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Google+ draws praise from privacy experts

11 Jul 2011 3:12 BST Back
Google+ draws praise from privacy experts

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Google has avoided the pitfalls of its previous foray into social networking (Google Buzz), and its soft launch of Google+ has been praised by privacy experts.

Last week saw the restricted roll-out of Google+, the newest social networking site on the block to a small circle of insiders and bloggers. This field trial has allowed Google to fix bugs and any privacy holes before it makes the service available to a wider audience.

In so doing, the search engine giant hasn’t repeated the mistake of ‘Google Buzz’ its alternative to Twitter. According to industry commentators, one of the major problems of Buzz was that it was rolled out too quickly. Within a day or two of launch, there were major privacy issues, including a lack of transparent privacy options and opt-ins. 

However, this limited roll-out has also led to criticisms. Some commentators are likening trying to join Google+ to standing in a nightclub queue in the hope that the bouncer thinks you’re cool enough to come in.

And, if Google+ is trying to take on Facebook, does it stand a chance? Tom Simonite at MIT Technology Review warns that shifting to a new service without all your friends is a big jump even with Google’s new features.

Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt was more optimistic. Speaking to journalists at the Allen & Co media conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, he said he sees a future of multiple social networks where users have different online identities.

Posted by
Neil Turner

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