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Some believe that Google is God – a company that can do no wrong. Others feel that the company has seen its fair share of failure. The same opposing opinions go for the new Google+, Google’s more sophisticated version of a social networking site. I, for one, was excited to check it out, but our intern, Tracey, had her own opinions. And we’re not the only ones. It seems that many are torn about whether Google+ is worthy of being compared to Facebook or Twitter… or if will even survive the battle.

There’s big hype about the “Circles” capability, which gives users the ability to separate friends, coworkers and family into different groups (a noticeably absent function on Facebook). Still in testing, nobody knows the fate of Google+, but we can speculate about Google as a company and whether the popularity of Circles is enough to create a solid group of followers.

According to SearchInsider’s “Is Google God?” by Gord Hotchkiss, the world has strong faith in Google. Hotchkiss asks “But is our faith in Google unshakable?” It’s hard to believe that in 2004, Google was just getting used to being called the top search engine. Back then, the “start-up” glow was still very much alive. By 2007, it was apparent that Google really could do no wrong; however, this all changed in 2010 with the learned failures of Google Catalog, Google Answers and Orkut. Now, most regard Google in a less remarkable light according to a large-scale ethnographic study of search usage done by Microsoft every three years since 2004. At the start, people said that knowledge lives within experts and these experts help them make decisions. But today, knowledge lies with people suggesting that search engines never really had all the knowledge in the world. Is Google now known as merely a search engine? Possibly.

Will Google+ end up like Google Catalog or Orkut, or will it stroke the egos of Google executives and supporters alike? Only time will tell, although the excitement for Circles is promising. According to MediaPost’s “Multiple Personality Order” by Cori Ferman, all of us have been living with multiple personalities for years, especially Millennials – the top users of social networking sites. Before, some tested their multiple personalities on AOL Instant Messenger and in chat rooms, but in today’s world, we’re able to create and utilize parameters that enable us to filter multiple versions of ourselves – our family, work and friend self – more than ever using Facebook, Twitter and now Google+. Ferman says, “the filtering capabilities show just how modular we actually are, always have been and how we share different pieces of ourselves with different people. We have work personas, family personas, friend personas and so on.” Google boasts that Circles is the answer to the often frustrating aspect of censoring, and many agree.
Will Circles be Google+’s claim to fame? Maybe for Millenials, but others are still skeptical. Are you on Google+?