Google+ is Google’s answer to Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook. The new social network was launched only a week ago with a great buzz – first it was almost impossible to get an invite, then it was closed for new users and now it’s available, only if you’re 18 and over.
Despite the ongoing virtual war between the two web giants, the most popular character on Google+ is none other than Facebook mastermind, Mark Zuckerberg, with over 110,000 followers (and a modest number of 70 friends), according to Google+Statistics. The next most popular profiles are those of Google’s founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
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At the moment, most of the users on Google+ are early-adapters of new technologies and it might take a while for a more mainstream audience to join. Many are still reluctant to join yet another social network.
To make those people’s lives slightly less complicated, Crossrider, a network of Israeli web developers, has released a new browser extension called Google+Facebook that combines your old Facebook profile with your brand new Google+ one, allowing you to view, and post to, your Facebook news feed from within Google+. The extension was made in a period of just one day on the Crossrider Java framework for browsers, which allows users to create free cross-browser extensions in minutes.
More than 90,000 users have already downloaded the Crossrider extension for Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer. After installing the extension and allowing it to access Facebook, a small Facebook button will appear in your Google+ window, right next to the Stream button.
However, many on the web have been arguing that Google+Facebook requires permission to access too much private information and encourage potential users to read the terms and conditions closely.
In any case, the new social network seems to be more than a mere Facebook copycat or extension. Google+ offers some new and unique features alongside a quite familiar Facebookish look. Google also tries to familiarize its users with new terminology, such as swapping “news feed” for “stream.”
Google+ is betting on its interesting new features to attract a wider audience, such as the Google+ “Circles” which allows users to group friends into different categories, such as acquaintances, family, co-workers, friends, closer friends and more. Another innovative feature is called “Sparks”; it enables users to identify topics they might be interested in sharing with others.
Then there is “Hangout”, the group video chat which forced Facebook’s to create its own Skype-based video chat only a few days ago.
Despite the friendly gestures, it seems the geek war is definitely on.
Watch Crossrider’s video here: