GOOGLE+ UPCOMING FEATURES REVEALED?
Toby Stein is the community manager for the Google+ Project. He was peppered with feature requests in a recent Q&A hangout session. Mr. Stein was noncommittal as expected. However, there was a glint in his eyes and a naughty smile as if to say --- "Yeah, those features are in the works, but I'm not telling you the secret."
Mr. Stein may not be spilling the beans anytime soon, but our intrepid stalkerazzi squad uncovered these gems:HANGOUT BROADCAST
The hangout allows only 10 participants and fills up quickly (like Michael Dell's hangouts). A broadcast feature will probably be implemented but on selective basis like concerts and webinars. A business edition (fee-based) will be established with more than 10 participants and with broadcast and collaboration capabilities. FRIDGE
The Fridge is a simple social networking service that lets you quickly create groups that are as private or public as you want. You can use them for planning events, sharing photos, videos, and keeping in touch with friends, without worrying about an employer or your grandmother finding something you don't want them to see.
Sounds familiar? It sounds a lot like Google+ mini-me version. And guess what? Google just bought it. The Fridge will be folded into Google+ and will probably morph into open cIrcles or interest groups like photographer circle, art circle, and the inevitable ... Justin Bieber circle ... nooooooo!!!
See for yourselves --- http://www.frid.ge/PHOTOVINE
This is a mysterious website that opened this week. The mystery deepens because it was discovered that Google owns it. Photovine is made by Slide, a social media company bought by Google last year. Photovine seems like a mobile app that involves photo sharing with a social component. It is "by invitation only" of course. I believe Photovine will be integrated into Google+ first as a mobile app, then possibly folded into Picasa somehow.
Solve the mystery here --- http://www.photovine.comGAMES
This was discovered in the program code of Google+. Moreover, Google secretly invested $200 million in Zynga, the maker of the infamous farmville. I believe Google has learned valuable lessons from the Facebook spam-infested farmville. Hopefully, Google will create a more elegant solution to implement Games without spamming and irritating the Google+ community.Q&A
Another feature discovered in the program code is Q&A. This is probably the reincarnation of Aardvark that Google bought last year. It is a service that lets users ask questions and get immediate responses from their friends and friends of friends. Sounds to me like a Quora killer.FINAL THOUGHTS
The above features will most likely be rolled out in the next several months. Major Google properties will also be integrated into Google+ like Gmail, Calendar, Youtube, etc. My head is spinning just thinking about this complex game that Google is bent on winning. It seems that we are in for an exhilarating ride... or end up with social network fatigue. +Toby Stein +Natalie Villalobos +Vic Gundotra