Does Google+ Have What It Takes to Overtake Facebook?

Days after its launch, Google+, or Google Plus, is already generating hype among tech websites as the next big social network that will beat Facebook.

The Google+ marketing has been so successful that even Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has opened a Google+ account. "Why are people so surprised that I’d have a Google account?" Zuckerberg recently texted to tech blogger Robert Scoble.

Many people are wondering: Will Google+ dethrone Facebook just like Facebook dethroned MySpace?

Here are some reasons why Google+ may have what it takes to overthrow Facebook:

1) +Circles: More Privacy Control

Instead of Friends' list on Facebook, Google+ groups a user's friends through +Circles. Google+ users have more control about which groups of friends see a photo or status update, which could give Google+ an edge in privacy control.

"This is really important to us. On Google+, you should be in control of who sees your posts," says Kelly Ellis, a Google engineer, on her Google+ page.

Google+ users can drag their friends into social "circles" they create. They are designed to ensure that the information shared within the group remains private. For example, users can designate circles by "Acquaintances," "Co-workers," and "Family."

2) +Hangouts: Group Video Chat For Up to 10 People

The fact that Facebook currently has no video chat feature has already cause techies to point out where Google+ is ahead of the social networking game. In Google+, up to 10 people can video chat through +Hangouts.

"Whether it's inside a pub or on a front porch, human beings have always enjoyed hanging out. By combining the casual meetup with live multi-person video, Hangouts lets you stop by when you're free, and spend time with your Circles," Google said.

PCWorld has said the built-in group video chat is a feature that Google+ will give Facebook "serious competition" over. It is rumored by TechCrunch that Facebook will beat back the "Hangout" feature by launching a Skype-powered video chat on Wednesday.

3) +Sparks: Decide Who to Share Topics/News With

+Sparks "looks for videos and articles it thinks you’ll like, so when you’re free, there’s always something to watch, read, and share." A Google+ user may see a topic or news that they might only want to share with certain Circles in their social network. Through Sparks, interesting topics can be shared with one person, one Circle or every connection on Google+.

Sparks is basically a re-packaging of the news powerhouse Google News into a Facebook-like and Twitter-like layout.

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