new design is not groundbreaking in any way, but it’s much nicer than before.
Apart from this newly designed interface, Google Profile holders will also get another advantage of deciding what the world sees when it searches for them which means that if you set your Google Profile to be visible to everyone, then it will likely be at the top of the Google search results when someone looks up your name, which makes it an important part of your personal brand.
Social Google Search
Google has launched major updates to Social Search, integrating information from Twitter, Flickr and Quora, that will appear prominently in search results.
If you're signed in to Google, your search results may highlight relevant content that's created by or shared by your social connections. Your Social Search experience is personal and the highlighted content that you see is unique to you and your social connections.
Here are some of the types of content you might see:
- 1. Websites, blogs, and other content that's shared by or created by your friends
- 2. Images that are shared by your social connections
- 3. Relevant articles from your Google Reader subscriptions
- 4. Profiles of people you know beneath results for social sites like Twitter and Flickr
Any content shared or created by your friends on Quora, Flickr and Twitter can appear as a social annotation in search results. Say for an example, if a friend has tweeted a link to a blog post and your Google account is connected to Twitter, you’re likely to see an annotation below the search result, saying that your friend “shared this on Twitter.”
To get a better idea of what it is, here’s a short video, briefly explaining how it works:
Now with so much being done and probably a lot more to come, we can only indefinitely hope and look forward to Google being the social hub, some time in the uncertain future.