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Google+: Facebook and Twitter be warned?

Twitter and Facebook may have to prepare themselves for some new competition in the form of Google’s new social media offering Google+, an industry expert has warned.  

“Facebook and Twitter need to be a bit worried. I didn’t hold out much hope for Google+ to begin with, but after having had a play I can see it will have a genuine use for people,” Cathie McGinn, strategy director of Mindshare, told Mumbrella.

Selected as part of a group who were given access to trial the platform, McGinn said it has a good balance of Twitter and Facebook functions.

“They may have just about got this right. There’ a good balance between the functionality that replicates the stuff we do in real life. For example catching up with a group of friends which you can do on the group webcam or group text messaging where everyone can be a part of the conversation,” she said.

Google+ follows previous failed attempts by the online juggernaut through Wave and Buzz.

“I was a massive fan of Wave, but the problem was it had too many bugs when Google released it,” she added.

“With Google+ they’re trying to roll it out cautiously, and I think it’s more robust than anything else they’ve released in Beta.”

The site has three main features. Circles – where you can group friends into different categories, choosing who views which content;  Sparks – based on shared-interest communities; and Hangout – where multi-person video calls are made.

“If I want to opt-in to a news feed that’s about branded content I can, and it’s not going to be interrupted with photos of my friends’ babies. And I feel very secure that I’m not going to upload a photo from the weekend that my professional colleagues are going to see,” McGinn said.

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