Google+, the new social network from the search giant, is only a month old, but it’s already been declared a big success. So far there have been more than 20 million unique visitors, sharing nearly one billion items every day. Analysts have dubbed it a potential “Facebook killer.”
Why do we need yet another social network? The main selling point of Google+ is the way it attempts to mirror the reality of our offline social life. The tagline for the network is “Real-life sharing, rethought for the Web.” Unlike previous social networks, which have been created from primitive digital platforms—such as listservs, message boards, blogs and even the Harvard Facebook—Google wants to start from scratch. It wants Google+ to be the first online space that’s based on the enduring habits of human nature.
The design of Google+ reflects this lofty ambition. While Facebook lumps together all of our “friends” in a single feed, Google+ makes it easy to sort contacts into discrete circles, so that colleagues at work and buddies from college get different updates.